Choir hit all the right notes

Kiama’s Louise Dalmazzo with the LP. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Kiama’s Louise Dalmazzo with the LP. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

ONE of the former members of the Kiama Girls’ Choir has fond memories of belting out hit songs and dressing up in skirts.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler recently discovered a vinyl LP, Kiama, by the Kiama Girls’ Choir at the Antique Fair at Kembla Grange Racecourse.

He bought the album, believed to have been released in 1974, for $10. 

The album was recorded live at the Wollongong Baptist Church.

The liner notes reference Dina Patton, who founded the choir in late 1970.

This discovery prompted the Kiama Independent to ask if any residents could identify the singers contained in the photograph on the front cover.

One such person who came forward was long-time Kiama resident Louise Dalmazzo.

Ms Dalmazzo, now 53, joined the choir in 1971.

She has fond memories of meeting at the Pattons (located at 161 Manning Street, where Kiama Glass is now) for choir practice and guitar lessons.

She believed the choir disbanded soon after the record, of which she still has a copy, was released. 

‘‘I don’t remember doing a lot of it in high school; not after 1974,’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t remember much from the (recorded) show, but I remember having to dress up in the skirts. 

‘‘We probably thought we were something special in those outfits at the time. 

‘‘At the time I made some good friends. 

‘‘I enjoyed it - it was a good time of my life... But once something like that splits, you go your separate ways. 

‘‘I haven’t sung much since then.’’

She believed a few ex-members still lived within the Kiama area. 

‘‘One of the daughters, Denise Patton passed away last year,’’ she said. 

The album’s track list includes the song Kiama, which features lyrics written by Peggy Owen and music by Christine Patton.

Also included are renditions of Waltzing Matilda, a Mozart piece, songs from Mary Poppins, The Three Drovers and a Polish Christmas carol.

The choir’s highlights include singing on Wollongong television, WIN 4, as well as at hospitals and churches.

According to Ms Dalmazzo, the people in the photograph are as follows: 

BACK ROW: Gaye Robinson, Elizabeth Creagan, Christine Patton, Elizabeth Sackett, Margaret Creagan, (?)

2ND BACK ROW: Dianne Sutton, (?)  (?)  (?) Brenda Waters.

2ND FRONT ROW: Denise Patton, Fiona Bioletti, Louise Dalmazzo, Margaret-Rose Patton, Jill Balding, Debbie Wilson, Louise Moore.

FRONT ROW: Cathy Kelly, Cathy Ross, Julie Sutton, Jacqueline Patton, Cassie Hall. 

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