Generously supported by its Principal Partner, Rio Tinto.
“It is fantastic to finally have an Indigenous Children’s Choir in Australia. I am constantly surprised by the talent of young Indigenous people but often there is nowhere for them to go to follow their dreams and learn the appropriate skills. This is why the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir is so important for our children, our communities, and our nation as a whole.”
Matthew Doyle, Indigenous artist
Created in 2008 by Lyn Williams, the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir (GICC) is provided at no cost to participants, and its members strive for the pursuit of excellence and embrace life-changing opportunities.
The GICC program gives voice to the diverse cultures of Australia’s Indigenous youth, providing a vehicle to build identity through deep collaboration with local elders and community. At the core of GICC’s mission is the preservation and development of language and story through song, involving intergenerational cultural activity and developing a new contemporary Indigenous repertoire. Through the GICC program, Gondwana Choirs has commissioned and created new works, including many in Indigenous languages, notably the children’s opera Ngailu, Boy of the Stars by Sani Townson and Dan Walker. In 2016, a new work by Felix Riebl titled Spinifex Gum – a song cycle was presented by GICC at Gondwana National Choral School, drawing upon stories from the Pilbara region in Western Australia. At least 80% of GICC repertoire is sung in Indigenous languages.
Their sound is unique, with a richness, warmth and strength that is now recognised and loved by audiences. GICC has collaborated with many of Australia’s most respected Indigenous artists, including Gurrumul, William Barton, Seaman Dan, Jessica Mauboy, Christine Anu, Shelley Morris and Lou Bennett. They performed a key role in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra collaboration Jandamarra: Sing for the Country by Paul Stanhope, have performed for the G20 Finance Leaders’ Summit, Corroboree Festival, Business Council of Australia Dinners, and for the Australian War Memorial in Canberra at the Australian Defence Force ceremony recognising the contribution of Indigenous servicemen and women.
GICC has toured to the Kimberley, the Western Pilbara, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and internationally to the China World Expo. In 2017, GICC engaged in a cross-cultural collaboration with the Vienna Boys’ Choir, which included GICC performing in Germany and Austria, followed by performances in Australia with the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
The GICC program is built on a foundation of choral hubs in Cairns and Sydney, with a new hub planned in the coming years for Darwin. Through a weekly commitment, choristers receive the same high level ongoing training as the Sydney Children’s Choir program, including ensemble rehearsals, sight-singing and music theory, presented by leading national choral artists.
The CGICC choir is becoming a strong and reputable choir, both within the Cairns region and throughout Australia. They are a choir of exceptional standards which performs interesting and demanding repertoire. This reputation has been gained through the hard work and complete dedication of choristers.
The CGICC is the ensemble that is recognised in the professional musical community as the National Indigenous Choir within Gondwana Choirs. It is a treble choir of girls and unchanged boys voices. Its repertoire is both demanding and extensive. Therefore, choristers are expected to work on music at home and make a real commitment to attend every rehearsal.
CGICC is conducted by Lyn Williams and Chris Burcin, supported by pianist Lauren Hannay.
CGICC Singers is a training choir for younger choristers, which focuses on building the musical skills and confidence required for the main choir. Singers is conducted by Violet Hari.
REHEARSALS: CAIRNS STATE HIGH SCHOOL
Mondays during school term
4.00-4.45pm Music Theory (Beginners; Intermediate; Advanced)
5.00-6.00pm CairnsGICC Rehearsal; Singers Rehearsal
CamGICChas been running for the past 3 years. The choristers attending rehearsals are from surrounding areas of Campbelltown where rehearsals are held at Macbeth Way Hall in Rosemeadow. Choristers receive both the time and focus with the need to improve skills in pitch matching, diction, rhythm and music reading. A basic knowledge of score reading is also introduced.
Participation in the choir requires a professional attitude towards choral singing. Excellent behaviour and attendance is essential and expected for choristers to be in contention for a spot in the National Season. Occasions to perform with Sydney Children’s Choir for events in and around Sydney are part of the regular schedule.
CamGICC is conducted by Elizabeth Vierboom, Assistant Conductor Atalya Masi supported by pianist Brendan O’Mahony.
REHEARSALS: MACBETH WAY COMMUNITY HALL, ROSEMEADOW
Tuesdays during school term
4.00-4.45pm Music Theory
5.00-6.30pm CamGICC Rehearsal
Modelled on our Cairns and Campbelltown choral hubs, the Inner Sydney Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir (IS-GICC) was established in early 2016 in partnership with Alexandria Park Community School, with seed funding provided by the City of Sydney. Similarly to our other hubs, Indigenous young people from across Inner Sydney are given the same high level training and performance opportunities as offered by the Sydney Children’s Choir program.
The choir is conducted by Lyn Williams and supported by pianist Jem Harding.
REHEARSALS: ALEXANDRIA PARK COMMUNITY SCHOOL,Mitchell Road, Alexandria
Tuesdays during school term
4.00-5.30pm IS-GICC Rehearsal
Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir.GICCis the choir that performs and records nationally. The majority of its members are based in Cairns but GICC oftencomprises of choristers drawn from around Australia.
Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir – is the largest choral hub. Choristers from CairnsGICC rehearse weekly throughout the school term. This choir forms the basis for most major GICC activities.
Campbelltown Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir – reheases at Rosemeadow in Western Sydney weekly throughout the school term.
Inner Sydney Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir – is our newest Indigenous children’s choir and rehearses at Alexandria Park School in weekly during throughout the school year.
All arms of the organisation have performed at many corporate and ceremonial events, including most recently:
- Reopening of the World War 1 exhibition, Australian War Memorial, Canberra
- G20 Finance Ministers’ Summit, Cairns
- Business Council of Australia Annual Dinner, Sydney (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015)
- Cairns: Cairns State High School on Mondays during the school year
- Campbelltown: Macbeth Way Community Hall, Rosemeadow on Tuesdays during the school year
- Inner Sydney: Alexandria Park Community School, Alexandria on Tuesdays during the school year
Unearthed: Sani Ray Townson SBS Documentary from 2015 about Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir Coordinator Sani Townson
Read about GICC at National Choral School 2016 and Spinifex Gum – a song cycle, our collaboration between GICC and noted Australian singer/songwriter Felix Riebl here