Singers by the Sea

About Us

Our musical selections cover a broad spectrum, including Broadway show tunes, madrigals, spirituals, patriotic tunes, old folk songs, and an occasional silly song. We sing in 4-part harmony. Generally we are accompanied by a pianist, but some pieces are sung a cappella. Occasionally, we have one or more instrumentalists playing guitar, banjo, string bass, flute, snare drum, harmonica, or djembe drum. 

Becky Schumann directs our chorus, selects the pieces of music that we sing, conducts our concerts, and in all respects keeps Singers by the Sea running smoothly. She has held this position of responsibility since 1989, and has done so with a winning smile and incredible patience. 

Our rehearsals are on Thursday mornings from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM at Palm Presbyterian Church, 3510 3rd Street South, Jacksonville Beach Florida. 

We perform a free major concert in early May each year at this location which is open to the public. See our schedule on the home page for the date of the next concert.

What Makes Us Sing?

That can best be answered by the following words by John Rutter entitled “The Importance of a Choir”.

Choral music is not one of life’s frills.  It’s something that goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community, and our souls.  You express, when you sing, your soul in song.  And when you get together with a group of other singers, it becomes more than the sum of the parts.  All of those people are pouring out their hearts and souls in perfect harmony, which is kind of an emblem for what we need in this world, when so much of the world is at odds with itself…that just to express, in symbolic terms, what it’s like when human beings are in harmony.  That’s a lesson for our times and for all time.  I profoundly believe that.

And musical excellence is, of course, at the heart of it.  But, even if a choir is not the greatest in the world, the fact that they are meeting together has a social value.  It has a communal value.  And I always say that a church or a school without a choir is like a body without a soul.  We have to have a soul in our lives.  And everybody tells me, who has sung in a choir, that they feel better for doing it.  That whatever the cares of the day, if they maybe meet after a long day’s school or work, that somehow you leave your troubles at the door.  And when you’re sitting there, making music for a couple of hours at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters at the moment.  And you walk away refreshed.  You walk away renewed.  And that’s a value that goes just beyond the music itself.

Of course, as a musician, I put the music at the heart of it, but all of these other values just stand out as a beacon.  I think our politicians need to take note…my gosh do they ever, and our educators, those who decide education budgets, church budgets, just need to remember it’s not a frill.  It’s like a great oak that rises up from the center of the human race and spreads its branches everywhere.  That’s what music does for us.  And choral music must stand as one of the supreme examples of it.

John Milford Rutter CBE is a British composer, conductor, editor, arranger and record producer, mainly of choral music.