Workshop for Conductors and choir leaders – Mark O’Leary

Mark O’Leary’s Choral_secrets_workshop

Mark O’Leary has been producing outstanding results with primary, secondary and tertiary age choirs for 30 years, and in this workshop, he will share some of the secrets to his success.

Topics covered will include planning and implementing great rehearsals, creating choral programs that singers will want to be part of, giving inexperienced singers confidence, getting your choirs to sound good, teachings songs effectively and an introduction to choral conducting.

Suitable for leaders of choirs of all ages.

Download the workshop flyer here.

Mark O’Leary OAM is one of Australia’s most active choral conductors, widely respected for his work with Young Voices of Melbourne, Exaudi youth choir and Gondwana Voices. With these ensembles has produced thirteen CD recordings, toured all states and territories of Australia and made sixteen international tours to Europe, South Africa, North America, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Samoa. Mark has presented many workshops on choral music education throughout Australia and internationally and is a regular guest conductor at choral festivals. Mark is a Churchill Fellow, an Honorary Life Member of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to choral music and education in the 2018 Australia Day Honours list.

Time: 9:30am – 3:00pm Venue: Caulfield Park Pavilion, 265/267 Balaclava Rd, Caulfield North Victoria Cost: $150 per person (inc. GST) Morning Tea included, BYO Lunch
Online bookings:


True Romantics – AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER CHOIR: Sunday, August 26th, 2018

St Paul’s Anglican Church, La Trobe Terrace, Geelong

Musical Director:  Douglas Lawrence

Presented by Music at the Basilica

At first it may seem a misnomer to title this divers program of choral music ‘romantic’.  However, the romanticism of this concert lies in the sense that each work evokes its own atmosphere and each demands the listener to feel a strong emotional response.  If that was the aim of this program, then it was supremely successful.

A change of venue worked to the advantage of both choir and audience.  St Paul’s Geelong has perfect acoustics for singers.  Music at the Basilica was rewarded in this change by a good-sized audience, who clearly appreciated not only the acoustics but also the warmth and comfortable seating.

The music ranged from Brahm’s substantial motet Warum is das licht gegeben dem mühseligen? to madrigals of love and loss by Monteverdi to works by Samuel Barber and Edward Elgar, modern Australian music by Anne Boyd, Alan Holley and Brenton Broadstock and concluded with Trois Chansons by Maurice Ravel.  Joseph Rheinberger’s gentle Abenleid provided a most fitting encore.

This ensemble goes far beyond technical expertise. Douglas Lawrence has melded the Australian Chamber Choir into a perfectly honed instrument of musical perfection. There is not a voice out of place.  The depth of talent in the choir was demonstrated by the two finely matched quintets who performed two of the three Monteverdi madrigals Lasciatemi morire and Si, ch’io vorrei morire and the selection of soloists, including the impeccable singing of soprano Elspeth Bowden in Barber’s taxing Agnus Dei, and the quartet of fine soloists in Maurice Ravel’s Quatre Chansons.  Of special note was the shimmering intensity of Anne Boyd’s As I crossed a bridge of dreams, composed in 1975.

Helen Lyth

The final presentation of this program will be the Art Gallery of NSW on Sunday September 16th at 6.30pm. 

If you missed TRUE ROMANTICS, the Melbourne performance was recorded by ABC Classic FM and presented as part of Evenings on 3rd August.  You can listen to this recording at 

Review of True Romantics Melbourne performance by Julie McErlain at

Geelong audiences will once again have the opportunity to hear the Australian Chamber Choir in their final program for 2018, A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS, to be presented on Sunday 2nd December at 3pm, at the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels.



From Dufay to Tchaikovsky: Melbourne Chamber Choir – Sunday, 19th August, 2018

Basilica of St Mary of the Angels


A small but appreciative audience was treated to a splendid concert of varied choral music on a cold, blustery afternoon.  The Melbourne Chamber Choir was conducted by David Kram (Musical Director) and Assistant Musical Director Alan Cook, who also provided organ accompaniments for the first half of the program.

The first half of the program comprised ‘a panoramic view of the history of French choral music’ from the  fourteenth century (Guillaume Dufay and Guillaume de Machaut) through to the nineteenth and twentieth century with music of Faure, Maurice Durufle and Olivier Messiaen.

The choir showed its musical versatility, leaping through the centuries from the pre-diatonic harmonies of de Marchaut’s Sanctus (from Messe de Nostre Dame) to the romantic lyricism of Cantique de Jean Racine and three movements from Requiem of Faure.  Of particular note is the Melbourne Chamber Choir’s beautiful pianissimo singing, for example, in the final unison note of Cantique de Jean Racine. There was a warmth of tone in these Faure works, especially in the final movement of the Requiem (O Paradisum). 

The first part of the concert ended with Messian’s early composition, O Sacrum Convivium, which references the music of earlier centuries and is based on plainchant.

The second half of the program was Nine Sacred Pieces, composted by Pytor Ilyich Tshaikovski, and sung in Russian.  This work is unaccompanied, with a large vocal range and full dynamics from extremely soft to full-bodied fortissimo. This work is rarely performed.  It was a pleasure to hear it in the beautiful acoustic of St Marys.

The Melbourne Chamber Choir’s final concert of the year will be a performance of the oratorio Solomon by George Frederic Handel on Sunday 25th November at 3pm at Temple Beth Israel, 75 Alma Road, St Kilda. 


The next concert in the Music at the Basilica 2018 series is on Sunday, August 26th, at 3.30pm at St Paul’s Anglican Church, La Trobe Terrace, Geelong when the Australian Chamber Choir will perform a program titled True Romantics. Please note the change of time and venue.


Sing with the Millennium Chorus 2018

Community Service Announcement—Choir opportunity Melbourne

The Boîte Melbourne Millennium Chorus 2018—Join now!

Singing in groups isn’t just great fun, more and more evidence is showing that choral singing is good for our minds and bodies as well. If you’ve always wanted to experience the joy of singing in a group but haven’t had the opportunity before, here’s your chance to be part of an extraordinary choir.

Enrolments are now open for the 21st Boîte Millennium Chorus—and the great news is, there’s no age limit, and no auditions. It’s a welcoming and diverse choir of up to 300 people, who will attend three full-day rehearsals with a professional choir director and musicians, before the concert on Sunday 12th August at Melbourne Town Hall.

Every year The Boîte (pronounced “bwaat”) runs this mass choir project with a different musical theme, exploring and celebrating Australia’s rapidly changing cultural landscape. This year features songs from the exquisite ‘Mission Songs Project’, which explores the musical journey of Indigenous Australian music and connects the traditional with contemporary, revealing the continuation of cultural practice and song tradition into the 21st century.

Jessie Lloyd launched the Mission Songs Project CD and concerts in 2017 to widespread acclaim. Her extensive research, musical training and family connections, and Indigenous background (as well as her persistence!) made her uniquely placed to uncover a precious part of our history… secular songs that were sung after church, and that explore the day to day life of the  mission days across Australia, from cultural identity to love and loss. These unique songs consist of almost forgotten stories that can now shed light into the history of our Indigenous elders, families and communities.

Jessie is Artistic Director for the Boîte Millennium Chorus this year, and choir director is Jess Hitchcock, an emerging Indigenous artist who tours with Jessie Lloyd and the Mission Songs Project as well as with Deborah Cheetham’s Short Black Opera.

Joining the choir


Full price for Melbourne metro choir members is $199. Discounted fees are offered for concession card holders (not seniors), under 25s, families, regional members (100km or more from Melbourne CBD), and Boîte members. This covers rehearsal materials (printed songbook and digital audio song parts), three full-day rehearsals in Melbourne, the concert, commemorative t-shirt.

More information, registrations: Susan Wright, The Boîte, (03) 9417 1983


July: Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, 10.00am-4.00pm

August: Saturday 11th, 10.00am-4.00pm

Venue: Northcote Uniting Church, 251 High St, Northcote VIC 3070


Sunday August 12th, 2.30pm

Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne