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Bayside Divas Celebrate 20 Years With Gala Concert

Story: Alyssa Mackay | Photo: Murray Milliken
Published On : Apr 24, 2024
Bayside Divas Celebrate 20 Years With Gala Concert
For 20 years, the Bayside Divas women’s choir have been inspiring audiences on Brisbane’s northside with their vibrant performances.

The choir is marking this milestone anniversary with a special gala concert, Celebration, at the Sandgate Town Hall on Saturday, 8 June. Concert coordinator, Christine Reed, said the Bayside Divas would be performing their favourite songs from their repertoire over the past two decades.

“It’s a great achievement to have a community choir going from strength to strength for 20 years,” Christine said.

The Bayside Divas originated from the mixed choir Musical Chairs. Reflecting on the choir’s journey, long-standing member Jill Wood said the Bayside Divas was born when the women in Musical Chairs desired a more professional sound and a name that reflected their all-female composition.

“When we performed under our new name of Bayside Divas in early July 2004 we debuted at St Margaret’s Anglican Church hall – there were 10 of us performing at the debut,” Jill said.

“By August 2005 there were 21 of us. By May 2007 there were 37 members.”

Today, the choir has nearly 50 members, including other longstanding participants Anne McCartin, Helen Trappett and Suzan Pekol.

Helen, who joined in 2005, said the choir rehearsed in the hall before moving into the church.

“We sat in the pews and Sandra conducted from in front of the altar,” Helen said. “It was quite tricky practising choreo! Now we rehearse in the Senior Citizens Centre.”

One of the highlights for the choir was in 2007 when renowned conductor and composer Sandra Milliken became the musical director.

“She helped the choir develop musically and administratively so we have been able to go from strength to strength as a choir,” Susan said.

The Divas have even travelled interstate to perform at the Festival of Voices. Helen added that another highlight of being a Diva was the fabulous, interesting and caring women she had met.

“I count some of the divas among my closest friends,” she said.

As the choir prepares for the Celebration concert next month, musical director Sandra Milliken urged the public to attend.

“From traditional tunes to contemporary hits, there will be something to satisfy any discerning ear; top of the charts groups like Toto, Queen, Abba, Kool and the Gang, as well as award-winning individual stars Adele, Helen Reddy, Bette Midler and Cyndi Lauper,” Sandra said.

Ticket prices are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $11 for children under the age of 12. Children under five are free.

For tickets go to

Celebration: Bayside Divas 20th Anniversary Concert,
Saturday, 8 June, 2pm and 5.30pm
Sandgate Town Hall, Seymour Street, Sandgate.