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An Exclusive Interview with Award-Winning Composer and Host of Sandybeach Singers Group, Peter Sullivan

We sat down with Peter Sullivan and asked him about his amazing career in Music and his new adventures at Sandybeach Centre.



Q1. What initially drew you to pursue a career in music? Mum and dad both played the piano and dad played the Ukelele, so music was around me all the time. I started playing when I was 5.


Q2. Can you share a pivotal moment or experience in your journey as a musician that influenced your career path? Playing in the Australia Youth Orchestra was an eye-opening experience and inspired me into arranging and composing.


Q3. Could you tell us about your experience working on the AFL anthem "Up There Cazaly" with Mike Brady? Mike and I worked together at Armstrong Studios in its heyday. At the end of 1978 “Up There Cazaly” became the highest selling record. As part of the two-man band we were on the way.


Q4. What do you consider to be the highlight or standout moment of your career so far? I have produced and recorded original motion picture scores and as musical director of Channel 9 responsible for the music for shows including Carols by Candlelight, Sale of the Century, and The Footy Show. I have also played on, written arrangements or produced albums for Normie Rowe, Little River Band, The Seekers, Daryl Somers and Colleen Hewitt and worked with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on The John Farnham Album.

 

 Q5. You have worked with a diverse range of artists, from Normie Rowe to The Seekers. How do you adapt your approach when arranging and producing music for different musicians? Generally, you try to make them sound as good as possible and hopefully everyone is happy.


Q6. Can you share any memorable anecdotes or challenges you have faced while working as musical director of Channel 9, overseeing shows like Carols by Candlelight and The Footy Show? Once during a live TV program (Ernie and Denise) I forgot to check a key with Marty Monster. He was lying down in the breezeway, and I asked him what key he wanted to sign his song in. It was just the suit; Marty had gone to the toilet.


Q7. What do you believe sets apart a great arrangement or production from a good one? The care, the engineer, and the arrangement and musicians. 


Q8. What advice would you give to aspiring composers and producers who are looking to establish themselves in the music industry? Just keep writing. Things will usually fall into place.


Q9. We have heard that you are excited about starting a singing group at Sandybeach Centre for the community. Could you tell us more about this initiative? We wanted to create a space where people from all walks of life can come together to experience the sheer joy of singing. It's more than just singing; it's about finding happiness through music. Whether you're a seasoned vocalist with years of experience or someone who enjoys belting out tunes in the privacy of their bathroom, our inclusive choir warmly welcomes everyone. There are no auditions, and no prior experience is necessary. It's simply about embracing the magic of music and sharing that joy with others.


Q10. What inspired you to start the Sandybeach Singers group, and what do you hope to achieve? The inspiration behind launching the Sandybeach Singers group stems from witnessing firsthand the immense joy and camaraderie that singing in a choir can bring, much like my experience with conducting the Sing-Australia Choir (Bayside). With the Sandybeach Singers, my goal is to replicate and expand upon that sense of togetherness and joy. I envision creating a welcoming space where individuals of all backgrounds and skill levels can come together to share in the love of music.


For more information on our Community Bayside Singing Group please click here.

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