Gondwana National Choral Projects 2019


Gondwana National Choral Projects 2019 highlights the wide range of exciting choral activities available to young choristers from across Australia.

It all starts at National Choral School, the pre-eminent intensive choral experience for young singers in Australia.


Monday 7 January – Sunday 20 January 2019

University of New South Wales, Sydney

National Choral School is the pre-eminent intensive choral experience for young singers in Australia.

For two weeks, over 300 singers come together to form treble and SATB choirs which include Gondwana Voices (treble singers, aged 10-17), Gondwana Chorale (mixed choir, aged 17-25) and Latitude 34 (SATB).

The choirs are led by the nation’s leading choral artists and in 2019, internationally-acclaimed conductor Simon Halsey (London Symphony Orchestra Chorus) will be Guest Artist. The combined choirs will be present the premiere of a new commissioned work by Paul Jarman.

Artistic Staff:  Lyn Williams, Mark O’Leary, Carl Crossin, Paul Holley, Elizabeth Scott, Rowan Johnston, Kate Albury, Kim Sutherland, Amandine Petit, Paul Jarman

To be eligible for projects 2 – 4, choristers must attend National Choral School (Project 1). Preference for project 1 may be given to those choristers available for the other projects.

Audition information

Auditions will be held nationally between 25 August and 2 September 2018. Please check the 2019 Audition Dates in the NCS 2019 FAQs tab for audition dates.

If you live too far from an audition centre or are unable to make the audition in your city, you may submit an audio-visual (AV) audition. You will need to engage an audition facilitator and will receive your audition pack in the mail.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available through our bursaries program. For information and to apply, click here

2. Gondwana Voices Invitation to Berlin

Gondwana Voices
 (Treble choir for ages 12-17)

Saturday 11 May – Wednesday 29 May 2019

Rehearsal season in Sydney for 4 days, and then depart for Europe

In May 2019, Gondwana Voices will embark on its eleventh international tour travelling to Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.

The tour is centred on an invitation to perform Brett Dean’s Vexations and Devotions with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. The choir has a long association with this work, having given the premiere of it at the Perth International Arts Festival (2006) and performed it subsequently at the BBC Proms (2007).  The choir will also perform in other visit other cities in Germany (Dresden, Leipzig and Meissen), as well as Warsaw and Prague.

As this tour falls within school term, Gondwana Choirs will work with families and schools to ensure that an academic workplan is devised and followed, with adequate time each day for study. The touring party will include an education specialist to assist choristers in their schoolwork.

COST: $3000

3. Gondwana World Choral Festival 2019

(SATB choir, ages 15-25)

Monday 8 July – Tuesday 16 July 2019

For one week in July 2019, Sydney will come alive with Gondwana World Choral Festival to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Gondwana Choirs. International choirs of the highest calibre will join the Sydney Children’s Choir and the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir to present three series of concerts, workshops and children’s activities.

Latitude 34 will sing in the Opening Gala concert in the Sydney Opera House and present a recital at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This will include the world premiere of a new work by Elena Kats-Chernin. 

COST: $350

4. Voices of Angels

Invited members Gondwana Voices and Latitude 34

Tuesday 10 December – Wednesday 18 December 2019

Each year, Gondwana Choirs marks the start of the Christmas season with Voices of Angels, in the beautiful acoustic of the City Recital Hall. Joining with the singers of the Sydney Children’s Choir, singers from Gondwana Voices and Latitude 34 will present a rich program of seasonal music with a specially commissioned work.

COST: $300 

Gondwana Chorale UK and Eastern European Tour

Monday 21 January – Wednesday 6 February 2019

Gondwana Chorale – this choir has already been selected from choristers of the 2018 season. Gondwana Chorale undertakes international tours every 2 – 3 years. 

Gondwana Chorale will travel to the UK, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, presenting concerts including some in collaboration with leading youth choirs from the rich choral traditions of these nations. The tour will also include masterclasses with the region’s leading conductors. 

COST: $4,875

Associated Projects

Information about the Gondwana Composer School and Conducting Academy will be available from mid-August, with applications closing on 30 September.

The Choral Ideas Symposium, designed for primary and secondary music educators, and convened by Elizabeth Vierboom, will run in conjunction with National Choral School and the Festival of Summer Voices. Information will be available from mid-September.


Costs are exclusive of return travel to Sydney at the beginning and conclusion of the season.

All costs include accommodation, meals, ground transfers, music hire. Some clothing costs may be applicable, depending on the project.

More information specifically about NCS 2019.

For general NCS FAQs , click here


The choirs at National Choral School, which are made up of young singers from across Australia aged 10-25, have an increasingly flexible structure, making the most artistically rewarding projects possible. There are a mixture of treble and SATB choirs based on age and ability.


$1,550. The all-inclusive participation fee covers accommodation and meals on campus, excursions, ground transfers, music and tuition.Please note that return transport from each chorister’s home to Sydney airport at the beginning and end of the season and travel insurance are not included.

Who can apply

Our choirs cater for singers aged 10 – 25; girls and treble boys and changed and changing voices as well as the more mature voices of the older singers. The standard of musicianship is high but we recognise that everyone has skills in different areas and varying levels of choral experience.

Conducting Academy

The Gondwana Conducting Academy enables choral conductors to take their skills to the next level. Participants also observe the artistic team for National Choral School, comprising the finest choral conductors from across Australia, gaining a rare insight into a range of repertoire, technique and training for upper primary through to mature semi-professional singers.

Composer School

Gondwana Composer School is a truly unique opportunity for emerging composers to develop their craft during two intensive weeks in January. Under expert guidance of a leading composer (TBA), participants are mentored throughout the entire creative process, including composition, revision, rehearsal, workshopping, performance and recording.

Gondwana Composer School 2019 will be an incredible experience for any emerging composer who wishes to become immersed in the highly idiomatic nature of writing for voices and vocal ensembles.

2019 Audition Dates

Saturday 25 August  Canberra  Perth  Rockhampton  Sydney

Sunday 26 August  Adelaide  Darwin  Hobart  Melbourne  Newcastle  Sydney

Saturday 1 September  Armidale  Sydney  Toowoomba

Sunday 2 September  Cairns  Sydney

TBC        Brisbane

A/V auditions for choristers who cannot attend in-person auditions must be received by 27 August.

Application & Audition Information

Nationwide auditions will be held in August and September 2017 (please see dates above). Auditions will be granted for all applications received and the audition is designed to give applicants a chance to demonstrate their singing ability and other musical skills. Everyone has strengths in different areas and we recognise this fact in the audition process. We expect applicants’ skills to develop from year to year and it is expected that older choristers will exhibit a higher standard of aural and sight singing skills.

AV Auditions are accepted from applicants from remote areas or those with a genuine clash with live auditions in their home town. Please select this option on the application form and we will send further details and instructions.

Please note that you will need to engage a facilitator (e.g. music teacher) to run and record the audition for you. Following your recording session you will need to upload your video to Google Drive, or send a thumb drive to the Gondwana Choirs office.

The final date for the receipt of all recorded auditions is 5pm, Monday 27 August 2018.


A non-refundable application fee of $50 (GST not applicable) is due with the submission of your application. Applications received without the application fee will not be reviewed.


All applicants (choristers, composer and conductors) will submit a recent headshot, the name and contact information for 1 referee, and a brief summary of their musical background (choral, instrumental, composing, conducting as applicable).

Composer School applicants are also asked to submit an example of their choral composition writing from the last 12 months to ncs@gondwana.org.au

National Choirs Audition Preparation

Choristers will sing one song (preferably by an Australian composer) or an excerpt of a song lasting up to two minutes, from memory. Your song may be performed with or without live accompaniment (if required, applicants must provide their own accompanist). Recorded accompaniment is permitted for audio visual auditions only. Please do not sing a song you have sung previously to audition for Gondwana Choirs. You will also take an aural test including melodic memory, part-singing and sight-singing.

Successful applicants will be offered a position in the choir most suited to their voice type, age and musical development.

Please note: Composer School and Conducting Academy applicants do not need to attend an audition. Composers are required to submit a recent example of their choral composition writing.


Applicants are encouraged to utilise the following practice materials to prepare for their audition. These materials are based on last year’s audition, and will provide a good understanding of the process.

Practice Audition Materials-Treble Clef

Practice Audition Materials-Treble Clef-2

Practice Audition Materials-Bass Clef

Practice Audition Materials-Bass Clef-2


Venue - University of NSW

Gondwana Choirs partners with the University of New South Wales for National Choral School where participants are accommodated in the conveniently located and recently rebuilt Kensington Colleges, in modern single rooms with excellent recreational and catering facilities.

Ensembles will rehearse in a range of outstanding venues across the campus, all within a short walk of the centrally located accommodation.

Internship Opportunities

Gain invaluable experience in arts administration and media by joining our operations team for an internship.Read more here
Email your CV, and a cover letter outlining your interest in arts administration to ncs@gondwana.org.au

Financial Assistance

Gondwana Choirs is committed to ensuring access to its programs and strives to ensure that none of its participants are disadvantaged for financial reasons. Through the generous support of its private donors, Gondwana Choirs will provide a range of full and partial bursaries for National Choral School in 2018. These bursaries will support young musicians and their families who face financial hardship or circumstances that would otherwise prevent them from receiving the unparalleled choral training and personal and career development that the Gondwana Choirs program offers. Bursaries will be awarded in the form of a waiver or reduction in participation fees.

Applications may be made by either:

• A parent of a dependent student in Years K – 12 and Tertiary Study, or:

• An independent student aged 18 years of over

NCS Electives (last year’s Special Projects) are back by popular demand!

A range of special electives of musical interest are on offer, led by an expert in the field. Projects include Taiko drumming, gamelan ensemble, music theatre, small a cappella groups, music therapy and music media.