President - Louise Clayton-Jones

My involvement with Newcastle City Choir began in the 1970s when I wanted to spend time “just for me”. I have always loved singing – I remember leading a train carriage full of people in a resounding rendition of “Knees Up Mother Brown” on an excursion to Sydney when I was, well, knee-high. I also remember telling everyone that I was both a ballerina and a tap dancer. This was only a few years after the end of WWII, so I expect I was influenced by my many young aunts and their passion for the popular music of the time. I sang in church and school choirs and supported music programs in the primary schools at which I taught. 

For quite a few years I managed to keep my head down and participated as a dime-a-dozen soprano in presentations of Messiah and Elijah and pleasant Sunday afternoons in the Newcastle City Hall. The choir was quite a cultural force back then. However, teaching, studying and professional commitments meant I had to give up my “just for me” time. I was able to resume in the 1990s, eventually becoming treasurer and then president. 

As community organisations do, the Newcastle City Choir has undergone change in the last 60 years. Currently our membership is small at only 30 choristers, many of whom have been very long term members. Attracting new members, improving our vocal technique and collaborating with local notable musicians are the challenges we have set ourselves as we move toward our next incarnation. With strong leadership from a vital and talented musical director, unfailing loyalty from choristers and unstinting support from friends and family, the choir is set to soar. That makes me a very proud president. 

Clayton-Jones B.A. (Hons)  M.Ed. Stud.  Fellow ACEL