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