|Genres||classical and contemporary choral art music for young people|
|Years active||August 1989–present|
|Associated acts||Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir|
Gondwana Choirs is the leader in Australian choral performance, shaping the Australian sound through the creation and presentation of innovative new work and providing opportunities to all talented young Australians through world-class training by leading artists.
Gondwana Choirs comprises the most accomplished choral groups of young people in Australia. The organisation is now synonymous with performance excellence and has a well-deserved reputation for the highest standards of young people’s choral music in Australia and internationally. When Lyn Williams OAM created the Sydney Children’s Choir in 1989, she wanted children to experience the joy, satisfaction and sense of achievement that an uncompromising commitment to excellence would bring. She also wanted to create the purity of sound that only the best children’s choir can produce. Today, it could be argued that Gondwana Choirs has created the genre of choral music for young people in Australia.
Since 1989, the organisation has grown to include Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana National Choirs and Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir. The organisation has premiered over 150 works by leading Australian composers and performs a significant number of Australian compositions each year nationally and internationally.
Gondwana Choirs regularly performs with Australia’s leading professional ensembles and orchestras, at major national and international events, on radio and television, as well as recording for album release and film soundtracks. We have been involved in many noteworthy collaborations and performances with leading ensembles such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian, Melbourne and YouTube Symphony Orchestras, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra, Synergy, Taikoz, Sirocco, and artists such as Seaman Dan, Kev Carmody, Katie Noonan, Jessica Mauboy, Felix Riebl and the Soweto Gospel Choir, Shaun Tan, Michael Leunig and Jeannie Baker.
Singers from all three arms of the organisation, Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana National Choirs and Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, have come together on several occasions, most notably in 2014 with Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere performances of Jandamarra – Sing for the Country by Paul Stanhope.
Gondwana Choirs is accredited with The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) to offer professional development programs and in 2012 we were awarded the APRA/AMC Award for Excellence in Music Education; and in 2010 the City of Sydney’s Cultural and Creative Services Award for the success of our artistic programs, our community outreach and our efforts to provide equity of access to a first class music education. Gondwana Choirs consists of several different choirs.
- Sydney Children's Choir
- Gondwana National Choirs, including:
- Gondwana Voices (the national children's choir of Australia)
- Gondwana Chorale (the national youth choir of Australia)
- Gondwana Singers
- Junior Gondwana
- Gondwana Cantique
- Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir
Structure and constituents
Gondwana Choirs, founded in August 1989, is a not-for-profit company based in Sydney. It relies on support from the public, as well as government and philanthropic organisations to run its activities across Australia. As well as offering free musical education to young Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people through the Gondwana Indigenous Children's Choir, it offers bursaries to financially disadvantaged choristers in Sydney Children's Choir and the Gondwana National choirs.
Sydney Children's Choir is Gondwana Choirs' original choir, offering weekly rehearsals to young people aged 6–17 from across Sydney. The Sydney Children's Choir regularly performs with ensembles such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and at major cultural events, including the International Society for Music Education Conference in Beijing 2010.
Gondwana Voices is the original, truly national Australian children's choir, founded in 1997. It includes young people aged 10–16 from right across Australia. Gondwana Voices has been invited to tour internationally, including a 2007 tour to perform at the prestigious BBC Proms, a 2011 tour to the United States and Canada, and an invitation to represent Australia at the World Choral Summit in Beijing 2012.:page 9 They have also performed at major events such as the Melbourne Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies and recorded several CDs with ABC Classics.
Gondwana Chorale, founded in 2006, is a SATB choir for singers aged 17–25. The Chorale is designed to cater for ex-Voices members and male singers with changed voices. In 2011 it made its first international tour to New Zealand.:page 6
Gondwana Singers is for young people aged 13–16, on the verge of gaining entry into Gondwana Voices or Gondwana Chorale, including boys with changed/changing voices as well as treble voices.
Junior Gondwana is Gondwana Choirs' entry-level training choir which caters for children with treble voices aged 10–13 years old.
Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir is Gondwana Choirs' newest choir. GNICC offers Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander young people, aged 8–16, the opportunity to join their peers from across Australia, participate in first-class musical education, and represent their culture on the world stage. All GNICC activities are made available at no cost to participating children, their schools or communities.
Each year in January, after national auditions, Gondwana Choirs runs a National Choral School, which is a two-week camp offering intensive rehearsals, workshops and activities, and culminating in two performances. Some of the national choirs may then undertake one or more tours throughout the year. Associated with the National Choral School is a composer school, a conducting academy and 'Kids's Choral Academy' (a one week, non-residential programme for 8 - 12 year olds).
Honours and awards
Gondwana Choirs received the APRA/AMCOS 2012 Award for Excellence in a Regional Area for their Cairns Residency Project.
Gondwana Choirs received the APRA/AMCOS 2012 Award for Excellence in Music Education for its 2011 Program.
The founder and musical director of Gondwana Choirs, Lyn Williams, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia "For service to the arts as founder and Director of the Sydney Childrens Choir and Gondwana Voices". Williams was also awarded the Australian Centenary Medal.
- Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Ashkenazy; Sydney Children's Choir; Gondwana Voices; Sydney Philharmonia Choirs; Adelaide Symphony Chorus; West Australian Symphony Orchestra Chorus; Sara Macliver; Twyla Robinson; Marina Shaguch; Dagmar Peckova; Bernadette Cullen; Simon O'Neill; Markus Eiche; Martin Snell, Mahler: Symphony No.8: Symphony Of A Thousand, ABC Classics, retrieved 25 January 2013
- Paul Mac; Bob Evans; Sydney Children's Choir; Guy Gross; Missy Higgins; Operator Please; Persian Rugs; Surfer Rosa; Danielle Catanzariti; Sara Storer; Chasing Bailey; Bob Evans; Ilan Kidron & Glass (2008). Hey hey it's Esther Blueburger original soundtrack. Distributed by EMI Music Australia. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Gondwana Voices (2007), To Look Yet Not Find, destra Media (Distributor), retrieved 25 January 2013
- Gondwana Voices; Kats-Chernin, Elena. Deep sea dreaming; Finn, Neil. Little fish; Walker, Daniel. Wanderer; Stanhope, Paul. Songs of innocence and joy; Williams, Lyn. 1963–. Festive Alleluia; O'Leary, Mark, (Conductor.); Dean, Brett. To look yet not find; Leek, Stephen. Ngana; McDonald, Anna. King Jesus hath a gardner; Childs, David. Weep no more; Caccini, Giulio. Ave Maria; Leek, Stephen. Morning tide; Leek, Stephen. Island songs; Leek, Stephen. New Gondwana; Kats-Chernin, Elena. Memorial rag (2006), Dreamings, ABC Classics, retrieved 25 January 2013
- Carl Orff; Antony Walker; Australian Virtuosi; Synergy; Cantillation; Sydney Children's Choir; Jonathan Summers; Sara Macliver; Paul McMahon. Carmina Burana. Deutsche Grammophon, ABC Classics. OCLC 721031346. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
Edition for voices, two pianos and percussion (1936/1956).
- Various (2000). The Games Of The XXVII Olympiad: Official Music From The Opening Ceremony (CD). Sony Music, BMG Australia. ASIN B00004Z1CY. 5005345000. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Sydney Children's Choir; Williams, Lynn (1997), Shall we dream, ABC Classic FM, retrieved 25 January 2013
- Australia (2008)
- Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger (2008)
- Happy Feet (2006)
- Moulin Rouge! (2001)
- Gondwana National Choirs
- Ford, Andrew; Williams, Lyn (23 June 2007). The Music Show (PODCAST). Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2min 55sec. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Gondwana Choirs". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
Sydney Children's Choir in 1989 and ... Gondwana Voices in 1997
- Greg Keane (3 January 2011). "Review: Mahler Symphony No 8 (Sydney Symphony / Ashkenazy) - Classical Music - Limelight Magazine". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "BBC - Proms - Prom 13 2007". The Proms Archive. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- Hall, George (24 July 2007). "BBCSO/Robertson, Royal Albert Hall, London | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian (London).
- Gondwana Choirs Ltd (2012). Annual Report.pdf Annual Report 2011 (PDF). Annual report. Sydney.
- "Gondwana Choirs". Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- "APRA|AMCOS : 2012 Award for Excellence in a Regional Area". Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "2012 Award for Excellence in Music Education". Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours". It's an Honour website. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours". It's an Honour website. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
Citation: For service to the community
- Gondwana Voices, Sydney Children's Choir and Lyn Williams in Australia at the Internet Movie Database
- Sydney Children's Choir in Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger at the Internet Movie Database
- Sydney Children's Choir and Lyn Williams in Happy Feet at the Internet Movie Database
- Gondwana National Choirs Website
- Sydney Children's Choir Website
- Support Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir
- generationone:Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir