The dance floor at the Crystal Palace Ballroom in Luna Park, Sydney, is set for some serious punishment this weekend, when Scott Sheppard and his band, The Shott Boys, will bring proceedings to a head at Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s 2014 Sapphire Gala Ball.
But many of the guests present―including those who danced the night away to Scott and his fellow musicians at the 2013 event―will be unaware of how much more there is to the singer than meets the eyes and ears.
They’ll gain a fuller understanding later this year when Scott releases an album in conjunction with another charity he supports, the Commando Welfare Trust. One of the highlights of the album is a song called “Sunrise”, about the spirit of Anzac.
“Some people in the military have said it’s incredible, and it’s landed on the desks of a number of colonels,” says Scott. As a result of this interest and a documentary about the Trust, talks are under way which could lead to proceeds from the song being used to assist military families affected by conflict.
It’s an illustration of how, for Scott, helping people is as much a passion as music. The Australian Children’s Music Foundation, chaired by legendary television presenter and singer Don Spencer, is another cause close to his heart.
“Helping isn’t a problem,” he says, commenting on his involvement with Lifeline. “I do it because depression, mental instability and loneliness are now as common as cancer. It’s important to be able to support people.”
Scott began his professional music career singing in a Sydney blues-funk band when he was 19. He later moved into the corporate world where he ran a successful Harvey Norman computer franchise and learned skills that later helped him turn his love of music into a successful business venture.
If Lifeline doesn’t invite me back to sing next year, I’ll be happy to help just by serving drinks on the night
For the last six years, Scott has been a founder-director of Big Music, a combined music shop, music school, recording studio and rehearsal and performance space in Crows Nest. “We use Big Music’s facilities and resources to support charities where we can,” says Scott.
His commitment to his causes is clear from the fact that, as well as providing part of the entertainment at this year’s Lifeline ball, he will also act as auctioneer. Says Scott: “If Lifeline doesn’t invite me back to sing next year, I’ll be happy to help just by serving drinks on the night!”