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 70 performances since then under Prue Ashurst, John Beaverstock, Burman Güner, Jangoo Chapkhana, Chris van Tuinen and Kris Bowtell.
I very 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 – to say nothing of the tour of China in 2019. More recently the 90th gala concert and the Bach Christmas Oratorio were highlights.
I’m looking forward to my third (and final!) year as President in 2023/24.
Music has always been a core part of my life, whether as a student, teacher (piano, singing and musicianship), parent, performer, choral director (children’s choirs) or psychologist. My chorister days began as a young teen in a local church choir – St Patrick’s in Mt Lawley. We performed all the oratorios under the sun giving us all a wonderfully rich exposure to these works. Arthur Buss directed the choir and was also my first voice teacher (apart from my mother who was a piano teacher). When first joining UWACS in 2018, I was thrilled to learn that Mr Buss directed UWACS a very long time ago.
Past choral experiences include Collegium Musicum with Margaret Pride, University Chorale, as well participation in various small group ensembles. I am now also singing with WASO chorus.
I look forward to stepping into the role of Secretary with great enthusiasm.
After leaving school where I was in the boarders’ choir, I didn’t sing at all for decades. I continued to study piano, however, which greatly assists me at UWACS with pitch, rhythm and reading music.
Through my work I became involved in organising concerts in the 90s and founded the Fairbridge Festival in 1993, although I was never involved as a performer. After attending the UWA extension course “Anyone Can Sing” in 2000, I joined an a cappella group, and sang with some other community choirs for several years. Then in 2005, I was very surprised to find so much pleasure singing classical music in harmony with Collegium Symphonic Chorus, and a few years later I also joined the WASO Chorus.
Following a bike accident where I landed on my face and smashed my jaw, I didn’t sing for several years, but in 2018 I joined UWACS where I found many old friends from Collegium and WASO. As an experienced Chartered Accountant, I have taken on the role of Treasurer, and I also manage Ticketing.
Singing has made a huge contribution to my life, helping me make many good friends along the way. I have travelled to sing with many of these groups – Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Sydney and China – and have also enjoyed many regional weekends away. I have even (finally) sung at the Fairbridge Festival with one of the groups!
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!
General Committee Member: Concert Manager
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 four 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
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: Rehearsal Venue Bookings
I worked as a geologist and environmental scientist with industry and the Western Australian Government before retirement. Until recently I was involved with the monitoring of the rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
I have 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.
I first joined UWACS from Perth Oratorio Choir.
General Committee Member: Comms Co-ordinator
Since a very young age I have always seemed to have a song running through my head as music was a big part of our family growing up.
Starting singing lessons with the pastor’s wife while at primary school (after working out I didn’t have much talent for playing the piano!) I found I enjoyed every opportunity to perform either solo or with a group.
During high school and at university (both in the United States) I furthered my musical education by continuing with my vocal coaching, being a part of several touring choirs in the 80s and 90s and completing a minor in music as part of my undergraduate degree. During these years I had the pleasure of being a part of some glorious music making, as we performed repertoire such as Handel’s Messiah, Rutter’s Requiem, contemporary church music, pieces from musicals, and a highlight for me was performing the role of “The Mother” in Gian Carlo Menotti’s one act opera Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Moving to Australia in 1994, I had a lengthy break in any involvement with choral work and it was a very conscious decision in 2018 to reconnect with my love of music. I was thrilled to audition and join UWACS at the end of 2018 and my esteem for the group and the music we create has just grown over these past few years. It is my pleasure to join the committee and contribute to the choir in another capacity.
General Committee Member: Events Organisation
I joined UWACS in about 2011 when we did Verdi’s Requiem. I was raised around music and participated in many choirs growing up. I attended a UWACS concert several times before joining. Now I feel privileged to join in and find our many concerts with orchestra, organ and soloists a real thrill. I treasure the friendships I have made at UWACS and look forward to helping on the committee this year.