COVID-19 UPDATE FROM GONDWANA CHOIRS
National Choral School and the Festival of Summer Voices will not be held in January 2021.
We acknowledge that this is deeply disappointing for our whole community. We hope you understand that in order to proceed with planning this major national project, greater certainty around COVID-19 is required.
The safety and wellbeing of our choristers, artists, staff, volunteers and audiences is foremost in our planning. We look forward to welcoming you all back for the 25th National Choral School in 2022 and hope to announce other national projects during 2021.
For regular updates on Gondwana Choirs as we continue Gondwana Online and plan for the future, please join our mailing list.
Dates: Tuesday 7 January – Monday 20 January
Venue: The University of New South Wales, accommodation at the Kensington Colleges (on campus)
Cost: $1,575 – Cost does not include return travel to Sydney at the beginning and end of the season.
Means tested bursaries are available by application.
For two weeks in January 2020, over 300 singers came together to form treble and SATB choirs which include Gondwana Voices (treble singers, aged 10-17), and Gondwana Chorale (mixed choir, aged 17-25).
In 2020, there were six choirs, 4 treble and 2 mixed:
The choirs were led by the nation’s leading choral artists which include Lyn Williams, Carl Crossin, Paul Holley, Mark O’Leary, Claire Preston, Kim Sutherland, Christie Anderson, Deborah Brown (choreographer), Rowan Johnston, Amandine Petit, Kylie Los and Paul Jarman.
In 2020, Lisa Young was our Guest Artist, leading an elective and writing a new commissioned work for the combined choirs.
Choristers also chose from a range of special electives of musical interest, led by an expert in the field. 2020 electives included consort singing, Suara Indonesia Dance, Peter Pan (creative development with Sydney Chamber Opera / scenes from a new children’s opera by Andrew Ford), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Music of the Middle East, Gondwana in the Community and Music Media.
Attendees of the National Choral School may be selected to represent Gondwana in other national projects. In your application you will be asked to indicate your availability for the following events.
Cancelled – due to COVID-19
In July 2020, Gondwana will proudly represent Australia at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland. Held every four years by the International Federation for Choral Music, this summit brings together the finest choirs from across the globe for a week celebrating choral excellence. Gondwana will send a specially formed choir, comprising the finest treble singers from across all of its constituent choirs. This choir will prepare as an ensemble at National Choral School and then come to Sydney for five days of intensive rehearsals before the tour.
Places are limited and so a high standard of audition will be expected to gain a position in this choir.
Age Eligibility: Ages 11 – 17 at the time of the tour (Thursday 16 July 2020)
Rehearsal season 1: National Choral School
Rehearsal season 2: Friday 3 July – Thursday 9 July (arrival in Sydney on Thursday2 July)
Tour: Friday 10 July – Thursday 16 July 2020
Cost: $1,800 (+GST) Cost does not include return travel to Sydney at the beginning and end of the tour. Means tested bursaries are available by application.
Gondwana Chorale, the most senior performing ensemble of Gondwana Choirs, operates on a two -year cycle of international touring. In 2019, the choir toured to the UK and the Baltic States, giving recitals in beautiful venues including Trinity College Cambridge and St Kotryna’s Church Vilnius. The next cycle will be 2020 – 2021, culminating in the choir’s fifth international tour in January/February 2021. The tour will be to Europe, with a focus on collaboration with some of the finest national youth choirs across the continent.
To be eligible for the 2021 tour, choristers must attend National Choral School in 2020. At the end of the season, there will be auditions for the tour with notifications being sent out by March 2020.
Choristers must be 18 and above for the tour, and so ages 17+ at 1 January 2020 will be considered.
The cost for the tour will be confirmed by the start of NCS, but it estimated to fall within the range $4500 and $6000. This cost is in addition to the National Choral School attendance fees.
Engaging with vocal sound-bank for the development of chants, riffs and improvisationRead More
Learn about Arabic folk music, starting with with quarter-toneRead More
Share the choral experience with socially isolated audiencesRead More
Collaborate with composer Luke Styles and Soprano Jane Sheldon on a brand new work for choir and soloistRead More
Sitting body percussion dances from AcehRead More
Guided participation in small ‘one-singer-per-part’ ensemblesRead More
Get behind the camera and help to capture the choral magic of National Choral SchoolRead More
be part of the creative development for Andrew Ford’s new children’s opera, Peter PanRead More
Delve into Purcell’s sublime score to unleash the forces of the supernaturalRead More
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.
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.
5 Aug – Chorister applications close Extended to 12 August 15 Aug – send out audition times Late Aug – early Sept - Auditions 27 Aug – AV auditions due + compose and conduct deadline 3-24 Aug – Auditions review
23 Sept – Composer and Conductor applications close
Mid Oct – offers released and bursaries confirmed
22 Oct – acceptance and registration due
19 Nov – Transport form and payment due
Anyone from the age of 10 upwards can apply to be involved in the Festival of Summer Voices. The Festival of Summer Voices contains four creative streams and a public concert series. These streams are the National Choral School, the Conductor Academy and Composer School. In addition to this, the Choral Skills Lab is a professional development program for music teachers and music professionals.
The choirs at National Choral School is made up of young singers from across Australia aged 10-25. This includes girls and treble boys, changed and changing voices, and the more mature voices of older singers. The standard of musicianship is high, and we recognise that everyone has skills in different areas and varying levels of choral experience.
There are a mixture of treble and SATB choirs based on age and ability.
The choirs for 2020 are:
Junior Gondwana (treble singers, aged 10-13)
Gondwana Novus (treble singers, aged 13-15)
World Symposium Choral Music Choir (treble singers, aged 11-17)
Gondwana Voices (treble singers, aged 10-17)
Gondwana Singers (mixed choir, 14-18)
Gondwana Chorale (mixed choir, aged 17-24)
Gondwana Conductor Academy is a program for emerging and established choral conductors looking for the opportunity to develop and refine their conducting technique. Program Director Graeme Morton is known for the quality and accessibility of his conducting instruction, providing both plenary sessions and individual lessons to focus on building and extending specific skills.
Students enjoy daily access to a dozen of the country’s best conductors, watching them take singers from the beginning of a journey right through to the end, over the two-week period of National Choral School. They have the opportunity to engage with those dozen leading conductors in conductor forums, and informally as well as with some of the nation’s finest young choral singers, including members of Gondwana Chorale and Gondwana Voices.
The Conductor Academy is geared towards emerging and established conductors. Traditionally attendees have been undergraduates and older, however we encourage anyone with passion and experience in conducting to apply.
Application closing date for Conducting Academy is 23 September.
The Festival of Summer Voice’s Composer School is a truly unique opportunity for emerging composers to develop their craft during two intensive weeks in January. Under the expert guidance of leading composers Paul Stanhope (Associate Professor, Sydney Conservatorium of Music) and Gordon Hamilton (Artistic Director, the Australian Voices), participants are mentored throughout the entire creative process, including composition, revision, rehearsal, workshopping, performance and recording.
The Conductor Academy is geared towards emerging and established conductors. Traditionally attendees have been undergraduates and older, however we encourage anyone with passion and experience in composition to apply.
Application closing date for Composer School is 23 September.
$1,575. 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.
Means tested bursaries are available by application.
A/V auditions are available for choristers who cannot attend in-person auditions.
Nationwide auditions will be held in August and September 2019. (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 in the audition process. We anticipate applicants’ skills will 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 regional and remote areas (those whole live 200km or more from an audition centre). Audio-visual auditions may be permitted in exceptional circumstances, when the auditionee has an unalterable pre-existing arrangement. Please note that a live audition is preferred.
Audio/visual auditions also require the engagement of 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 and send the link to Gondwana.
All AV auditions must be submitted by 5pm, 23 August 2019.
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 upload an example of their choral composition writing.
Choristers will sing one song 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.
Gondwana Choirs partners with the University of New South Wales for the Festival of Summer Voices. 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.
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 the Festival of Summer Voices 2020. These bursaries will support musicians, composers and conductors who face financial hardship. 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
To apply for support please indicate your need on your overall application form after which we will be in contact.