We live in an amazing world that gives us the capability of sharing with each other any music and lyrics that are meaningful in our own lives, and Musicoast was born for that very reason in 1990 – to share wholesome music and messages with the world – to create love and uplift emotions by showcasing for the international arena the creations of artists and composers of like minds today or in future tomorrows.
The team at Musicoast realizes it requires selfless commitment and dedication to swim against the stream and link with others who might also want to turn the tide of negativity and destruction, much of it engendered sadly by aspects of the music industry today – and instead, to fill and thrill hearts everywhere to help make a happier more loving environment for children and grandchildren of the future to thrive with a positive outlook.
Artists embraced by Musicoast have a uniqueness that will hopefully continue to rock the cradle of the world – such as golden singing voice of Judith Durham and her marvelous compositions so full of hope; timeless catchy melodies and simple rhythms of Australia’s first International pop icons The Seekers with the harmonies and acoustic instrumentation of Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley combined with Judith’s lead voice; the treasured recordings featuring the much loved magical voice of Judith’s sister Beverley Sheehan; and the cherished body of work that gifted pianist Ron Edgeworth shared with his wife Judith.
Musicoast’s first foray into book publishing came in 1994 with the first edition of biographer Graham Simpson’s ‘The Judith Durham Story : Colours Of My Life’ – a foretaste of many other publishing projects to be brought to fruition, including sheet music in the near future.
Musicoast is, in a way, a global extension of Judith Durham’s childhood prediction that she would play sheet music on a piano in a shop window one day. Judith didn’t realize back then, that through her glimpse into the future, a seed was being sown for Musicoast’s “global shop window” with its aim to create and produce works to generate pleasure and joy, emotional release and enlightenment through empathy and support to others.
Instead of just a few people standing outside that shop window in Judith’s imagination, Musicoast can reach out today through undreamed of technology, and share with millions who may decide to drop by. The Musicoast team is dedicated to inspire hearts around the world in the spirit of service to all …
“ … MUSIC IN OUR HEART BRINGS LOVE TO THE WORLD AND
MUSIC IN THE WORLD BRINGS LOVE TO OUR HEART …”
– Judith Durham OAM
General Manager, Musicoast
Graham Simpson fulfils a unique multi-levelled role in running Musicoast’s record production and music publishing company, with current expansion of its significant catalogue worldwide. With the roster of major artists and productions, there is enormous scope for his profound expertise as a music historian and researcher. With his skills in promoting international industry legends whose timeless repertoires date back to the Sixties, and with an in-depth knowledge of the global music industry, Graham has a reputation as one of Australia’s best-known music authorities. Graham’s experience has developed over 40 years, beginning with music journalism in the 1970s, and over recent decades creating cutting edge, award-winning radio programs syndicated Australia-wide.
His guiding hand is taking Musicoast to new heights … but he won’t let that clash with the critical crux of his carelessly overlooked covert calling; unequivocally concentrating on his incredible capacity to conjure complicated culinary creations as a clever cook in the kitchen. Excelling in complex confections commensurate with the calibre of classic quality cuisine, and cooking on command the cream of the crop for ‘la crème de la crème’ in incalculable copious colourful quantities, he unquestionably incurs constant cries for countless succulent encores, of course!!
Business Manager, BA LLB (Syd), MBA (Macq)
Robert Scard is a lawyer of 34 years’ experience in the Australian media and entertainment industries. He is the owner and principal of Robert Scard & Associates, Solicitors, and Artisan Corporation Pty. Limited which provides management consultancy services to artists, songwriters, managers, and record producers, and represents companies in connection with the sale and acquisition of intellectual property assets. In the 1980’s Robert’s first job in the industry was as the in-house legal counsel at Sony Music Australia Limited (formerly CBS Records). There, he was responsible for negotiating and signing many well-known Australian musical acts and artists, including Midnight Oil, Men At Work, Redgum, Eurogliders, Mental As Anything and Mi-sex.
In July 1986, Robert established his first management consultancy for the purpose of advising participants in the music industry, and to increase his knowledge base in this area of work, completed an MBA degree at Macquarie University in 1990. That year, Robert also formed his own legal firm to specialise in providing legal advice to those involved in the Media & Entertainment Industry. While entertainment law remains a core element of his practice, new media technologies and platforms such as websites, online businesses, iPhone applications, and gaming applications, have also become significant in the practice.
Through his involvement with the Musicoast team, Robert regards it as a special honour to represent some of the legends of Australian music.
Dennis Donovan has been a qualified Chartered Accountant for more than 30 years. Dennis is a true blue Queenslander having been born at Freestone on the Darling Downs, moving with his family throughout Queensland from south to west and north and back again, and has a true love of his great state and its rugby league football team and enjoys the social atmosphere of a day at the races. His business relationship started with Judith and Ron Edgeworth when they were living on the Sunshine Coast . This soon developed into a close personal as well as business relationship and when Judith returned to Melbourne Dennis remained her accountant and business consultant for many years until he sold his accountancy practice. Dennis’s profession may be essentially accountancy, but his second love is music. He is a child of the Sixties and its music, and has cherished the opportunity to have an involvement with the music industry through his continuing association with Judith, Graham Simpson and the Musicoast team.
Irene has spent more than 20 years working within the Arts Community (locally, nationally and internationally), enjoying the area of public programming and collaborations, with projects encompassing the visual, literary, musical and performing arts; highlights include Judith Durham, The Seekers, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Arts Centre (Melbourne) and Venice Biennale. Whilst working for the NGV Irene met her husband to be, renowned Conservator of European Paintings before 1800; they set off for a year’s residency in Italy, married in Venice and now have two delightful children. With a constant thirst for cultural knowledge, Irene’s ever changing passions have spanned Surrealism, Art Deco, English and Russian Literature, American Indian Culture, and currently the Renaissance. Her fascination with sculpture inspired her to feature one of Judith’s lipsticks in an installation of lipsticks shaped by the lips of many celebrities. Music has been part of Irene’s whole life and Judith’s dream never fades of one day seeing Irene star as Snow White – in her ‘Doc Martens’ of course!
Merchandise Manager & Finance Controller
Ian Martin worked in banking for 20 years, mostly in Melbourne but also a three-year stint in London. Ian now provides book keeping and administrative assistance for Musicoast. While Ian thoroughly enjoys working at Musicoast, he was relieved when he found out that musical ability wasn’t a prerequisite for the job! In his spare time, Ian enjoys films, the beach and restoring a 1964 MGB. He has owned the car for 20 years and started restoring it more than 10 years ago – the only sad aspect to the whole project is that his hair didn’t last the distance!! The car will be on the road, soon.
Michael Cristiano is a highly acclaimed and respected multi-award winning performer and producer, producing albums for Judith Durham, The Seekers (multi-platinum), and many other artists. A guitar virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist, including a love of the piano accordion (the “stomach Steinway”!!) Michael has worked with numerous international and local artists, and was Musical Director for The Seekers last world tour with sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Michael has also performed and recorded as a duo with Australian country singer Donna Fisk and in 1998 they achieved a top 10 radio hit with their song ‘Lara’. Michael is proud to be a Lifetime Australia Day Ambassador, an honour bestowed for his work in the music industry and for various charities.
Graeme has a real passion for making what he calls “good music“ – music that reaches and impacts the listener. He is one Australia’s most influential and admired conductors having led and directed choirs, orchestras and bands for all of his working life. He is arguably best known as the Music Director for Network 7’s Carols in the Domain where he has worked with international artists such as Engelbert Humperdinck, Josh Groban and Katherine Jenkins … and Judith Durham. With his wife Neryl, Graeme travelled to Georgia USA to work as Music Director for The Salvation Army, returning to Australia as conductor of The Sydney Staff Songsters of The Salvation Army, for 14 years.
As a composer and arranger he has many works published and a long list of choral recordings he has directed, include two anthologies of his own sacred works and his own piano reflections and meditation CD – and performing on stage, highlights include concert tours with Judith as her Musical Director and Arranger, and with The Seekers on their Golden Jubilee Tour. His heroes include Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Chuck Jones and Foghorn Leghorn. Musicoast’s biggest challenge nowadays is to distinguish between Graeme and Graham! In spite of all of Graeme’s musical aspirations, nothing beats sitting under the coconut trees in Vanuatu!
Until the millennium, Shelley’s career was media-based; first as Fleet Street journalist, then BBC broadcaster, successful author of several books, PR copywriter, and award-winning magazine feature writer – in fact, Shelley met Judith in 2000 when she was sent to interview her for a magazine profile. Through her role with Musicoast, Shelley continues to share with the world at large her love of Judith’s music. In 2002, Shelley became Judith’s manager for two years – for the UK launch of Judith’s ‘Hold On To Your Dream’ album (to great acclaim), leading to the highly successful UK ‘Diamond Tour’ – with the same positive attitude always advocated by Judith to strengthen healing power, Shelley attended most of the concerts while undergoing chemotherapy – a remarkable achievement. Indeed, the message of Judith’s composition ‘Hold On To Your Dream’ even inspired Shelley to overcome her lifelong fear of flying.
Public Relations Manager
Greg Thomas has spent most of his working life in and around the music business, so he has a particular affinity with Musicoast’s aims. Being a child of the Seventies, Greg’s early happy memories are of hearing Seekers songs from his parents’ collection. He became a devotee of Eighties pop music as a teenager, and is proud to still hold ticket stubs from Duran Duran, Culture Club and Wham concerts!! In addition to keeping Musicoast running smoothly, Greg deals with correspondence and helps to handle webmail administration with Michele Morris.
Michele Morris is a music journalist and classically trained musician, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Seekers’ music, and more particularly, of Judith Durham’s solo career. The website receives thousands of queries, suggestions and comments which Michele answers, often in consultation with Judith. Sometimes Michele is only required to provide facts to the many fans who write in; sometimes she asks Greg Thomas to assist; the very obscure ones, however, are answered in consultation with Graham Simpson, or through Ask Graham Simpson.
Website & IT
Phil began his IT career as a Computer Programmer in the Seventies and has had more than 20 years’ experience teaching computers and providing technical support. His expertise includes website design and networking. Away from the computer screen he excels in the kitchen (although he has yet to accept Graham’s challenge to a cook-off!), he aspires to be an elite athlete (if only it wasn’t so dangerous!), and as a musician his proudest achievement is having his alter-ego Phil E. Stein’s film-clip played on ABC TV’s ‘Rage’.
David Patterson has been working in the IT industry for more than 10 years. David is a keen music enthusiast, loves live performance, and has been involved and interested in the Australian music scene for more than 20 years. David has worked hand in hand with the Musicoast team and has kept the website up to date with ever-changing and developing web technologies.