Our mission is to collaborate with the most distinguished colleagues across the country, tell our magnificent stories through song and nurture the young voices who make up Gondwana Choirs.

From our beginnings 30 years ago, creativity has been a constant. Through the vision of Artistic Director and Founder Lyn Williams, Gondwana Choirs has created an entirely new genre – Australian choral music.

Lyn has the extraordinary ability to turn an original idea into something tangible, into something that changes perceptions of what is possible. She has created an environment where young people have extraordinary and unique experiences that, for them, are normal.

We take pride in our long-standing collaborations with Australian composers and Indigenous communities that connect our young choristers to their land and its cultures.

Sydney Children’s Choir Composer in Residence 2018-19


The list of new works, commissions and world premiere performances below is evidence of the extraordinary impact Gondwana Choirs has had, and continues to have, on Australian creativity.

Composers A - F

Owen Ambarchi & Eugene Ball
Michael Atherton
The Mahogany Ship
Songs for Imberombera
Kalliopeia Sopha
Tony Backhouse
Save me some Grace
Lou Bennett
Just One World (arr. Dan Walker)
Colin Bright
Sun Woman
Daniel Brinsmead
Gather the Stars
Nigel Butterley
Towards Autumm
Luke Byrne
Acknowledgement of Country
Buruwan Elegy
Desert Sea
Storm Bird
Travelling Companion
The Number One Train
Vision of the Future
Wise Men Three
Alice Chance
Barangaroo and Bennelong
Eye of the Soundstorm
Millers Point Mob
Nya Wali Banga
The Hungry Mile
The Shakespeare Room
Words for Wine
Meta Cohen
The Sunless Sea
Brett Dean
Tracks and Traces
Vexations and Devotions
Ross Edwards
Dawn Canticle
Dawn Mantras
Symphony No. 5: Promised Land
Owen Elsley
Boori Guman

Composers G - K

Elliott Gyger
I am not yet born
Fire in Heavens
Josie Gibson
Things That Go Bump in the Night
Christopher Gordon
Joy to the World
Onwards and Upwards
Peace on Earth
Mud Song
Spin Globe Spin
Song of Hope
Fyfe Hutchins
A Stray Dog for Congratulations
Paul Jarman
Ancient City
Australia Day Suite
Heritage in Song
The Will to Climb
Towards Infinity
Turn on the open sea (includes Shackleton, Sea of Berries, Volta do ma Largo)
Elena Kats-Chernin
Butterflying (piano version)
Butterflying (orchestral version)
Deep Sea Dreaming  (original version)
Deep Sea Dreaming (piano version)
Meeting the Sun
Memorial Rag
When I Grow Up
Gordon Kerry
Requiem Tropes
For Those in Peril on the Sea
Rubina Kimiia
Many Voices, One Dream
(with Sally Whitwell)
Voice in me
Corey Kirk
Corey’s Song (arr. Lyn Williams)
Annie Kwok
I am not a number
Living the Dream
My Corner of the Sea
Waking Dreamer
Who am I?

Composers L - R

Kenneth & Kirsten Lampl
Lie Light Dear Heart
Memory’s Wavering Echo 1
Memory’s Wavering Echo 2
Graeme Leak
Everything in Front of Me
James Ledger
War Music
Julian Lee
The Daffodils
Stephen Leek
A New Gondwana
Currawong Dreaming
Let Peace
Our New Dream Time
Seasons of Fire
Songs for the Young
Songs of our Journey
Songs of the Earth
The Mountain
Voices of Gondwana
Voices of a Land
Max Lyandvert
Close your Little Eyes
Ruth McCall
Fuzzy Aussie
Giant Tree Cannon
Herb Soup
Sacred Lotus
Ian Munro
Songs from Badtown
Matthew Orlovich
The Paean
Felix Riebl
Dreamers in Space
Spinifex Gum – A Song Cycle

Composers S - V

Andrew Schultz
Little Tree
Three songs from the Maritimes
Paul Stanhope
Frosty the snowman: an inconvenient truth
Ground Zero
Jandamarra: Sing for the Country
Lament to St. Cecilia
Lost the Plot
The Acrobat
The Flying Dream
Richard Tognetti, Brett Dean, Neil Finn,
Michael Leunig, John Rogers & Paul Healy
Parables, Lullabies and Secrets
Joseph Twist
Carols Medley
I don’t want to live on the moon
On the Night Train
La-La Land
Lux Aeterna
Rain Dream
Rocket Ship Countdown
Space Kangaroo
Wolcum Yole
Ben Van Tienen
Fisherman Returning Home
Giggle Picnic
Just one Star
Sea of Clouds
Some Days
Stairway to Nowhere
The Boy who sticks out his Tongue

Composers W - Z

Nick Wales
Hanerot Halalu
Dan Walker
Arcturus in Autumn
Bawrunga - Carpet Snake Country
Coutt’s Crossing
Guurumali Sky Song
Hannukah Medley
High Street
Land Sleeps, Ocean Rests
Moments That Shaped Australia
My Home
Ngailu, Boy of the Stars
Pioneers of True North
Pot-Pourri de Comptines Françaises
Road Poem
Russian Christmas Carol
Spirit of Christmas
The Arafura
The Arrival
The Bone
The Dancers
The Unicorn
Tu es Petrus
Voices Finale
Sally Whitwell
Bricks, Mortar and Water
Fah Rah Field
Flew Here on a Bird
Hear the Wind
Hodie Christus natus est
Lost in Space (with choristers)
Lux Eterna
Many Voices, One Dream(with Rubina Kimiia)
Old Man Platypus
Ring out, wild bells
Six Months in a Leaky Boat
The Pizza
Lyn Williams
Children of Quietness
Ferry me across the water
Festive Alleluia
Hooray for Fish
Lilly Pilly Leonardo
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
The Wind
Torres Strait Island Arrangements Uphill
Lisa Young
Tha Thin Tha
Michael Yezerski
The Red Tree (with Richard Tognetti)

Traditional & Arrangements

Ratoh Duek – Sitting Dances from Aceh arr Murtala & Lyn Williams

Traditional Songs & Dances from the Torres Strait
Aiawal (Torres Strait Islands arr. Lyn Williams)
Kaiape (Torres Strait Islands, arr. Dan Walker)
Puluh Eh (Mer Island arr. Owen Elsley)
Sager ina Gabu Tharema (arr. Lyn Williams)
Sesere eey (Torres Strait Islands arr. Lyn Williams)
Ya Eh (Torres Strait Islands arr. Lyn Williams

A Cappella Academy arrangements by Naomi Crellin
Sweet Georgia Brown - Berney/inkard/Casey
Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear -Ager/Nelson/Hoffman/Goodhart
Come Go with me - Quick
Dancing Queen - Andersson/Ulvaeus/Anderson
Queen Medley - Mercury/May/Taylor/Deacon
Stop (At the End of the Road)
--Stop -Spice Girls/Wilson/Watkins
--End of the Road -Edmonds/Reid/Simmons
Chasing Cars - Lightbody
Pitch Perfect Finale
--Price Tag - Jessie J/Dr Luke/Kelly/B.oB.
--Don’t you forget about me - Forsey/Schiff
--Locked of Heaven - Mars/Lawrence/Levine
--Lollipop - Mika
-- When I’m Gone - The Carter Family

Where? - Kate Miller-Heidke/Iain Grandage arr. Dan Walker
Lullabies Suite – arr. Owen Elsley
Waltzing Matilda - arr. Ruth McCall

SCC Composer In Residence

Composers and Cultural Partners

Composition and creativity has always been a key component of Gondwana Choirs, and the organisation is proud to have commissioned and/or premiered over 150 new works by Australian composers over our 26 years. Through the Sydney Children’s Choir, our weekly training program based in Walsh Bay, we engage our 500 young choristers and their families in the composition process, as they contribute to the creation of new work, each year focussing on a different local cultural partner. This program provides valuable cultural and educational opportunities to our choristers. We aim is to ensure that Sydney’s finest cultural and historical institutions are accessible to our choristers and design our collaborative projects so as to inspire our choristers; the composers and performers of the future.

Composer in Residence Program

Through the Composer in Residence program, the composer is commissioned to write a suite of works about the cultural institution or partner of our Sydney Children’s Choir ensembles, ranging from Junior training to Senior performing choirs. They will research the history and stories of the partner, and facilitate workshops with our choristers, engaging them in the composition process. During the composition process, all choristers will visit the cultural institution for tours and activities facilitated by education staff. These new works will be performed by the Sydney Children’s Choir ensembles as part of our regular concert season and, whenever possible, also at the cultural institution partner.

In some years, the program is dedicated to an emerging composers group, typically younger composers completing their undergraduate or post-graduate degrees who are eager to gain practical experience writing for voices and vocal ensembles.

2018-2019 Composer in Residence Ella Macens in parternship with Sydney Living Museums 

Generously supported by Jill Wran.

Ella Macens is one of four female composers who participated in the inaugural National Women Composers’ Development Program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Over the course of the two year program, Ella worked with The Goldner String Quartet, The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and percussionist Claire Edwardes, as well as a variety of other soloists and ensembles.

Ella has been composer in residence with the Sydney Youth Orchestra and Trinity Grammar School, and has received both national and international commissions for a variety of ensembles. Her portfolio of chamber, orchestral, choral and solo works is performed in both Australia and Europe and her compositional style is heavily influenced by both classical and popular music genres.

As a solo singer-songwriter, Ella composes music in a popular music style for piano, voice and ukulele. She is also a part of a duo with Melbourne-based musician Ivars Štubis, and together they celebrate their shared Latvian background by arranging and performing traditional Latvian folk songs alongside their original acoustic works. Ella composes music for film, television and multimedia, and is currently working on a score for a new game, set to be released in 2017.

2016 Composer in Residence Alice Chance in partnership with Barangaroo Delivery Authority

In 2016 -2017, the Composer in Residence was Australian composer, Alice Chance. Alice is a talented young composer with a proven strength in writing for vocal ensembles. Further to her composition studies, she has benefited from participating in the Gondwana Choirs for much of her musical education. Alice has received commissions from a number of arts organisations in recent years, and in 2012 was highlighted as an emerging composer for Gondwana Choirs.

Through the SCC Composer in Residence program, Alice partnered with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to produce a series of original compositions that responded to the Barangaroo site. Alice composed six original songs for various ensembles within Sydney Children’s Choir, with each song representing a moment in Barangaroo’s rich and diverse history. The culmination of this partnership was a twilight concert at The Cutaway, attended by more than 600 people and featured the Sydney Children’s Choir and Inner Sydney Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir led by Lyn Williams. The performances were enhanced by large screens with animations reflecting each song.

2015 Emerging Composer Group and the Australian National Maritime Museum

Will Yaxley – We are sailors
Patrick Baker – The Albatross
Olivia Swift – To Kay
Rachel Bruerville – Journey to Heard Island

2014 Composers in Residence Annie Kwok and Cockatoo Island

My corner of the sea
Living the Dream
Who am I?

2013 Emerging Composer Group and the State Library of NSW

Alice Chance – The Shakespeare Room
Josie Gibson – Things that go bump in the night
Meta Cohen – The Sunless Sea
Liane Papantoniou – Caterpillars

2012 Composers in Residence Luke Byrne and the Sydney Powerhouse Museum

The Number One Train
Travelling Companion
Wise Men Three
Visions of the Future

2011 Composers in Residence Ruth McCall and the Royal Botanical Gardens

Big Tree Cannon
Fuzzy Aussie
Sacred Lotus
Herb Soup

2010 Composers in Residence Ben van Tienen and the Art Gallery of NSW

Some Days
Sea of Clouds
Fisherman Returning Home
Stairway to Nowhere