Canberra Choral Society
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|Canberra Choral Society|
|Genre||classical and contemporary choral art music|
|Music director||Tobias Cole|
|Choir admission||By audition|
The Canberra Choral Society is a symphonic choir in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. For sixty years it has been a leading player the musical life of the city. Its repertory covers art music of the 17th to 21st centuries in small and large ensembles. While its membership is amateur, soloists and orchestras are professional. It performs regularly with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Its musical director is Tobias Cole.
The Canberra Choral Society originated in 1952 as the Canberra Choral Group. Conductors originally included Ronald Penny, Peter Bailey and Jane Malone, and the Group was recognised as an important part of the early cultural development of Canberra. The name was changed to The Canberra Choral Society in 1960, and the Society became an officially incorporated association in April 1962.
Repertoire, Performances and Programs
The Society had a proven record of performing new works by Australian composers. With assistance from the Federal Governments' arts funding body, the Australia Council, large-scale choral-orchestral compositions were commissioned by the Society for the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 (Richard Mills's Five Meditations from the Poetry of David Campbell) and for the Centenary of Federation in 2001 (Peter and Martin Wesley-Smith's Black Ribbon). Premiere performances of works by resident Musical Directors have also been a feature of the choir's repertoire.
The Society has performed at the Australian National University, the 2000 Summer Olympics Arts Festival., ABC TV and Radio, the Canberra International Music Festival, the opening of the new Australian Parliament House, the 50th Anniversary of World War II, the Australian National University's 50th anniversary, and the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House. The Society has performed with many Canberra based choirs, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Canberra Youth Orchestra.
The Society regularly contributed to community events. It has performed at the Canberra Multicultural Festival and during Floriade, and on special occasions such as the opening of Parliament House. For many years, the Society provided the choir for the annual Anzac Day service held at the Australian War Memorial.
Guest conductors and soloists of national and international repute who have worked with the Society include Nicholas Braithwaite, Joan Carden, Margreta Elkins, Gerald English, Donald Shanks, Clifford Grant and Tobias Cole.
The Society was critical in developing a national Choral Music Lending Scheme that facilitates provision of performing scores to over 100 member choirs across the country was instituted in 1965.
- 1952–1957 Ronald Penny
- 1958–1961 Jane Malone
- 1962–1972 Wilfrid Holland
- 1972–1976 Ayis Ioannides
- 1976–1985 Donald Hollier
- 1985–1989 Hans Günter Mommer
- 1989–1993 Christopher Lyndon-Gee
- 1994–1999 Robyn Holmes
- 2000–2001 Piroska Varga
- 2001 Christoph Moor
- 2002–2003 Thomas Burge
- 2003 John Gilbert (Acting)
- 2004–2005 Judith Clingan
- 2006–2010 Peter Pocock (since 2010 with Tobias Cole as Associate Director)
- 2011– Tobias Cole
- Campbell, Peter. Canberra Choral Society: A Capital Choir for a Capital City, PC Publishing, 2002 ISBN 0958155305
- Review of ACT Arts Facilities, ACT Chief Minister's Department (Turner, ACT: Purdon Associates, July 2001)
- Canberra Times, 29 June 1954:4. "The Canberra Choral Group, which has just received a grant £30 from the A.C.T. Cultural Advisory Committee, will hold a committee meeting to-morrow night."
- See list of grants in the Australia Council's Annual Report 1997–98 (Sydney: Australia Council, 1998).
- Olympic Arts Festival (19 August 2000). Symphony at the Superdome. Concert program. Sydney: Playbill Pty Ltd.
- "Canberra Choral Society website - 2011 program".
- Hince, Kenneth (4 December 1965). "Finding the Lost Chord". The Australian. Canberra.