pop - soul - blues - jazz - classical - r&b - ancient - carols - ballads - rock
Our members all love singing, mainly "a cappella", meaning without instruments. We aren't purists - we just love to sound as beautifully harmonic as we can, in as many different styles of music as possible ....
Affectionately known as "The Cleffies", The Cleftomaniacs choir was formed in 1992 by a group of enthusiastic amateurs who took a course in a cappella singing with Dale Caldwell at Sydney Community College in Balmain. In early 2002 Dale moved on to continue her solo career and Gary Smith joined us as Musical Director. Gary resigned in 2018 after working with the group for 16 years. We rehearse in a quaint sandstone church in Raglan Street, Waterloo.
The Cleffies have earned their reputation for professional presentations and adventurous projects. We embrace an eclectic repertoire: pieces as diverse as William Byrd's mass for five voices, Beatles songs arranged by The Kings Singers, adaptations from The Idea of North and Purcell’s 3-act opera, Dido and Aeneas. We also relish southern American gospel music, jazz and world music.
The Cleffies are celebrated for our great blend, attention to detail and infectious energy on stage. We are frequently asked to support charitable causes, festivals, weddings, private parties and public celebrations. We also present our own public concert program and share the stage with other choirs.
Here is a snapshot of some of our engagements:
- 2015 International tour: In July we returned from a well-received tour of New Zealand where we gave four concerts. We appeared with Tony Backhouse and The Napier Gospel Choir; The Kapiti Gospel Choir; The Wanganui Male Choir; and The Stellar Singers
- Festivals: Woollahra, Ferragosto - Five Dock, King's Cross, Randwick Choirfest, Sydney A Capella Festival, Seymour Centre... and further afield in Blackheath, Moruya, Port Stephens, and The Festival of Voices in Hobart
More 'official' gigs:
Wedding performances, Australia Day at the Rocks, the Art Gallery of NSW, The NSW Housing Industry Association Awards, Industry conventions and Darling Harbour performances
- General performances and just for fun: ’A Really Big Show’ in Waterloo; ‘Sing for the Joy of It’ at Marrickville Golf Club; Bondi Golf Club; ‘Terrific Tuesdays at Chatswood Concourse’; Choir Expo in Parramatta; ‘The Cleftomaniacs and the Sydney Vocal Project’ in Concord; ‘A Cappella Northside’; ‘A Capella with a Twist’ in Waterloo; Randwick Proms; ‘Starbucks Love Fest’ at Mrs. Macquarie's chair; ‘A Celebration of Harmony’ in Chatswood; ABC Choir Competition of the Year; Eastside Arts Club; ‘Love and Tragedy in Waterloo’ – Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas; and winter solstice dance party and concerts
- For the Festive season: Christmas parties and carols for the Art Gallery and the City of Sydney, Carols by the Sea at Bondi, and our own "Not Quite Christmas" concert at Petersham
Our quest for musical excellence and constantly rising standards is further advanced by the inclusion in rehearsal of music theory, sight-reading, and regular master classes from guest conductors.
Our Musical Director
Our retired musical director Gary Smith trained at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and studied piano with Isadore Goodman. Gary has more than 40 years of experience as a music teacher, arranger, performer and choir director.
Along with his musical expertise, Gary brought a clear vision and determination for our ongoing development as a group and was always keen to display The Cleffies' achievements to audiences far and wide.
Our Musical Director
The Cleftomaniacs are currently looking for a new musical director.