History

CHOIR HISTORY
1996    
 “Broken Voices”, led by Robert Dryden, created.  Broken Voices began as a small group of six men who met at Dave Fitch’s home, Sims Street, Sandringham.  Russel Barnes, current President, was one of the original six.  The group met for a year or so at Dave’s home.

1999    

As Broken Voices continued, Robert formed a ladies’ choir, the “Cantatas and both groups commenced rehearsals on separate evenings at SandyBeach Centre in July.  This year both choirs combined to perform at the 42nd Mordialloc Eisteddfod. 

2001

Robert and Broken Voices/Cantatas first performed at Bayside Carols at the Brighton Town Hall together with the Brighton Brass Band.
Accompanist (2000 and 2001) for both choirs: Bonnie Smart.

2002

Broken Voices and Cantatas continued rehearsing separately at SandyBeach Centre until October, when Robert combined the two choirs.  A democratic voting process followed to create a new name and “Vocally Wild” was formed.
Accompanist (2002, 2003 and end of 2006): Emile Griffith.


2003

Vocally Wild entered, and won, the 48th Mordialloc Eisteddfod Choral Festival on 18th June, with the songs ‘Sun and Moon’ and ‘Fever’.  First and only time to have won!!

2004

Vocally Wild opened the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week at the Melbourne Town Hall with the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The function was to raise funds for the charity “Kids Under Cover”.
Accompanist (2004 – 2006): Tim Lee.

2007 to 2012

Vocally Wild continued rehearsing and performing in a variety of ways, including the annual Bayside Carols in the Park, bi-annual Kingston Centre concerts (together with Southern Area Concert Band and Mosaic), marched and sang annually at the Beaumaris ANZAC Day Parade/Service (from 2009 to date apart from 2020) and continued entering the Mordialloc Eisteddfod on a regular basis until 2016).
Accompanist (2007 to 2012):  Clare Budd (nee Monks).

2012

Vocally Wild became an independent choir and held its Inaugural Meeting of Vocally Wild Inc. on 18th June.  Rehearsals continued at SandyBeach Centre; the choir then being entirely administered by Committee.  Group of Vocally Wild members travelled to Northern Italy to take part in the five-day Val Pusteria International Choir Festival followed by a bus tour of southern Italy for all; organised by Robert and Lidia Maslin.  (Accompanist at Festival: Alessandra Garavello).

2013

Accompanist Patrice Marshall commenced, until her retirement at the end of 2021.

2015

Group of Vocally Wild members travelled to Italy to perform in the Val Pusteria International Choir Festival as “Viva Melbourne” organised by Robert and Lidia Maslin, followed by a bus tour of Austria for some members. (Accompanist at Festival: Alessandra Garavello).
Accompanist:  Patrice Marshall

2017

Robert resigned as Choir Director of Vocally Wild on 12th September prior to his relocation to Brisbane.  Following search for replacement process, Diana Clark de-Vries was contracted as Music Director on 29th November.
Accompanist:  Patrice Marshall.

2018 to 2020

Vocally Wild continued under the direction of Diana Clark de-Vries. The end of each term Open Mic sessions continued under the guidance of Dianne Birch until mid-2020.  Patrice Marshall continued as accompanist.
2020 was a disrupted year due to Covid pandemic.  Beaumaris ANZAC Parade was cancelled. Plans aborted for a choir trip to Croatia (under the name Viva Melbourne).   Planned trip for Viva Melbourne to Choral Festival in Hobart was cancelled.   Carols in the Park cancelled.  Diana, Music Director, resigned in October.  Zoom programme of Christmas Carols by Vocally Wild held in December.

2021

Search commenced for new Music Director.  Beaumaris ANZAC Day Parade/Service went ahead with Bill Miles kindly helping out with preparation for, co-ordinating with the St. Leonard’s School Band and directing of choir at the ANZAC Day Parade/Service.

Dr. Bill Miles was employed as Music Director on 20th April and Vocally Wild rehearsals commenced at new venue – Beaumaris Community Hall - on 21st April.  2021 continued to be a disrupted year.  Bayside Carols in the Park was cancelled once again.  Vocally Wild took part in many outside carols ‘community events’ in conjunction with Bayside Council, Black Rock House, Hampton Cricket Club and Sandringham Hospital.  Accompanied and led by Bill Miles (keyboard) and Jamie Miles (Viola).

2022
The continuing effects of Covid has meant a delayed start to the year. Hopefully Term 1 will commence on 1st March when our new accompanist will be Sarah Barnett.

Note: 
Over the years (and particularly in 2018 when Choir Risers and additional audio equipment were purchased with the assistance of a grant from Bayside Council), Vocally Wild has acquired a great deal of equipment, including keyboard, microphones, generator, lighting, etc and during 2021 the choir became the owner of an upright piano and cover.  Most of this equipment is stored at the Beaumaris Community Hall in a locked cabinet.  The piano remains on the floor of the hall and is used only by Vocally Wild.  The choir risers are stored under secure cover in Parkdale for a basic rental .

Pat Lowry
19th January, 2022.
Copyright © 2022 Vocally Wild