Stephen Taberner is a singer, songwriter, double bass player, composer and choirleader based in Melbourne and most notorious as the musical director of the Spooky Men’s Chorale. We’re excited to have Stephen perform and he will also be leading this year’s Big Sing!
Stephen was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1961 where he explored the dual realms of part singing and existential angst at his parent’s Christadelphian Church. At 21, he took up the double bass purely by accident (his brother needed one to be babysat) and began playing in local jazz bands. Two years in London which were largely spent at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club was followed soon after by a move to Sydney to study at the Conservatorium jazz school in 1989.
Stephen played with various Sydney jazz artists before his musical career took an unexpected turn when he joined world music singing group Voices from the Vacant Lot in 1991. As well as traveling to festivals and learning songs from Bulgarians, Georgians, South Africans and Tanzanians, he discovered a love for teaching singing which led to the establishment of his first community choir in 1993. In 1996 and 1998 Stephen was co-director of the Choral Sea, a singing event at Sydney’s Town Hall with over 700 participants. Stephen also became a highly sought choir and workshop leader, facilitating workshops throughout Australasia.
Best known now as choirleader and spookmeister, Stephen nevertheless finds time to perform his own songs solo and with help from his friends. He now has a needlessly ecelctic pedigree as jazz double bass player, choirboy, playback theatre musician, world music junkie, bathroon harmonics afficianado, singer/songwriter, and student of the human condition, and brings as much of this to all of his work as humanly possible.