Meet high energy, Sister2Sister singing duo, Sharon and Christine Muscat. These ARIA Award winning professionals run Sister2Sister School of Singing in Castle Hill, created to help local aspiring and seasoned singers reach for their dreams, boasting over 400 students to this day.
Dedicated equally to the performing arts, their students and each other, homage is paid to the 1990s as Christine bustles through the door, flinging a shirt at Sharon to try on for the morning. I watch as sentiments of the song Sister play out before me, some 17 years after its release. In the song, Christine sings that her sister “borrows my clothes from me and I never get them back”.
“Nothing’s changed,” said Sharon. “I’m 32 and I’m still borrowing clothes from my sister.” In those song lyrics, they each declare their sister is their “closest friend, someone there ’till the end”.
With hearts in the Hills, these savvy businesswomen are always by each other’s side, and so too are they there for the Hills.
Hills at heart
The Muscat sisters perform at many local Hills events, like Christmas in the Hills and the Sydney Hills Christmas Sky Show. They have worked as back-up singers to Glenhaven resident and friend, Delta Goodrem, and to Ricki-Lee, Human Nature, Leo Sayer, Guy Sebastien and Jessica Mauboy. As teens, the girls performed in iconic venues like New York’s Madison Square Garden and London’s Wembley Arena, and won an ARIA Award at the ripe old ages of 15 and 18.
Yet it is in their singing school they are most passionate.
Hills in Harmony
Music has always been part of the Muscat family.
“Dad’s been in bands all his life, including a band called Shazam in Malta, where he was born. All the family sing. Our uncle was in a rock’n’roll band. They used to sing at weddings and we would jump up and sing too.”
After being signed by Ralph Carr, the sisters explained, “Dad sold everything — the deli in Melbourne, he packed up our lives and gave up everything so that we could go on tour. We travelled through the UK, the States, Asia and Europe”.
They recorded an album while living in LA in 2000 with their parents, then in 2001 they moved to the Hills. “We moved in with our uncle first until my dad found a job. Mum has been working at the Towers for the last 17 years, and still does.”
In 2009, Christine and her husband settled in Kellyville Ridge to bring up their young family, while Sharon lives in Mosman, looking for a home in the Hills.
“When I do start a family, I see myself doing it in the Hills. All of our Australian-based family live in the Hills, and I would like to be here too.
“I don’t want to tour anymore, but I still love singing professionally, and having this school is the perfect balance. Christine is at the next level, balancing that and children as well, but we aim for the same things — balancing professional performances while still having a business and being based in the Hills.”
What is it they love so much about Hills living?
Christine explained, “The people have a strong sense of community, the facilities are great, the Hills Shire Council is awesome and they have been fantastic supporting and promoting our school.
“On a personal level, I love that it’s a good place to bring up kids and it's safe. Kids can play on every corner, the people are nice and have like-minded morals.”
“The classes we offer have changed over the past 10 years, and are always evolving. We keep our tuition relevant to the changing music industry so we can properly prepare the students. We produce and write songs, have careers and sing at gigs. We offer more because of what we’ve experienced,” said Sharon.
“Celebrating our 10th anniversary of Sister2Sister Singing Studio was crazy. We had just come off a tour with Delta, and Christine had just had her baby, but running a small business for this long is difficult,” added Christine.
“You don’t need singing lessons — it’s really a luxury — but our business has continued to flourish.”
They express their gratitude for the families who book into classes, and show their appreciation through events such as performing at fundraisers for The Sanctuary Hills Women’s Shelter and by offering an under-five class for free.
“We haven’t advertised for seven years. We connect via social media and rely heavily on good recommendations.
“We are proud vocal educators. Vocal health is very important to us. We make sure that this is at the forefront of our tuition. We teach professionals — people on The Voice come in during the show. They don’t care we have an ARIA, they want their voices in safe, qualified hands able to provide a professional singer with guidance. As a singing teacher, that’s the career highlight. A lot of singing teachers either have professional experience or are qualified — we’re proud we are both.”
A YOUNG START 1995 – Joined Brent Street Studios under the tutelage of Jackie Howard. Discovered by Tina Arena at 11 and 14 years old during a live television performance. 1997 – Signed to Ralph Carr’s management company and record label. 1999 – Toured and lived in Los Angeles writing/recording album, One. 1999/2000 – ARIA Award, Best Independent Release for One. Toured Europe, Asia, the States and UK. MTV hosts of Australian Top 30. 2004 – Established Sister2Sister School of Singing. Studied vocal methods and singing techniques. 2017 – Teaching and performing.
Sister 2 Sister School of Singing
The Sister 2 Sister School of Singing was established in 2004 to nurture individuality and creativity in every student. Lessons comprise tuition, workshops, performance and recording opportunities.
Each student is personally assessed by directors Christine or Sharon Muscat. The school's instructors are chosen for their qualifications, credentials and industry experience.
Quarterly Open Mic Days, annual Showcase and Open Mic Christmas Concerts are held. Music students also perform at their own gig, “The Jam Night”.