Festival Choir

Welcome to the Festival Choir for 2022!

It’s our intention to make the Festival Choir an exciting and accessible option for as many singers as we can fit on the stage. We’re incredibly grateful to this year’s conductor, Sarah Penicka-Smith, for taking on the challenge of sourcing music that will appeal equally to singers from classical and non-classical choirs, and that can be learned equally by reading from the score or with the help of aural resources.

The majority of singers who registered to sing in the 2021 Festival Choir have indicated their intention to participate this year. Some singers are, however, unavailable this year, so we can accept several new registrations, particularly from male singers, as these voice parts are currently under-represented.

Click here to read Sarah’s extensive biography.

You will need to be capable of substantially learning the music on your own, with the help of the aural learning resources we’re happy to provide. There are two rehearsals you will need to attend (see below).


As you will see, the program is entirely Australian and quite varied in style. We hope that everyone finds something to love in the repertoire.

Christine Anu, Michael Barker, David Bridie, Michael Warusam, Kulba Yaday arr. Sarah Penicka-Smith; click here to read a background about the song.

Elizabeth Sheppard, Gandangarragal: no recording available. Elizabeth Sheppard is a Blue Mountains based First Nations composer; Elizabeth Sheppard

Lisa Young, Ah Zumbeh: first track (called This Heart of the World)

Gordon Hamilton, Dark Hour: Gordon Hamilton

Michael Kennedy, Lay Fallow, arr. Isabella Gerometta (scroll down to find Lay Fallow)

Jerrah Patston, Rain is Falling: Jerrah Patson; watch the 7.30 Report story on him.

Dan Walker, Last Drinks: Leichhardt Espresso Chorus and the Reddam House Choir


Scores and learning resources will be accessible via a password-protected page on this website.

When you register, a confirmation email will be sent to you with the password. Please contact Mick directly if you do not receive an email response within a few days (0405 595 654). At least one registration has failed to arrive.


There will be two rehearsals prior to the festival, one in Sydney and one in the Blue Mountains. Sarah believes, and we agree, that it will be necessary for each participant to attend one of these rehearsals, if our performance is to be convincing and enjoyable for all concerned.

There will also be a on the Sunday morning of the Festival with choir and accompanists, which you must attend to take part in the afternoon performance: rehearsal 8.30 – 11am

The two pre-Festival rehearsal locations and dates are:

  • Lawson
    1.30pm to 4.30pm Sunday 14 August
    Lawson Community Hall (Mechanics Institute)
    284 Great Western Highway Lawson (see the bottom of this page for access & parking information)
  • Parramatta
    6.30pm Thursday 25 August
    Cloisters Hall, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta