H i s t o r y
Hunter Singers was established in 1989, with 33 young singers accepted into the first group under the direction of Kim Sutherland. In the past 30 years, 406 singers from 21 secondary schools have been part of the Hunter Singers family.
· Gold Diploma and two Silver Diplomas at the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati
· First prize at the Citibank Open Choral Award at the City of Sydney Performing Arts Challenge (Sydney Eisteddfod) in 1997
· Joint winners of the Australian National Choral Championships, Youth Section in 1993
· Second prize at the 2009 Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna.
· Two major prizes in the 2003 Verona International Choral Competition, competing against 34 choirs from 11 countries, winning the gold cup award and a special jury prize for the best performance of a contemporary work.
· Finalists at the City of Sydney Performing Arts Challenge (Sydney Eisteddfod) in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2013.
Stephen Leek writes on the occasion of the Hunter Singers 20th Anniversary
I remember well my first contact with The Hunter Singers many years ago. I nervously put a piece before them that I had scribbled down on the plane on my way to Newcastle - a piece that is now undoubtedly the most often performed Australian choral piece world-wide. Within the first hours of rehearsal we had captured the energy and excitement of my simple arrangement “Morning Tide”, and our strong relationship in working together has grown ever stronger over the years from that point. Kim Sutherland and the Hunter Singers have given much to the Australian choral world and are to be congratulated and proud of their artistic achievements both here in Australia and overseas. I wish to heartily congratulate Kim for her tireless work, the administrative team, and the many young musicians, past and present, who have been moved, motivated and touched by the power and passion of the Hunter Singers as they celebrate this milestone in their musical journey.
As every former and current member of Hunter Singers knows, the incomparable sense of identity and group cohesion that has always been typical of the Hunter Singers is due to Kim Sutherland’s tireless dedication to the singers - both in a musical and personal sense. But not only does the organisation provide a terrific musical and social experience for the young people involved, it also continues to make a positive mark on the culture of choral music – both at home and abroad – through regular commissioning of new Australian works, published recordings and participation in international festivals. Hunter Singers educates its singers through artistic excellence. It has been an important part of many young musicians’ formation, and given an all-round musical education to many people who have now gone into other non-musical areas. Had I not, at the age of 16, been dragged into a Hunter Singers audition, I would most definitely not be in my present career with The Australian Voices; singing in Hunter Singers was my first experience in choral music and it gave me many skills that I now use every day. It’s a privilege to have been a member of the Hunter Singers and to be a part of its ongoing success. Happy 20th birthday!