2022 CHOIRS

Choirs participating in 2022

Choirs are listed alphabetically and in some cases choir names are abbreviated. Select any choir to jump to their entry:

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Academy Singers

Directed by Paul Terracini
Accompanist: Jane Andino, piano

Classical
www.academysingers.com.au
Academy Singers is a Blue Mountains chamber choir offering residents and visitors regular concerts of choral and other chamber music throughout the year at various mountains venues. We host an annual community workshop and participate in large scale works with Penrith Symphony Orchestra and other local choirs. We rehearse on Thursday evenings at Wentworth Falls and interested singers are welcome to attend a free trial rehearsal. For further information about coming events or contact details, go to our website or find us on Facebook.

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AChoired Sound

Blackheath w Romano Peter Pat & Piano

Directed by Paul Haire
Accompanists: Paul Haire, piano
;
Fergus Hides-Pearson, guitar;
Graham Tweedie, single snare drum, tambourine
60s to 90s Rock, Pop and Broadway
AChoired Sound, in its 20th anniversary year, was established under the guidance of professional musician Paul Haire, a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium and an experienced teacher/performer. After a 1999 Opera House school concert at which parents, teachers and students were formed into a massed choir, some of the dads got such a buzz out of the experience that we formed our own Men’s choir in 2000. About 20 fathers, and their friends, of past and current students of St Aloysius’ College make up the choir. We have performed at the Opera House (2004), weddings, nursing homes, parties, fund raisers, school carol nights and events, church services, World Youth Day Concert, businessmen dinners, a Homeless People dinner and Blackheath Choir Festivals in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018. We sang songs of the WW1 era during the end credits of two episodes of Channel 9’s “Gallipoli” mini series plus sang at the ABC Radio’s “Sing Out Sydney” in 2019. We also sang at a 2017 book launch in front of the NSW Premier and at a 2019 Anzac Day lunch for the 2/20th Battalion. After many recording sessions, our album is due for release very soon. We sing everything from Gershwin, Beatles, Eagles through to Coldplay.

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Adult Glee Club

Directed by Darina Chakarova
Popular

adultgleeclub.com.au; facebook.com/theadultgleeclub
The Adult Glee Club sits under the All Age Music brand which officially launched at the start of 2012, and was founded by Sandra Lie. The club shares their love of singing with people of their local area, and can be found performing at various community and charity events. Even the odd Open Mic night. Once a year a special Glee Goes Solo Night is organised at a local music venue to showcase anyone who wants to go ‘solo’. Of course duets, trios and group numbers are welcomed. The events and performances are always backed by our resident Glee musicians and volunteer musicians who love what we’re about. The year normally ends off with a big End of Year Concert that showcases the group numbers and more solos, duets and smaller groups. It’s customary that each Glee Club organises end of each month drinks at a local bar, pub or restaurant. This little social gathering has seen some amazing friendships and connections develop over time. It even acts as an ideas hub for special event and social outing ideas.

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Allegri Singers

Directed by William Moxey
Accompanist: Ian Bates, piano

Classical
Link to Facebook
The Allegri Singers has been performing in Bathurst for over 40 years. We are a mixed voice choir and perform 2 major concerts a year.The May concert tends to be an eclectic mix of smaller pieces and works and for the November concert we perform a major choral work. Last year we performed Sir Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man to wide acclaim. This involved 90 choristers, vocal soloists, a 50-piece orchestra and a Muslim call to prayer. We performed to packed audiences in Bathurst and Orange.

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Andalus Arabic Choir

Directed by Ghada Daher-Elmowy
Arabic traditional and Andalusian
andalusarabicchoir.com; facebook.com/andalusarabicchoir
We are a group of Arabic and Non-Arabic speaking Australians who share the love of Arabic music and singing. The Andalus Arabic Choir reflects the vibrant, creative, multicultural and tolerant era of Andalucia. We sing Arabic and Andalusian songs in dialects from Andalucia to the Middle-East and North Africa. We include many genres of Arabic music: Andalusian, traditional, folk, qudud, tarab, shaabi and original.

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Aurora Australis Chorus

Directed by Karen Ramirez
Popular
www.auroraaustralis.org.au
Aurora Australis is a group of friendly and supportive women who love to sing and perform. We are a women’s four-part harmony a cappella chorus that meets every Thursday in Concord, Sydney. We like to say we came for the music and stayed for the friendship! At our weekly rehearsals, our two talented Musical Directors, Sue and Karen, instruct us in correct harmony singing technique as we learn to sing and perform a wide range of special four-part a cappella arrangements – from popular and classic hits to barbershop and contemporary ballads, as well as Australian songs and Christmas carols and songs. We enjoy performing at private functions and public events, including Citizenship Ceremonies for the City of Canada Bay. We regularly compete in local eisteddfods and on the national stage at the annual Sweet Adelines Australia Convention. Around Christmas you will find us singing carols at local shopping centres or on the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral. Aurora Australis is part of Sweet Adelines Australia, and is one of 31 choruses from across the country. Sweet Adelines is a non-profit music association for women, which focuses on educating its 20,000 members world-wide in the art of a cappella four-part harmony, barbershop style.

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Aurora Choralis

Directed by Robb Dennis
Accompanist: Heyland Cheung, piano

Classical, contemporary, Australian
www.aurorachoralis.com.au
Aurora Choralis is a Sydney-based chamber choir founded in 2017 and comprises members from diverse backgrounds and professions, all with a shared passion for musical excellence. The group’s sound is rich and crystalline and inspired by the great choral traditions of North America and Northern Europe. The group sings a combination of modern choral art song, early music and vocal jazz.

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Beating Time

Directed by Margot McLaughlin
Accompanist: Kian Woo, piano

Popular, indigenous and other ethnic and semi-classical
Link to Facebook
Beating Time, an unauditioned choir of seniors, has been rehearsing and performing at the Dougherty Community Centre, Chatswood for over 20 years, originally under the name of Sydney U3A choir. We have regularly performed in nursing homes and retirement villages and have taken part in festivals such as the Blackheath Choir Festival in 2016 and 2018 and the North Shore Community of Choirs Festival in February, 2020, just before we had to go into lockdown because of the Covid 19 pandemic. We continued rehearsing via zoom during the year and are delighted to be back singing together again. Under the leadership of our Director of Music, Margot McLaughlin, we have developed a wide repertoire, including songs in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, African and indigenous Australian as well as popular and choral music. We are always happy to welcome new members who love to sing.

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Blue Mountains Community Choir Katoomba

Directed by Sue Capper & Rowen Fox
Popular
Link to Facebook
The newest choir in the Blue Mountains! Local conductors, Sue Capper and Rowen Fox, lead this fun & friendly group. We rehearse Thursday evenings during school terms, 7pm-8.45pm at Katoomba High School. No auditions required. All welcome!

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Byrd Consort

Byrd Consort performance, Oloron Cathedral, France 2017

Directed by James Dixon
Polyphony
Specializing in Renaissance polyphony, the Byrd Consort is made up of singers from Australia and the UK. Several live locally in the Blue Mountains. The Consort’s conductor, James Dixon, left Sydney to study choral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music eight years ago. He remains in London and now conducts four choirs there. Together James and Blue Mountains resident Claire Cook, with whom he has formed a musical partnership, organise for the group to participate in workshops and performances in historical churches in England and France, Australia and Singapore. Often the churches pre-date the music sung by the Consort. Many of the Consort’s members sing in other choirs when not on tour. For more information, Claire Cook 0418843751.

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Canada Bay Community Choir

Directed by Kathryn Zerk
Accompanist: Brad Gilchrist, piano

Modern, Australian & other cultural
cbcch.com.au
Canada Bay Community Choir is a non audition choir comprising an enthusiastic group of community members who love to sing, learn & make music. We are based in Drummoyne in Inner West Sydney. All people are welcome and we are very inclusive.

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Cantar Community Choir

Directed by Gabe Rae
Accompanist: Dee Nicholls, piano

Mixed bag
facebook.com/cantarcommunitychoir/
Cantar, Spanish for sing, is what we love to do. Based in Orange NSW, our repertoire is varied and includes a mix of a capella and accompanied works. We find great joy and friendship through making music together.

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Choir Central Singers

PHOTO TO COME
Directed by Gary Smith
Pop, gospel, classical
garysmithsydney.wixsite.com
The Choir Central Singers come together for special occasions such as festivals and ceremonies. The singers are all members of 4 Sydney choirs, which include The South West Voices from Padstow, The Bondi Sings Choir, the ABC Choir which rehearse at lunchtimes at the ABC building in Ultimo and The Bridge on the River Choir from St Peters. The choirs are all directed by Gary Smith. They have a very eclectic repertoire that includes popular music, jazz, soul, gospel, folk, world music and classical music. Our aim is to explore a wide variety of styles and make the best possible sound while maintaining a happy and congenial social atmosphere. We always have a focused approach to the musical work and frequently tackle challenging arrangements that stretch people’s ability. The Choir Central Singers, like all community choirs love performing and present several public concerts each year in various locations around Sydney.

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CORO AUSTRAL

Directed by Margot McLaughlin
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American, mainstream classical
www.coroaustral.org; link to facebook
Coro Austral was established by Artistic Director Margot McLaughlin in 2010 as a Sydney-based auditioned chamber choir specialising in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American music. Its current repertoire ranges across all the well-known “Western mainstream classical” forms from the 13th century to the present, including Latin American Baroque, as well as music from other traditions such as Catalan and Basque, choral tango, Andean folkloric, Sephardic, contemporary Chilean, and arrangements of classic Cuban songs. In 2017 Coro Austral undertook a performance tour through Cuba which included workshops with professional choirs as well as dance and percussion workshops, culminating in participation in the International Festival of Choirs – Santiago De Cuba, one of the longest standing and most prestigious events in the international choral calendar. As well as presenting regular concerts, Coro Austral has performed as a guest choir at Australian Jewish Choral Festivals and has been a regular participant in Blackheath Choir Festivals – in fact our very first public performance was at this Festival in 2010! It has also participated in Advent and Easter services at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rozelle. We are always on the lookout for experienced choral musicians to audition as permanent or casual singers. Ability to speak Spanish is not required, as language coaching is provided, but prospective members should enjoy exploring new repertoire, languages and cultures. Contact: David Goodwin 0414505784 and dgoodwin237@gmail.com.

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Crowd Around

crowd-around

Directed by Kate Swadling
Mixed unaccompanied singing from a popular vocal style
Crowd Around choir have been singing and performing in the Blue Mountains for the last 25 years. All songs are arranged for four parts in a cappella style. Drawing on the traditions of South African and African-American a cappella singing they also perform much loved secular songs. They have been under the musical direction of Kate Swadling for the last 23 years. They have earnt themselves a reputation of high standards of performance with interesting and entertaining repertoire. Covid forced them to reconsider crowding around in song but the name and will to sing has survived.

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DElites

Directed by Darryl Roberts
Baby Boomers will know all of our songs
facebook.com/delitesacapella/
The DElites are a collection of dedicated singers that formed from an event staged by choirs from the Dural and Epping areas, hence the DE-lites. We sing adult rock and pop and simply love to entertain our audience. We are the best of friends and that is reflected in our music. Our focus is all about giving our all and handing out love to all that will listen. We are harmonic pub singers, eager to please, eager to play up.

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Eclectica

PHOTO TO COME
Directed by Tracy Callinan
Culture specfic, pop and possible political
facebook.com/delitesacapella/
Eclectica, formerly known as Sounds Live Choir, was established in Bathurst in 2010 under the direction of Tracey Callinan. As the name suggests, the choir performs an eclectic mix covering songs from many different parts of the world, and performs in styles extending through pop, gospel and early music . The choir’s repertoire is mostly acapella. In addition to performing often at community event, the choir has also featured at many festivals including the National Folk Festival, and has participated in numerous collaborations with musicians diverse as Jessie Lloyd and the Mission Song project, Michelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Medleko Meropa from South Africa and Welsh Storytellers presented by UK organisation Adverse Camber. They have done experimental projects with Cementa Festival in Kandos (with Super Critical Mass), sung operatic choruses with the NSW Regional Conservatoriums Orchestra and continue to find new and different challenges.

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Ecopella

Directed by Miguel Heatwole
Positive, satirical, original
ecopella.org
Miguel’s webpage
Ecopella’s sense of fun fills each performance with positive and satirical messages about the natural environment and community involvement. Even when the mood becomes serious the beauty and solemnity of the music is uplifting. The pieces we are offering for the 2022 Festival are unique original compositions of past and present choir members and associates, with the Blue Mountains particularly in our mind. We will open with the world debut of “Bulungga, Place of Quolls” by Choir Director Miguel Heatwole, then Blue Mountains Spooky Man, former Blue Mountains resident Tony Eardley’s love song “Come Away with Me”, John Ross’s 1980’s rock anthem that is definitely not related to any local council that has been placed into administration anywhere in NSW “Councillor Chambers”, “Listen to the Land” by star alto Dallas De Brabander and lastly Cathy Rytmeister’s marching song “Energy March”.

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Endeavour Harmony Chorus

Directed by Lea Baker
Barbershop
www.endeavourharmony.com
Endeavour Harmony Chorus has become well known as Australia’s premier female a cappella ensemble. With more than 80 singers they have won national accolades including the Australasian Choral Grand Prix in 2016 and 2017. In 2019 Endeavour Harmony was the featured choir at the ABC’s Sing Out Sydney at the Recital Hall in Sydney. The Chorus has been a finalist in the ABC Classic FM Radio Choir of the Year and have taken out first place in the National Sweet Adelines Competition at their last five attempts. The Chorus performs regularly around Sydney with a repertoire that includes a variety of songs from contemporary, Australian classics and all time popular songs. Endeavour Harmony rehearses each Tuesday night in Jannali in Sydney with their founder Lea Baker providing vocal instruction in a fun and supportive environment.

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Ex Gracia Choir

Directed by Naomi Degabriele
Naomi Degabriele, piano; Jeremy Spikmans, cello; Leon Spikmans, double bass
Popular, musicals, classical, renaissance, folk, contemporary
Facebook
Ex Gracia is a Blue Mountains-based women’s community choir, with up to 20 voices joining together in 3- and 4-part harmony. Our membership ranges from the teenage to the best-not-ask-age. We are a non-audition group; the only membership requirements are, a) a female voice; and b) a love of singing. Though it also helps to have, c) an open mind to diverse musical genres. It is this combination of attributes that has produced a very high quality of ensemble singing across the centuries of music we traverse.

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Glee Bees Community Choir

Directed by Peter Varley
Popular music spanning across several decades
facebook.com/GleeBeesCommunityChoir
The Glee Bees are a fun, social and inclusive group of people from Sydney’s Inner West and beyond, who love to make beautiful a cappella music together. We meet during school terms on Wednesday evening somewhere near Glebe in Sydney’s Inner West.

Glenbrook Community Choir & Friends

For the 2022 choir festival, this choir was to be a coming together of Glenbrook Community Choir and Crowd Around, both led by Kate Swadling. Unfortunately Glenbrook is a COVID casualty and has folded. For information on Crowd Around, click here

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Heathens

Directed by Christine Wheeler
English language folk and popular
heathenschoir.org
What do you call someone who lives and sings in Blackheath? A ‘Heathen of course! We are an inclusive and welcoming choir to all comers, with singers from Hazelbrook to Lithgow. If you love music but think you can’t sing, we don’t believe you. Our aim is to get the best possible musical result out of enjoyable rehearsals, being firm believers that the journey must be at least as much fun as the outcome. Current musical choices range from Eric Bogle and Eliza Gilkyson to the Flying Pickets.

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Jacobean Singers

Directed by Lara Barazi
Baroque
facebook.com/jacobeansingers
Established in 1994 by Walter Sutcliffe, The Jacobean Singers have been performing around Sydney for nearly 30 years. With a focus on the Baroque Period, they gravitate especially towards the beautiful chamber choral works of great composers, such as Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Monteverdi, and Purcell, whilst also enjoying choral works by Haydn, Mozart, Fauré, and even the more contemporary works of Lauridsen and Rutter. The Jacobean Singers rehearse in Balmain on Monday nights, and welcome new members.

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Jubila Singers & Friends

Directed by Jane Becktel
World polyphonic a cappella music
jubilasingers.com.au
For 10 years, the 50 Central Coast adults who made up Jubila Singers sang vibrant music from cultures with a strong harmonic tradition. We sang in 27 different languages and primarily a cappella. We also sang music from the Western classic tradition and songs from the African American gospel/spiritual repertoire. Our repertoire includes beautiful lush chorales from Russia as well as gorgeous pieces from Mozart and contemporary composers. We also sang some unusual Appalachian gospel, delightfully ear-bending Czech folk-songs and riveting music from Georgia. The choir is a non-religious group although many of the songs from Africa and southern USA are inherently religious in nature. We began in 2011, but in 2021 we changed when our director retired from full time conducting. Instead of a weekly choir we now do short term projects and workshops which are open to the public.

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Jubilate Singers

Directed by Joanna Brooke
Accompanist: Philip Eames, piano

Selections from the Faure Requiem
jubilate.org.au
The Jubilate Singers has been a pillar of choral music in Sydney for over 20 years. Jubilate performs challenging and diverse music, encouraging all members of the community to participate. The choir’s philosophy is everyone is welcome and everyone can sing. Since its inception in 1994, Jubilate has performed across Sydney and interstate, including in the Belvoir Theatre’s production of The Events in 2016, as a feature choir at Sing Out Sydney in 2018 and 2019, and has toured to Tasmania twice to perform Vivaldi’s Gloria. During 2020, Jubilate went online, rehearsing each week and producing two vibrant videos showcasing original arrangements by Tracy Burjan, one of which featured in a live streamed concert ‘Carols by Kindie-Light’. In 2021, the choir looks forward to an upcoming tour to Tasmania.

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Kooskõlas

Directed by Naomi Cooper
Classical – Estonian choral music
Estonia is known for regaining its independence through the “Singing Revolution”, inspired by the tradition of the Song Festival “Laulupidu” held every 5 years in Tallinn. The Kooskõlas Choir (“together in song”) was formed comprising Estonian and non-Estonian Australian citizens residing in NSW. It auditioned and was accepted to perform at Laulupidu 2014 amongst the massed choir of over 35,000 singers performing before an audience of more than 100,000 people. In 2019 the Kooskõlas Choir successfully undertook the ambitious project of taking another choir comprising singers from around Australia (NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, ACT) to perform at Laulupidu. The Estonian Song Festival (“Laulupidu”) is a unique cultural event, which every five years brings together choirs from around Estonia and the world for a celebration over several days in July. More than just an internationally-recognised choral event, Laulupidu has become a key anchor of Estonian identity and symbol of independence which has recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. In the 19th century this celebration was at the core of the Estonians’ national awakening. Their singing traditions helped enforce their language and cultural heritage. It would inspire their fight for independence in 1918. During more than 50 years of Soviet occupation after World War Two the song celebration helped keep the Estonians’ national spirit alive. In 1988, in a show of solidarity against their occupiers, several hundred-thousand people gathered at the Tallinn Song Festival grounds and sang songs of freedom for many days and nights. There would be many more. This spirited defiance would become known as the “Singing Revolution” as it helped end Soviet rule of the country, allowing Estonia to regain its cherished independence in 1991.

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Linnet Singers of Sydney

Directed by Olga Johnstone
Classical Jazz
Assistant MD and Accompanist: Marianne Tonge
The Linnet Choir of Sydney, based in Epping, was formed in 1952 as the Linnet Girls’ Choir, catering for 18–26-year-old ex-students of Fort Street and Cheltenham Girls’ High Schools, which became known in Australia and overseas for beautiful and expressive choral expertise. Mrs. Jessie Murray M.B.E. was the founding conductor and Musical Director for 50 years. The offshoot, Linnet Singers started in the 1990s and includes several members of the Girls’ Choir. It is now open to any women interested in singing and providing enjoyment to others. Some notable performances have been at the Women’s Choral Festival Adelaide, Port Stephens’ Festival, Blackheath Choir Festivals, Taronga Zoo and weekend tours to regional NSW towns, as well as regular performances at retirement villages and church services around Sydney and the Central Coast. The repertoire is varied, consisting of different genres. Contact Olga Johnstone 0409 915 678.

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Lithgow Community Choir

Directed by Rowen Fox
Popular
Link to Facebook
Lithgow Community Choir is an all-inclusive, fun non-auditioned community choir singing a range of popular and folk music under the direction of Rowen Fox. The choir rehearses every Wednesday during school terms from 7-8.30pm in the Hoskins Uniting Church parish centre, Lithgow.

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LyreByrd

Directed by Claire Cook
Renaissance
LyreByrd is a small group of musical friends that came together during Covid times. We practice regularly when we are able to. We enjoy singing polyphony together, may it be religious or madrigal songs . We went to Singapore together in 2019 with the Byrd Consort and most of us have travelled to Europe together for choral workshops and performances. LyreByrd is Claire Cook, Lynn Taye, Christine Wheeler, Robert Smith & Tim Kaye.

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Macquarie Chapel Presbyterian Church Choir

Directed by Chris Czerwinski
Classical
Macquarie Chapel’s choir page
Macquarie Chapel Choir has been a strong and integral part of the spiritual life at Macquarie Chapel Presbyterian Church for over 40 years. The Choir comprises volunteer singers and is a regular part of worship; sings sacred anthems and leads the congregation in hymns in Sunday morning service and other occasional services throughout the year. Repertoire includes a broad range of music, from Renaissance motets, through choruses from Handel’s “Messiah”, Classical and Romantic works, to negro-spiritual, African and contemporary compositions including pop songs. In addition to its liturgical role, the choir is regularly heard in concerts; performed three times (2014, 2016, 2018) at Blackheath Choir Festival – and participated in the prestigious City of Ryde Eisteddfod, winning two First Prizes in choral categories. Macquarie Chapel Choir is a member of the Royal School of Church Music. Macquarie Chapel welcomes all interested in singing to join its choir. The choir provides its singers with a chance to develop their voices while contributing to a special tradition that dates back many decades. Current choir members come from different parts of the region and represent a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and faiths. The Choir rehearses each Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 and on Sunday morning. Much more about our conductor Krzysztof Czerwinski is available on our website.

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Martenitsa Choir

Directed by Mara Kiek
Accompanists: Llew Kiek, bouzouki; Mara Kiek, tapan

Bulgarian Traditional & original works
maramusic.com.au
Martenitsa choir is modelled on Bulgaria’s famous female choirs, and over the past 30 years has become one of the most highly regarded and innovative choirs in Australia, and recognised in Bulgaria and across the world. Formed in 1990 by director Mara Kiek, Martenitsa’s repertoire was inspired by the folk song arrangements of Bulgarian maestro Philip Kutev, his contemporaries and successors that were made famous by choirs such as Le Mystère de Voix Bulgares. Martenitsa have performed in concert halls and festivals across Australia, UK, Italy and Bulgaria and recorded for radio, TV, feature and short films. They have supported and performed with legendary international ensembles (Trio Bulgarka and Balkana, WOMADelaide 1992 and Goran Bregovich, Sydney Opera House, 2008). Martenitsa have twice toured internationally with the Mara! band to perform their two ground-breaking collaborative suites – Sezoni (WOMAD Reading UK & Koprivshtitsa Festival Bulgaria in 2005) and Tra Parole e Silenzio (Tuscia Opera Festival & Infrasuoni Festival Italy in 2015). Other collaborations include albums with Clarion Fracture Zone (Canticle 1998) and David Hobson & David Hirschfelder ‘Inside this Room’ 1999). Martenitsa are currently working on a new album with the Mara! band, featuring all original music composed for the two ensembles.

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Moo Choir

Directed by Suzanne Langford
mixed voice a cappella pop
Link to Facebook
Based at Warrimoo in the lower Blue Mountains, Moo Choir is a community choir that sings a broad range of unaccompanied music. Our set this year will explore ups and downs on the path of Love.

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Mudlarks

Directed by Alison Jones
Contemporary
Link to Facebook
Mudlarks are a group of women who have been singing together for over twenty years, in various configurations. In recent years their song selection has been thematic: songs from Australia; songs from the Seventies; a just-for-fun set called Mudlarks’ Relationship Tips; and a few home-growns. Apart from the occasional local gig, they have sung at the Festival of Voices in Hobart, and the Choirtly Loud Festival in Wollongong, both excellent musical adventures. Their song selection is eclectic, relying partly on what pops up; and their own creative forays into song-writing and arranging are welcomed by their MD. They rehearse together on Friday mornings in the delectable bathroom acoustic of Faulconbridge Hall, with MD Alison Jones, who constantly hunts for That Song – that perfect song!  Contact Alison at alison46@yahoo.com.

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Pacopezants

We don’t have a website. We are just a pack of peasants.
Pacopezants are a troupe of Gypsy women based in Katoomba. We don’t do much travelling these days but are more than happy to travel to Blackheath for this festival. We sing traditional songs which are mainly from the Balkans. The songs are about the important things in life such as Mothers, love and doing the washing.

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Penrith Harmony

Directed by Peter Fragar
Barbershop
penrithharmony.com
Penrith Harmony comprises a spirited group of men working towards a common goal of musical excellence to thrill and charm audiences. The chorus attracts members from a range of ages, backgrounds and employment and provides them with new musical challenges regardless of their level of accomplishment. Penrith Harmony’s repertoire is wide and varied and includes both traditional and contemporary songs. Along with singing in contests, Penrith Harmony also performs for community and corporate events, fund raising shows and in concerts. We delight audiences with our diverse repertoire which is delivered with the passion and enjoyment experienced by each performer. Barbershop music is a unique style of a cappella 4-part harmony comprising the Lead who carries the melody, the Bass who sings the lowest harmonising note, the Baritone who completes the chord and the Tenor who harmonises above the melody. When all 4-parts in a quartet or chorus are in perfect balance, a “ringing” or overtone sound is produced. This “ring” is a joy to the singers and audience alike.

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Phoenix Chamber Choir

Directed by Amy Moore
Classical
phoenixchoir.org.au
Phoenix Chamber Choir is a small dedicated group of singers from Phoenix Choir who rehearse separately to perform a cappella music. In the past this has ranged from ancient to modern. We perform from 4 part SATB up to 8 parts as required by the music. For the Blackheath Choir Festival we will perform four Romantic era pieces.

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Phoenix Choir

Directed by Amy Moore
Accompanist: Janette Norcott, piano
Classical
phoenixchoir.org.au
Phoenix Choir is a classical music choral society based in Blackheath. We perform music from Renaissance to Romantic with occasional works from the 20th and 21st century. Our members are mainly from the upper Blue Mountains and Lithgow with some from further afield. We don’t audition, and we accept a wide range of musical experience, but we set a high standard and work hard both in rehearsal and outside. We now take on major works in the classical canon, having recently performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s Requiem, with orchestra. Periodically we arrange “Sing in the Mountains” events with guest singers to perform major works over a weekend in Blackheath. For the Blackheath Choir Festival we are performing a selection of Romantic era works.

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River City Voices

Directed by Sarah Penicka-Smith
Accompanist: Su Choung, piano

Indigenous, Australian, contemporary, classical
rivercityvoices.org.au
River City Voices (RCV) is the new auditioned, semi-professional, 40-voice choir that aims to be Parramatta’s flagship choral company. It was formed in 2018 to meet the community’s desire for large-scale cultural events closer to home. Led by its exceptional Artistic Director Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith, the company’s vision is to become a permanent and relevant organisation, renowned for its vocal excellence, unexpected collaborative artistic programs, and events that reflect and engage its diverse community. In its brief history, RCV has engaged over 2,000 artists, creatives and community members through its public performances, development programs and workshops. Performances have included festivals, corporate and government gigs and collaborative community events, such as the Parramatta premiere of Carmina Burana, an interactive Japanese anime music program for the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival and a sold-out, performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at St Patrick’s Cathedral with singers from Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. RCV has also been broadcast on ABC Local Radio following its feature performance at ABC Radio’s annual Sing Out Sydney in 2019. Poised for further success in 2020, COVID-19 saw the company swiftly demonstrate a nimble, adaptive response that despite program cancellations, ensured its continued engagement of choristers, staff and community throughout 2020 and 2021. During this time, with support from a City of Parramatta Council Creative Economy grant, RCV collaborated with Parramatta’s Information and Cultural Exchange’s Club Weld program to record songs for an album, What the World Needs, due for release in 2022. This year RCV will also collaborate with Willoughby Symphony Choir and Willoughby Symphony, launch the inaugural Parramatta Global Voices Festival, and present its own Slam Messiah at Riverside Theatres.

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Riverland Harmony Chorus

Directed by Nerryl Liston
Barbershop
riverlandharmonychorus.org; Facebook.com/RiverlandHarmonyChorus/
Riverland Harmony Chorus is a Women’s a cappella Chorus that loves to sing and perform songs arranged in beautiful 4-part harmony in the Barbershop style. We are a diverse group of around 35 women of all ages who share the love of singing and performing, but the beautiful friendships and the mutual support that come with being part of our Chorus are just as important to us. We have had many adventures together over the years – performing at festivals, charity events, birthday parties, carols, Christmas functions, at competitions, in shopping centres, nursing homes – wherever possible! Riverland Harmony Chorus is part of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide singing organisation for women, so every couple of years we also take part in National Barbershop Conventions. We meet on Monday evenings at Penrith Baptist Church at Caddens, with our members coming from all over the Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury areas and beyond. Under the guidance of our Music Director for more than 25 years, Nerryl Liston, we love singing, rehearsing and performing together, and making new memories! New singers are always welcome – just visit a rehearsal and have a go!

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ROH Ensemble Choir

Photo Jennifer Wong

Directed by Désirée Regina
Renaissance
rohaustralia.com; Facebook
The charming ROH Ensemble Choir was one of the featured choirs at last years ABC Broadcasting “Sing out Sydney!” They perform at festivals and produce a theatre show once a year. The ROH Choir dresses up in the most beautiful Renaissance costumes that humble purses can buy and love creating a luscious palette for the ear and eye. This choir lets you experience the lively and gracious music of bygone times, infused with humour and theatrical elements. The ROH Choir is based in the Sutherland Shire, rehearses on Thursday nights, and welcomes every singer who is a secret minstrel at heart.

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Sing Australia

Directed by Bob Lloyd
Accompanist: Sharon Simons

Contemporary
singaustralia.com.au
Sing Australia was started by our National Director Colin Slater who had a vision for everyone who would like to sing to feel free to do so without fear of criticism. Sing Australia is a non-auditioned choir and is all inclusive and welcoming of every voice of those who love to sing. There is a network of singing groups throughout Australia. The same repertoire of songs are used across the network so the songs are familiar no matter where you travel to across Australia. We have a regular National Gathering each year in a different state where groups from all over Australia travel to sing together over a weekend. The weekend will include dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings usually with live music and entertainment to sing and dance along to. We have smaller Regional Gatherings each year where the Sing Australia groups from smaller regional towns get together and sing. We also have international tours where members have the opportunity to travel to different countries and sing at various locations across the world. On this occasion Sing Australia Dubbo will be singing along with other members from Bathurst and Sydney. We enjoy singing a range of songs including folk, classical, gospel and pop. Sing Australia Dubbo meets every Monday night, the only requirement being a love of singing and a good chat during the break. For enquiries contact the Dubbo Leader Michele Peak on 0428 680 775 or go to our website.

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Southland

Directed by Lesley Challender
A cappella choral music from many cultures ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary

facebook.com/southlandchoir
Southland is an ‘occasional performing choir’ with a traditional choral style. We are a group of friends who first came together in 2012 to combine the joy of singing with the pleasures of overseas travel. We have been to several festivals in Europe.

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Stairwell to Heaven

Directed by James Paul
Gospel, jazz, popular, world music

stairwellchoir.org.au
Stairwell to Heaven has been singing together for 20 years, sharing friendship, laughter and song. Founded by Stuart Davis for parents of Annandale Public School, the Choir had its first rehearsal in the Stairwell of the school because of its superior acoustics. Four directors later, the Choir is still going strong and will probably never stop singing.

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Swing Out Mama

PHOTO TO COME
Directed by Rob Maxwell-Jones
Popular
Swing Out Mama formed as an excuse for a girls’ night out for a group of mothers at Rozelle Public School some time back in the early two thousand. Rob Maxwell-Jones has been attempting to interrupt the, ahem, vigorous conversation for long enough to teach a retro pop song or two of his own arrangement ever since.

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Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir

Directed by Adam Maayjs
Accompanist: Kane Wheatley, piano

Popular
sglc.org
Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. We are a non-auditioned choir which welcomes members regardless of their sexual identity or musical experience. The choir is open to all – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, queer and our straight allies. What unites us is a love of singing together and striving for performance excellence. A powerful symbol of diversity, inclusion and harmony, the choir has maintained a vital and visible presence in the history of Sydney’s LGBTQI community. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir has provided the soundtrack to countless community events and celebrations over the years, and has regularly represented Sydney on the national and international stage. Our repertoire is equally diverse, ranging from classical to pop, and from music theatre to contemporary Australian compositions. With around 80 active singing members at any time, we usually present two major concerts each year, as well as performances at a wide range of community events, interstate and international festivals, collaborations with other artists, recordings and fun social events. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir held its first ever performance in 1991, following a letter published in the Sydney Star Observer in November 1990 which called for community interest in forming a choir. Thirty years later we’re still going strong!

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Sydney Jewish Choral Society

Directed by Rose Grausman
Accompanist: Stella Levinsky, piano

A potpourri of styles from opera to contemporary with a Jewish twist
sjchoral.org
Formed 35 years ago, the Sydney Jewish Choral Society has established itself on Sydney’s cultural scene, performing in a variety of venues including Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall, the Great Hall of Sydney University and the Clancy Auditorium at The University of New South Wales. Variety is in fact the key word for the Society. Its members come from a wide range of professions, countries and musical backgrounds. Its repertoire has been wide ranging too, taking in classical, opera, Jewish liturgical and secular music, jazz and musicals, popular and folk music in many languages including Yiddish, Ladino and Hebrew. But within the variety there is a common note: the love of the choir members for singing and performing for the Jewish and wider community. Under the musical direction of Rose Grausman since 1992, the Society hopes to continue to perform for the public for many years to come, and wherever possible, to support worthy causes, thereby fostering goodwill in its endeavour to spread messages of harmony and tolerance.

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Sydney Trade Union Choir

Directed by Deb Jones
Political
sydneytradeunionchoir.wordpress.com; Facebook
Sydney Trade Union Choir (STUC), formed in 1991, is an a cappella choir that sings at union conferences and picket lines, May Day, IWD and other marches and rallies, folk festivals, markets, pubs, clubs, parties and even funerals – wherever people are interested in workers’ rights, social justice, liberation, democratic and human rights, peace and the environment. Our repertoire includes Australian and international songs of struggle – traditional and contemporary, moving and witty, but always with a political message. STUC is part of a network of union choirs across Australia. We also work closely with the Sydney-based Solidarity Choir. STUC is a non-auditioned choir and we welcome new members interested in singing our sort of songs. We believe that just about everyone can sing and you don’t have to be able to read music. For most of the year, we rehearse weekly on Tuesday evenings between 6 pm and 8.15pm at the NSW Teachers Federation in Mary St, Surry Hills. Contact us on our website or Facebook page.

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Urban Voices

Directed by Alex Pringle
A mix of contemporary, folk and classical
facebook.com/UrbanVoicesChoirEppin
Urban Voices is a vibrant community choir based in the Sydney suburb of Epping. They perform a mixture of styles of music in the name of joyous song and togetherness. They perform regularly in Sydney and are previous finalists in the John Lamble Australasian Choral Championships.

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Vocal Edge

Directed by Amanda Nelson
Barbershop
vocaledgebluemountains.com
Vocal Edge is a women’s barbershop ensemble based in Blackheath with members who travel from both ends of the Blue Mountains and beyond to rehearse and perform. We sing four-part a cappella modern barbershop with a mixed repertoire of barbershop, jazz, swing, folk and pop. We are a small chorus with big ambition. We have a love of making awesome music and a passion to constantly evolve as musicians. Under the guidance of Amanda Nelson (Director) we get together weekly to work on vocal technique and performance skills in a warm, fun, and supportive environment. We welcome women of all voice ranges from 16 years of age and up, who have energy and drive and want to be part of our future adventures.

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Vocalocity

PHOTO TO COME
Directed by Amelia Nell
Contemporary a cappella
vocalocity.com.au
Vocalocity is an a cappella group based in Leura in the Blue Mountains. The group consists of seven young singers and one beatboxer, all aged between 16 and 19 years. Directed by Contemporary singing teacher, Amelia Nell, Vocalocity enjoy singing a broad range of musical styles and genres with a passion for upbeat Contemporary repertoire inspired by groups such as Pentatonix and the Pitch Perfect movies. This group have been singing together since they just started high school and although some members have moved on to university in Sydney and Wollongong, they all still very much love singing together and are committed to making the trek to Leura every week for rehearsal. Vocalocity has become known in competition circles with achievements including a first place win in The Australian Choral Challenge at The Australian National Eisteddfod 2017, a place on the national stage at The Australian A Cappella Awards 2018 and they were the only vocal ensemble to be invited to participate in the Australasian Choral Championships 2018 in both the Youth and Open Age divisions. No matter the occasion, Vocalocity can be counted upon to deliver a polished performance complete with their sense of fun, fabulous and flair.

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With One Voice Choir Mt Druitt

PHOTO TO COME
Directed by Wendy Toulmin
Popular
Facebook
We are an all inclusive choir that meets weekly. Most of us have never sung before but we have an awesome conductor that makes us feel comfortable, confident and sound good! We haven’t been singing for long and COVID has played havoc with our rehearsals but we are super excited to be performing at Blackheath Choir Festival!

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