President

Jan Kirkman

I joined UWACS at the same time as Chris van Tuinen, so have been a member since 2011. It’s my first ‘official’ choir and I love it. Having grown up with a mother who was a classically trained singer and a father whose family had a number of excellent amateur singers (and cut some vinyl!), music and singing has always been part of my life.

In my working life as a teacher I was involved in a few school musical productions, but nothing more than that. As soon as I retired I joined UWACS and discovered a whole new musical experience. I was made to feel very welcome by fellow members and have felt blessed to have such a gifted Musical Director in Chris van Tuinen. Being on the committee has given me the opportunity to get to know more members and contribute in a different way to this wonderful choir.

 

Vice-President

Tim Mason

In my first year at Eton College, I joined the musical society. My first performance was as a treble in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. I arrived in Perth early in 1971 and studied law at UWA. I joined the Undergraduate Choral Society (PUCS), which was my spiritual home for the next five years. One benefit of singing with PUCS was the annual intervarsity choral festival, which enabled me to visit and perform in six capital cities (including Perth in 1973, when I was privileged to be the convenor). After graduation, I joined Collegium Musicum, in which I sang between 1976 and 1987 under David Tunley, Richard Gill and Margaret Pride. I then had a stint with the WASO Chorus in the early 90s. I joined UWACS in 1996 and have been fortunate to sing in some 65 performances since then under Prue Ashurst, John Beaverstock, Burman Güner, Jangoo Chapkhana and Chris van Tuinen. I much appreciated the experience of singing requiems in Russia and New York (Verdi and Rutter respectively). Also memorable were the two tribute concerts for Prof Frank Callaway and the 75th, 80th and 85th UWACS birthday gala concerts. I look forward (hopefully) to helping UWACS to celebrate its 90th birthday in 2021.

Secretary

Phil Vincent

My mum made sure that I learned to play the piano as a kid. Although my mates gave me a hard time about my having to do piano practice while they played tennis on our tennis court, it has meant that I’ve had a great deal of musical enjoyment over the years.

This has included singing. I love singing Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn and enjoy choral work. I first joined UWACS quite a few years ago, following graduation from UWA. I remember how fantastic it was singing Elgar’s “The Kingdom”.  I had to leave UWACS as my legal career took me to remote parts of the State.

I re-joined UWACS in 2012, and in 2013 I went with UWACS colleagues to Vienna to perform with some US and Viennese choristers. It was terrific fun, although Vienna was freezing cold. After a further break while living overseas, I am now back again with the tenori in UWACS and having a great time.

Treasurer

Sally Grice

I joined UWACS in 2018, after eight years with WASO Chorus or Collegium Symphonic Chorus.  At school I had studied piano for ten years, which greatly assists me with pitch, rhythm and reading music.  During the nineties I became involved in organising concerts and was founder of the Fairbridge Festival, but I was never involved as a performer.  Then in 2000 I started singing with a cappella groups, and in 2005 I was very surprised to find so much pleasure from singing classical music in harmony.  I am a Chartered Accountant, so I have joined the UWACS Committee as Treasurer.

Registrar

Julie Campbell

I arrived in Australia in 1973 and, once family commitments eased off, I joined the then newly formed Churchlands Choral Society. This gave me back the joy of singing that I had forgotten about. I took on the position of Librarian with the choir position I held for 19 years before taking time off so that I could have more time to concentrate on singing with UWACS. Joining UWACS as a visitor to sing Carmina Burana gave me the confidence to tackle larger works and since becoming a full time member of the choir in 2013, I have found the work of preparing major works a wonderful challenge.  I enjoyed my time as Librarian for three years and now continue to serve on the Committee as Registrar which, I am sure, will give me a lot of new experiences.

General Committee Member: Assistant Registrar

Colette James

I have always loved music. From Harry Belafonte to Swan Lake being played on a vinyl record player as a young child. I also loved singing Hymns at Church and School as well as going to the ballet and live musicals. It was not until 1980 that, at the insistence of a friend, I auditioned and joined the Gilbert and Sullivan Chorus.

In 1985 I joined the Perth Oratorio Choir, one of only 2 large choirs in Perth at that time.  UWACS of course was the other one.  For a number of years I took voice lessons from Megan Sutton. I remained with POC until 2009 working for 14 years with Dr. Robert Braham.

My various roles on the Committee included Choral Steward; Orchestra and soloist Contracts; organizing large events; media; being responsible for VIP’s;

Drafting and managing applications for grants, as well as Vice President for seven years.

I joined the WASO Chorus in 2005, taking a break from music in 2007.

When I joined UWACS in 2012 it was such a lovely surprise to find many old friends from POC and WASO to team up with again. This year, as Assistant Registrar, I hope to help Julie in her very busy role.

General Committee Member: Communications Co-ordinator

Bronwen Channon

I grew up in the university town of Armidale NSW. Both my parents were lecturers at the University of New England and I was exposed to whatever classical music was visiting the town – usually MusicaViva. I was the fourth of five children, each of us learning a musical instrument – piano, violin, viola, cello and clarinet were all taken up by my older siblings, so I took up the flute.

I went to university to study geology which saw the flute go by the wayside, but I did continue to sing at the Adelaide University Choral Society. Many years later the most singing I’ve done is to my kids, in the shower or in the car. I joined UWACS in 2017 and although I’ve only been in the choir a short time, I feel like I’ve come home, the feeling of singing in a group cannot be felt in any other forum. 

I was brought up to believe in the community surrounding us and to always participate and contribute as much as possible, that is why I have joined the committee.

General Committee Member: Concert Manager

Debbie Forbes

Singing has always been my passion. Over the years I have taken part in local talent competitions,  eisteddfods, cut vinyl with a modern music group, sung in church choirs, performed a couple of times at the Sydney Opera House and more recently, sang in 4 cities in China.

In 1997, I immigrated to Australia from South Africa with my husband and two sons. With the demands of work and family life, it was only several years later that my search for a vocal group began.  My brief was simple. I wanted to belong to a group of choristers who took their music seriously, were competitive and enjoyed performing.

In 2015, I discovered the UWA Choral Society and after a few minutes into my first rehearsal, I knew that this where I wanted to be. In 2020, after having performed in many concerts, I felt it was time to make a greater contribution and took up the position as Concert Manager.

I am privileged to be part of a great group of choristers and look forward to this challenging role and contributing to the ongoing growth and success of UWACS.  

General Committee Member: Librarian

Jenny Quek

I originate from Singapore and learnt the piano from the age of 7 and started choral singing with school choirs, church  choir and onto choirs at the national level – the Singapore Junior Choir and onto the Singapore Youth Choir when I started travelling to international music festivals, the first being in Melbourne back in 1979! Choral and ensemble singing as a hobby was very much part of my life through law studies and a career in law (Singapore Symphony Chorus, Singapore Broadcasting Choir, acapella ensemble of 12 etc) until I migrated to Perth in 1996. Family life in Australia (with no domestic help) and a new career in real estate took over and there was a brief hiatus from very active choral activity to just a little participation in the church choir and starting a little children’s choir in church. 2015 was the right time for me to get back into it and I tried UWACS hesitantly and was won over by the practice sessions, the warm choristers and the talented conductor (then Chris van Tuinen). The recent 2019 China Concert Tour has brought about a great camaraderie within the choir and I’m now enjoying my time in UWACS more than ever under the baton of Kris Bowtell.”

 

General Committee Member

Bill Carr

Bill Carr worked as a geologist and environmental scientist with industry and the Western Australian Government before retirement. Until recently he was involved with the monitoring of the rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.

Bill has a wide range of choral experience including

  • Perth Undergraduate Choral Society (UWA)
  • Kalgoorlie Male Voice Choir
  • Melbourne Philharmonia Choir
  • Collegium Musicum
  • Perth Oratorio Choir and
  • Performing twice in the Sydney Opera House with Chorus Oz.

Bill joined UWACS from Perth Oratorio Choir.

General Committee Member

Jeremy Price

Jeremy Price is employed in the resources sector where he has worked in contracts management for many years. He has played piano and recorder and sung in choirs since his school days in U.K. and Western Australia. In recent years he has sung with Voices in Praise (Perth), Star of the Sea Choir (Gladstone) and St. Mary’s Cathedral Auxiliary Choir (Perth). Music is one of Jeremy’s measures of well-being: a portion of every day should be devoted to music. He joined UWACS in 2019 to enjoy singing in a large choir and the committee in 2020 to learn about and contributing to successful administration of arts and music (instead of oil rigs and mines).