Further Information

the creators of Elwood Singing Walking Trail

the sources used in researching the places, people, and history of Elwood

Artistic and Administrative Team

Artistic Director of ESWT, Musical Director of Elwood Community Choir – JEANNIE MARSH

Jeannie brings 40 years of experience as a professional musician to this project. Her work as a Classical singer, music educator, community choir leader, and artistic director includes: singing new Australian music at festivals around Australia and on ABC Radio; producing an opera about Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller, and creating a “street opera” about Adela Pankhurst; running community arts projects in the Dandenong Ranges; international tours; conducting community choirs in Melbourne; teaching VCE and tertiary music students; and composer residencies at Bundanon (NSW) and Visby (Sweden). Read more about Jeannie here: http://www.zingsingindutch.com/dbpage.php?pg=director

Audio Engineer, Musician, ArrangerJAMES HODSON

James is a composer, performer and audio engineer from Melbourne. He studied composition at University of Melbourne, and his compositions have been performed at international festivals. As an audio engineer he has recorded leading Australian performers across many genres, and created many “virtual recordings” with choirs and soloists during Melbourne lock-downs. He is a multi-instrumentalist, with extensive experience as a performer and music director on cruise ships and other performance venues. Read more about James here: https://www.jameshodson.com/


Consuelo is an illustrator and graphic designer. Since moving to Melbourne from Spain, she has become fascinated with the bayside delights of Elwood. Her Elwood shop Be Marsupial features her unique Australian-themed products, with colourful images and lively visual humour. Many of her designs depict Elwood icons such as Point Ormond, and unique representations of Australian fauna. See more of Consuelo’s work here:  https://bemarsupial.com.au/

Elwood Community Choir Guitarist – MATTHEW LOVERING Matthew has accompanied Elwood Community Choir at many community performances since 2019. He has also composed songs for the choir, worked on choir recording and film projects, and collaborated on ESWT song arrangements.

ESWT Website Designer and WebmasterGEORGIE McRAE – Georgie is the Communications Co-ordinator at Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre.

“Trailblazers” Project Management Team – Marlies Blatz, Gillian Fawcett, Mary Hall (2020 – March 2022), Pamela Hogan, Mark Jason, Gillian Mortimer, Lesley Northey. This team of Elwood Community Choir members has worked with Artistic Director Jeannie Marsh on numerous aspects of ESWT since its inception in 2020, including: fund-raising, administration, communications, logistics, research and development.

Elwood Community Choir “Recording Choir” *indicates member of “Small Choir”

Jan Allan, Susan Attrill*, Red Bingham, Simone Clancy*, Jane Crouch, Gillian Fawcett, Les Haberfield*, Pamela Hogan, Mark Jason*, Julie Lacombe, Annette McGowan, Elizabeth Mendoza, Lesley Northey, Annie O’Brien, Gael O’Leary, Anna Robertson, Marina Stojanovik*, Ann Wigglesworth, Kay Wilson, Lee Yelland*, Jenny York.

Many other Elwood Community Choir members participated in other stages of the project from 2020 – 2022. They all contributed to the development of Elwood Singing Walking Trail, through lock-downs and beyond.    

Guest singers and instrumentalists on song recordings – Craig Barrie, Angelo Delsante, Nicki Johnson, Amelia Jones; Dave Newington (piano), Bernadette Baker (violin), Nicholas Jensen (cello), Judy Gunson (piano accordion)   

Designer of all ESWT signs, logo, merchandise – Consuelo Fernandez-Ortiz from Be Marsupial

Song research, selection, development, notation – Jeannie Marsh

Writers, editors, researchers for website – Gill Mortimer, Jeannie Marsh

Map and Route Guide researcher and designer – Lesley Northey

German liaison – Marlies Blatz

Signage installation – Bob Northey

Financial Supporters of Elwood Singing Walking Trail

We acknowledge and thank all our generous financial and in-kind supporters, who have made this project possible:

Be Marsupial   57 Glen Huntly Rd, Elwood https://bemarsupial.com.au/

The King of Tonga  164A Tennyson St, Elwood https://www.thekingoftonga.com.au/

Elwood Sourdough  78 Addison St, Elwood https://elwoodsourdough.com.au/website/

Elwood Community Choir members, families, and friends generously supported this project through fund-raising, donations, and many hours of volunteer work.

Song Credits

Composers, lyricists, arrangers, performers of songs for ESWT recordings.

1) We Honour the Land – Acknowledgement of Country

Words and music: Dr Laura Brearley; from Songs of the Living World © 2022

Instrumental arrangement and performance: James Hodson

Singers: Jeannie Marsh (soloist), Elwood Community Choir

2) Tumbalalaika

Words and music: traditional Yiddish and Russian folksong

Instrumental arrangement: James Hodson, Judy Gunson

Instrumentalists: Judy Gunson (piano accordion), James Hodson (mandolin, bass)

Singers: Les Haberfield (soloist), Elwood Community Choir

3) Carry On

Words and music: Jack O’Hagan © 1931

Instrumental arrangement: James Hodson

Instrumentalists: James Hodson (brass, woodwind), Dave Newington (piano)

Singers: Elwood Community Choir

4) In Toast We Trust

Words and music: Tracy Harvey © 2021

Instrumental accompaniment: Tracy Harvey

Singers: Tracy Harvey (soloist), Elwood Community Choir

5) The Wark o’ the Weavers

Words and music, Part 1: Traditional Scottish

Words Part 2, hymn: author unknown, as sung at re-internment at St Kilda Cemetery 1898; additional Elwood-themed lyrics by Jeannie Marsh

Music Part 2, hymn: arranged from Part 1 music by Jeannie Marsh

Instrumentalists: Matthew Lovering (guitar), James Hodson (guitar), Judy Gunson (piano accordion)

Singers: Elwood Community Choir 

6) The Sea

Words: extract from poem On the Sea by John Keats © 1817

Music: Jeannie Marsh © 2020

Instrumentalists: Bernadette Baker (violin), Nicholas Jensen (cello)  

Singers: Elwood Community Choir

7) La Mar Estaba Serena

Words and music: traditional Spanish

English words: Jeannie Marsh ©2016

Instrumentalists: Matthew Lovering (guitar), James Hodson (clarinet, guitars)

Singers: Elwood Community Choir

8) Nerm

Words and music: Jeannie Marsh © 2022

Instrumentalist: James Hodson (clarinet, guitar)

Singers: Elwood Community Choir “Small Choir”- Susan Attrill, Simone Clancy, Les Haberfield, Mark Jason, Marina Stojanovik, Lee Yelland (Soloist); guest singers – Craig Barrie, Angelo Delsante, Nicki Johnson, Amelia Jones, Jeannie Marsh

9) Round the Cape

Words: Parting at Morning by Robert Browning © 1845

Music: Jeannie Marsh © 2020

10) All About Elwood

Words: Red Bingham and Jeannie Marsh

Music: I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside by John A. Glover-Kind © 1907, arranged Jeannie Marsh 2020

Instrumentalist: Dave Newington (piano)

Singers: Elwood Community Choir

11) The Rakali Hop

Words and music: Jeannie Marsh

Instrumentalists: Matthew Lovering (lead guitar), James Hodson (rhythm guitar, bass, drum-kit, saxophone, trumpet)

Singers: Elwood Community Choir

12) Elwood Song

Part 1 – Waltz

Words and music: Anna Robertson © 2020

Arrangement: James Hodson and Jeannie Marsh

Instrumentalists: Bernadette Baker (violin), Nicholas Jensen (cello)

Singer: Jeannie Marsh

Part 2 – Conga

Words and melody: Jeannie Marsh © 2022

Arrangement: James Hodson

Instrumentalist: all instruments played by James Hodson

Singers: Elwood Community Choir “Small Choir” – Susan Attrill, Simone Clancy, Les Haberfield, Mark Jason, Marina Stojanovik, Lee Yelland; guest singers – Craig Barrie, Angelo Delsante, Nicki Johnson, Amelia Jones, Jeannie Marsh

Additional Chants and Short Songs

During the course of research, dozens of possibilities emerged for lively short songs and chants, suitable for singing whilst walking between Song Sites. They could also be sung at other Elwood locations.

These chants are being created and recorded, and will be added to the website as they emerge.

Recording and Mixing Credits

  • All songs were edited and mixed by James Hodson.
  • Most songs were recorded by James Hodson at Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre 27-29 May 2022.
  • In Toast we Trust was recorded individually on mobile phones by singers in April 2021.
  • Nerm and Elwood Song were recorded individually on mobile phones by singers in September 2022. 

Artistic Director’s Note

This is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to work on a project entirely built around my own neighbourhood – and what a delight it has been! Those of us who live in the Elwood area know how lucky we are to be beside the beach, surrounded by leafy streets and Art Deco architecture. But how many of us know the history and stories behind the buildings, parks, and waterways we pass every day? I certainly didn’t! As I talked with people, explored places, and read Meyer Eidelson’s books, ideas for songs emerged everywhere. With this project involving 12 songs and 12 Song Sites, we are just scratching the surface – many more can be added! We hope that Elwood Singing Walking Trail inspires people to get out there and discover more about the area, through singing. If you are a visitor to Elwood, perhaps this will inspire you to explore the history of your own local neighbourhood.

The seed of the project was planted during my visit to the Singender Wanderweg in Germany in 2018, and blossomed as a response to the challenges facing all choirs during the pandemic. Outdoor singing and local projects were the way to go! However, it soon became much more than that. It involved collaborating closely for two years with Elwood Community Choir members; guitarist Matthew Lovering; audio engineer and multi-instrumentalist James Hodson; graphic designer Consuelo Fernandez-Ortiz; and web designer Georgie McRae. These collaborations were a total joy, bringing discovery, fun, connection, creativity, experimentation, and energy into this strange time of lockdowns and uncertainty.  

We hope that you also experience this positive energy, as you explore Elwood Singing Walking Trail.

Elwood Community Choir, James Hodson, Jeannie Marsh at ESWT recording sessions, May 2022, at Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Elwood Community Choir

Elwood Community Choir was established in 2016 by its Musical Director, local resident Jeannie Marsh. The choir has performed at many local events, including: St Kilda Festival; Christmas events with other choirs at Labassa Mansion, Holy Trinity Balaclava Elwood, and Elwood Village; Make Music Day flash-mobs; community markets; Live ‘n Local (including singing backing vocals for Kutcha Edwards); and solstice celebrations with ZING! Sing in Dutch and Prahran Accordion Band. Throughout lockdowns in 2020-2021, the choir continued on Zoom, creating many innovative events, including: 15 song recordings (singers recorded themselves on their mobile phones, with recordings mixed by James Hodson); “Zoom gigs” with 30 guest artists (crowd-funded by the choir) including Kavisha Mazella, Jessica Hitchcock, Aboubacar Kouyate; a virtual tour of Elwood Singing Walking Trail for Seniors Festival; Australian pop-song dance parties; mini films; music for relaxation; Zoom events with other choirs; and a song of appreciation to local businesses struggling during lockdown. New members are welcome at Wednesday night choir rehearsals during school terms, at Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Enquiries: [email protected]

See the choir in ESWT action at Elwood Sourdough (Song Site 4)

Watch the choir’s 2021 lock-down project, created in collaboration with two other choirs, sending thanks to healthcare workers for their work during the pandemic.  

The choir at Elwood Community Market
The choir at Elwood Community Market with guitarist Matthew Lovering

Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre

ESNLC has provided services to the local community for over 30 years. The Centre provides non- accredited vocational training such as Work skills, English as an Additional Language (EAL) and various levels of computer training are our strengths. Whilst we rely on individuals to take up our services we also work in partnership with local employment and social support organisations to develop learning programs the work toward building community resilience and social capital. Learning improves people’s life chances, mental health and positive community engagement.

Research Sources and Further Reading

Flood, Fire and Fever – A History of Elwood – by Meyer Eidelson © 2006, published by St Kilda Historical Society, Series Number 9, download from https://skhs.org.au/Elwood.htm

This engaging book covers everything you will encounter on Elwood Singing Walking Trail, plus much more. From Traditional Owners to early settlers, from bush-rangers to suburban activists; Art Deco flats, memories from Elwood Elders, archival photos, English poets, Squizzy Taylor, Elwood Swamp, Elwood Canal, our local dance hall, Elwood in World War Two… it’s all there! The chapter titles will lead you to topics that interest you.

Yalukit Willam. The River People of Port Phillip – by Meyer Eidelson © 2014, published by City of Port Phillip, downloadable.

Exploring the thousands of years of First Nations history and culture in the Port Phillip area. See Page 27 for 1840 map showing Nerm as the First Nations name for the Bay.


Around Elwood Village (walks map)

Guided Walks in Port Phillip (free annual program)


The City of Port Phillip website contains information, documents, art works, images, links, and contacts for local First Nations organisations


Special Thanks

Meyer Eidelson – we are indebted to Meyer for his research and writing, bringing the rich history of Elwood to life, inspiring many of the songs in Elwood Singing Walking Trail, and encouraging the ESWT team to pursue the project.

Elwood Community Choir members who contributed their Elwood memories, plus their voices, time, energy and goodwill to ESWT 2020-2022; donors and purchasers of artworks and items for ESWT fund-raiser March 2022; ECC “Small Choir” singers who gave generously of their time and energy to learn and record Nerm and Elwood Song; creators of Singender Wanderweg in Königsbronn, Germany; Tracy Harvey and Greg Dee, Geoffrey Orr, Victorian Jazz Archive, Jo Gilbert, Tomi Kalinski, Celeste Walters; all the guest singers and instrumentalists on the song recordings; Angelo Delsante; Simone Jamieson; Dr Laura Brearley; Sharyn Dawson, Todd Condie; staff at Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre; Becky Llewellyn, Marty Cielens; Rebecca Barnard; Linda Heron; Lee Yelland; Bob Northey; Anjali Sengupta; Craig Barrie, Nicki Johnson; Steve and the staff at The King of Tonga bar; staff and teams at Poets Garden, Point Ormond Café, Elwood Sourdough.

From Germany to Australia: From Singender Wanderweg to Elwood Singing Walking Trail – by Marlies Blatz

The story in English

How to keep our choir singing during Melbourne’s lockdown when COVID 19 hit us in 2020, and how to encourage more people to sing?

It was when asking this question that choir leader Jeannie Marsh remembered the great pleasure of exploring the Singender Wanderweg around Lake Orrot in Königsbronn. She encountered it while visiting friends in Heidenheim, in the south of Germany, in 2018.

Outdoor, local singing could be the perfect solution to keep our choir connected and singing. And a singing walking trail around Elwood’s leafy suburb, its canal and gorgeous beach would also encourage other people to sing, and make them feel connected in their community.                         

The idea of the Elwood Singing Walking Trail was born!

Choir member Marlies Blatz contacted the Eugen Jaekle Chorverband, an umbrella organisation for over 100 choirs in their region. Mr Sieger Goetz, the initiator of the Singender Wanderweg, and his team were thrilled to have their idea taken up on the other side of the world. Local journalist, Mr Hermann Sorg, wrote a splendid article about the Elwood Community Choir in the regional newspapers (Ipf- und Jagst Zeitung, 17th September 2020) and the Elwood Singing Walking Trail featured in the Eugen Jaekle Chorverband Yearbook 2021 (including the reasons for the delay of our launch of the project, the 2021 lockdowns!).

However, there is a difference between the history of folk songs in Germany and Australia. Germany has an array of ‘Volkslieder’, universally known to most people from childhood, which is not the case in Australia. So, we decided to research our local history and song repertoire, and Jeannie would also compose relevant themed songs for our Elwood Singender Wanderweg.

The Elwood Community Choir is delighted and proud to contribute to this unique global singing connection between Germany and Australia. We would like to thank Mr Sieger Götz and Mr Hermann Sorg for all their support in the realisation of our Elwood Singing Walking Trail in Melbourne and the Eugen Jaekle Chorverband for agreeing for us to adapt this wonderful idea on our side of the world.

The story in German

Von Deutschland nach Australien: Vom Singenden Wanderweg zum Elwood Singing Walking Trail

Wie unserem Chor, dem Elwood Community Choir, das Singen zu ermöglichen während Melbournes strengen Lockdowns, als das CORONA Virus sich ausbreitete in 2020 und 2021? Und, wie regt man mehr Menschen zum Singen an?

Da erinnerte sich Chorleiterin Jeannie Marsh an den Singenden Wanderweg um den Orrotsee in Königsbronn, den sie 2018 entdeckte, als sie Freunde in Heidenheim in Süddeutschland besuchte, und welches Vergnügen es ihr bereitete, sich duch die zehn Volkslieder-Stationen rund um den See zu singen.

Im Freien singen, in örtlich vertrauter Umgebung, könnte die perfekte Lösung sein, unseren Chor zusammen zu halten und das Singen zu ermöglichen. Und ein Singender Wanderweg durch Elwoods grünen Stadteil, am Kanal und dem herrlichen Strand entlang, würde auch  Koenigsbronn ist circa 90km andere Menschen ermutigen zu singen östlich von Stuttgart und ihnen ein Zugehörigkeitsgefühl in ihrer Gemeinde geben in diesen isolierenden Zeiten.

So entstand die Idee des Elwood Singing Walking Trail!

Chormitglied Marlies Blatz kontaktierte den Eugen Jaekle Chorverband, eine Dachorganisation für über hundert Chöre in der Region Ostwürttemberg. Sieger Götz, der Initiator des Singenden Wanderweges, und der Chorverband waren begeistert, dass ihre Idee am anderen Ende der Welt aufgegriffen würde. Journalist Hermann Sorg schrieb einen grossartigen Artikel über den Elwood Community Choir in der Ipf- und Jagst Zeitung am 17 September 2020 und ebenso für das Jahrbuch 2021 des Eugen Jaeckle Chorverbandes (mit einer Erklärung, dass die Eröffnung sich verzögerte wegen der erneuten Lockdowns in Melbourne in 2021).

Allerdings, die Geschichte der Volkslieder in Australien unterscheidet sich von der in Deutschland. Deutschland hat eine lange Liste von Volksliedern, die den meisten Menschen von Kindheit an vertraut sind, was nicht der Fall in Australien ist. So entschieden wir, die Geschichte unseres Stadtteils und eventuell vorhandene Lieder zu recherchieren, während Jeannie neue, thematisch relevante Lieder komponieren würde für unseren Elwood Singing Walking Trail.

Der Elwood Community Choir ist erfreut und sehr stolz, zu dieser einziartigen weltumspannenden musikalischen Beziehung zwischen Deutschland und Australien beizutragen. Wir bedanken uns sehr bei Sieger Götz und Hermann Sorg für ihre grosse Unterstützung, unseren Elwood Singing Walking Trail in Melbourne zu verwirklichen, und bei dem Eugen Jaekle Chorverband für die Zustimmung, diese wunderbare Gesangsidee für unsere Seite der Welt zu adaptieren.

Königsbronn is circa 90 km east of the city of Stuttgart; Königsbronn ist circa 90km östlich von Stuttgart

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