Why I sing with St Mary's Singers

Just a few stories from some of the members of the St Mary's Singers choir. 

Avril Badder, Alto

I have been a member of the St Marys Singers since the first rehearsal when the St Mary's Singers was formed in 1991 by David Russell, then Director of Music at St Mary's Cathedral. During that time I had been on the committee in some capacity, as President for quite some time (1991-2017). 

I sing alto and have always sang in my parish choir but when my son joined the Cathedral Choir, I gave that up as he had to be at the Cathedral every Sunday.  I, together with some parents, went overseas with the Cathedral Choir and when we came back there was a notice in the church bulletin of the intention to form a miixed choir.  Our Director at that time was Bernard Kirkpatrick who is now Director of Music in Parramatta. 

I joined my local Musical Society as a teenager and performed many  musicals.  I have a great love of the Cathedral and thoroughly enjoy singing in the St Mary's Singers.  I have made wonderful friendships during my time in the choir.


Vale Gary Ashton Jones, Tenor

Gary was a member of the St Mary's Singers for well over ten years. He was a Committee member from 2006 working on our website, and one of his greatest contributions to our website was uploading practice tracks of upcoming Masses and motets. We receive correspondence from all over the world from choirs thanking us for these tracks. Gary was a valued member of our choir, He along with his son Chris, held up the tenor section of the choir. Gary was awarded a life membership of the St Mary's Singers in December 2015 and he is pictured here with that award. 

When Gary became quite ill, in July 2015 he transferred maintennance of the website. Gary was always cheerful, fun and friendly. 


Lydia Merrill, Alto

I became a founding member of the Singers almost by accident. My son had joined the St Mary's Cathedral Choir when he was nine, so when David Russell, the then director of music was forming a mixed voice choir and invited any interested choir parents to the first rehearsal. I decided I would like to be part of it.

I had not sung since school and I don't read music and, I still don't know what a B Flat looks like and I wouldn't recognise a C Major chord, but I wanted to give it a go.

Avril and Jane were there and I remember sitting next to Esme (who also had a long association with the Singers) and just watching the notes. Esme helped me a great deal and each week my confidence grew.

I love singing choral music but have no desire to be a "soloist". During the years our choir has grown and improved and, since taking on the membership portfolio a couple of years ago I have enjoyed it even more. I seem to have daily inquiries from singers interested in joining us and I love trying to persuade them to come along. We even receive emails from overseas from people who have discovered our website.

I have made some wonderful friends and, can honestly say Mondays are the highlight of my week.