The story so far…

Following strong community demand, Valerie Ashton founded the choir on 21 February 2005, under the auspices of the Dandenong Ranges Music Council. 

In 2007 the choir became an incorporated organisation - the Sweet Sassafras Open Community Choir Inc. (Registration umber A0049774L).  

The Choir quickly became artistically and financially sustainable under the initial direction of Celeste Cleason. Singers came from across the hills, Yarra valley and the outer eastern suburbs. Soon requests began to come forward for performances at concerts, celebrations, music festivals and events. 

Today, under the skilled direction of Jessica Nabb, the choir continues to flourish, sustaining a strong regular membership at rehearsals and performances. 

Choir purpose 

1.     To bring communities together to sing for pleasure, wellbeing and friendship, in an inclusive and encouraging setting.

2.     To create an opportunity for personal skill development and individual achievement through a capella singing performance.






To fulfil its mission, the choir conducts regular performances at various community-based events and fundraisers. Examples include Burrinja Sing; Olinda Car Boot Sale; Emerald Pave Festival; and the Lantern Parade in Belgrave, to name a few.

In 2010, ‘Sweet Surprises’ became a regular fixture in the choir's calendar.  This is a night where each member has the opportunity to present a song, either as a solo or in small groups.

Past Choir leaders


In 2005 Celeste Cleason was the first director, followed by Bronwyn Robinson in 2007 and Chris Riseley in 2009.  


Website and logo


In 2010, the choir website launched with technical assistance from skilled volunteer Maree Maloney and Tyson Armstrong. In 2011, the winner of our competition for a new logo was Joy Soewylo.