As I finish writing this, I have just returned from our South Australian Tour and completed my fifth month at NBCA. I did not imagine when I started in May that things would become so busy so quickly, nor that I would enjoy being busy quite so much! I have been welcomed so warmly into the NBCA family, and already feel like part of the furniture. It has been great getting to know the boys, vocally and personally, and assessing various aspects of the choir.
For those of you I haven’t met yet, I began my musical career as a treble chorister in the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, just before my eighth birthday. I sang there for 15 years (treble until I was nearly 16, then counter-tenor) and during term-time we sang or rehearsed every day except Saturdays, and twice on Sundays. I went on to study piano, organ, voice and composition at Melbourne University, then qualifi ed as a classroom teacher. Most of my working life has been teaching boys, primarily at Scotch College in Melbourne and The Hutchins School in Hobart. So, the opportunity to work at the NBCA was a perfect fit.
Choir performances since May have included the highly successful Mid-Year Concert and Perséphone with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as well as the fantastic tour to South Australia that’s just concluded. There has been a Junior and Elementary Choir Showcase, and ten Old Boys performed six Melbourne concerts of the Hugh Jackman World Tour. Some members of the Performing Choir were engaged in production of a commercial advertisement, which involved making a recording and some travel interstate. This is an exciting project, but we can’t talk about it in detail until the ad is released in the New Year. Auditions for the 2020 intake occurred in June, and we have good numbers for next year. We have
more performances with the Melbourne Symphony this year and next, and we are currently fi nalising arrangements for Christmas this year, planning concerts and, hopefully, a European Tour for next year.
Thanks go to my Artistic colleagues for their skills and dedication in maintaining the excellence of the NBCA choirs, fundraisers (led by Carmen Pearson) including a Trivia Night, Sausage Sizzle and Chocolate Drive, Maddy in Wardrobe for making the boys (and staff ) look so good on stage, Rex Wenn, Colin Seedy and other Board members for their careful oversight, and Jan and Justine in the offi ce for keeping everything running so smoothly. Finally, I would like to thank all the choir families for entrusting your boys to us. From our Tour programme: “The National Boys Choir of Australia is one of a small number of superb cultural organisations in Melbourne presenting high-quality performances, locally and internationally, proudly contributing to Australia’s rich and diverse cultural identity”. I am so proud to be a part of the vision and future of the NBCA.