The Sweethearts Foundation Inc. (a not for profit association operating under government regulation) was formed in the year 2000 to fully support and run the Sweethearts program and band. Some 16 years later the Sweethearts have carved out a recognised place in the professional music industry, locally in the Geelong region, across the State of Victoria, nationally and internationally. Regularly performing at private, corporate events and Victorian festivals such as Queenscliff, Port Fairy etc, and with five Europe tours and a tour to the USA in 2014, they have a reputation for sassy neo soul, punchy originals and great entertainment.
The unique feature of the Sweethearts is that it constantly changes each year with new and emerging artists coming into the band and others leaving to pursue their career paths. It is made up of between 25 – 30 young women, auditioned from the local Geelong and peninsula region, including surrounding Melbourne and suburbs. By identifying, nurturing and supporting new talent, and taking learning and performing into the professional performance arena, the on the job authenticity and industry experience is unsurpassed.
The original concept and journey of the Sweethearts began some 28 years ago when a group of like minded young women under the guide and passion of Ross Lipson the creative genius, got together to play soul music. Under his leadership, they grew to become polished and professional muso’s, with their greatest breakthrough beginning when they were invited to play at the prestigious Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland in 1997. From this the band grew in both reputation and musicianship, however it soon became apparent that the demands of the industry and the opportunities that could be offered, needed a different approach and organisation. As a result the Sweethearts Foundation was formed.