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People > Life Stories > Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra presents a tribute to Helen Zerefos OAM

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submitted by O Kosmos on 21.10.2013

Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra presents a tribute to Helen Zerefos OAM

O Kosmos. Thursday 25 August 2011, page 21

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Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra Presents a tribute to Helen Zerefos
OAM, 8:00 pm on Saturday, 3 Sep 2011, at Sutherland Entertainment
Centre Eton Street, Sutherland. Conductor Sven Libaek will lead the orchestra for this special concert with award winning singing star soprano, Helen Zerefos OAM, in celebration of the wonderful contribution she has made in her 50 years as a professional singer and entertainer.

Award winning soprano Helen Zerefos was born in Scone, NSW, Australia, her parents were both from Greece; mother Katina Andronicos Zerefos from Avlemonas, Kythera and father Paul Zerefos from Neapolis Vion, Laconia.

Helen has
•appeared in over 600 television shows
•Compered her own television show
•Performed in a Royal Gala Concert for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1986
•Helen starred in many theatrical productions
•Performed in thousands of cabaret shows and concerts
•Recorded a number of CDs
•Was awarded an OAM (Medal in the Order of Australia)

As many residents of the Shire know, even though Helen had an illustrious singing career happening, she was often found working in the family shop, “Paul’s Famous Hamburgers of Sylvania”.

Represented Australia in 2000 in the concert that opened the Shanghai, China, Grand Opera House. Ran in the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay in Sydney. In 2006, the Sutherland Shire celebrated its centenary. To mark the occasion, one of the events planned showcased one hundred people “who had made an important contribution to the Shire over the one hundred years and who had a significant impact on the lives of others.”

Helen, a resident since 1956, was among the chosen one hundred. In 2007 won the Australian Entertainment “MO” Award for best Classical / Opera Performer.

In 2009 won another Australian Entertainment “MO” Award – The John Campbell Fellowship Award November 2009, Helen performed in Los Angeles, USA, a recital attended by the Australian Consul General, His Excellency Chris De Cure and the Deputy Consul General, Mr Graeme Fay.

She also gave a very successful concert in Chapala, Mexico, hailed there
as “the event of the year,” supporting a wonderful school called Jaltepec.

Constantly performs in concerts throughout Australia Helen supports many causes and is Patron of Professor Tony Broe’s Ageing Research Centre at NeuroScience Research Australia in Randwick (Sydney) where research into Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease is conducted.

Helen was primary carer for her mother, afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, for ten years, curtailing her own singing career during that time. With her dear friend Sandra Forster, Executive Officer of the Ageing Research Centre, phone (02) 9382 4259, has produced and organised many fundraising events and functions supporting this research.

This year (2011) Helen celebrates 50 years as a professional singer and entertainer. She was particularly thrilled to be able to celebrate this occasion with her friends in the Sutherland Symphony Orchestra when renowned conductor Sven Libaek invited her to participate in a “Helen Zerefos Tribute” concert.

When Helen began her career in the TV series “Revue 61” & “Revue 62” at Channel 7 Sydney in 1961, Sven Libaek himself, was working on the same show and was in the studio that day of her first show; as was Ted Hamilton, the singing star of “Revue 61,” who will be present at the Tribute.

Not only but also in the studio that day, 50 years ago and in the audience for the Tribute will be Claire Poole, who gave Helen her first job in show business which started her long career. Claire was one of the stars of the “Revue” series and as one of the musical directors of the show, chose Helen to be in the “Revue 20” singing and dancing choir on the series.

That happy association at Channel 7, plus later in series at Channel 10, “Barry Crocker’s Say It With Music” and Channel 9, “The Sound of Music,” lengthened into many years - of course, Helen’s friendship with Claire continues today.

Performed in the concert will be the premiere of the song “AUSTRALIA,” words and music written by Australian show business legend Ted Hamilton. Helen sings “Australia” with Ted. The last time they sang together was in 1967 when they starred in the stage production, “The Music Man.” Internationally acclaimed singer songwriter, Ted’s songs have been recorded by Glenn Campbell, Dean Martin, Barry Crocker and Tom Jones.

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