It all began on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin at the grand performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in 1995. Brought to life as part of community arts organisation 'Music for Everyone' (originally Gaudeamus), the people who sang in that original concert simply didn’t want to stop having fun and Strange Weather Gospel Choir was born. The choir became independent in 2006 and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Strange Weather has been lucky to have a series of very talented Musical Directors and accompanists, as well as a wide and eclectic repertoire of songs and a variety of uniforms! The early period was characterised by quirky leopard print attire, funky Aretha Franklin gospel and lots of African music. We later moved into all black with various scarves and ties (as a nod to traditional US gospel robes) and sang more soulful ballads with a touch of jazz. In 2008 in our formal striped shirts we branched out into some pop music and even Broadway hits. After some experimentation, we grooved into the old favourites for our major 2009 ‘Coming of Age’ concert in the classic (and classy) Strange Weather colours of black and purple.
Throughout all these changes, Strange Weather has remained a shared passion for the beauty of African-American gospel music. Some of the old gospel and African songs resonate with such a sense of past and present, joy and sorrow, hope and despair, that it is hard not to be moved. Bound up in the lyrics are tales of slavery, escape, spiritual longing and soulfulness, all of which creates a deep sense of history and humanity. We hope we can share some of that with you through our performances and through this website.
Strange Weather is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, the Constitution can be viewed here.
Daniel led wonderfully and has gone on to study a Masters of Choral Conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. During Daniel’s time, pianist Andrew Rumsey accompanied as well as James Huntingford, who was acting MD when Daniel was away. In 2013 Kimberley Steele began relief accompanying with the choir and became official accompanist in January 2014. When Daniel departed Kimberley stepped into the temporary MD position, bringing with her accompanist Lucus Allerton, before being officially appointed MD in December 2014. Nicole Nunan was also relief conductor for us and continues to do this from time to time.
Kimberley and Lucus are an amazing team and we look forward to continuing our work with them!