STORIES OF OUR ALUMNI

Gondwana Choirs is where young people make life-long friendships based upon a love of music and a passion for singing. They develop their musical experience with the most inspirational musical artists and ensembles in the country and in doing so, learn that striving for and achieving excellence comes from the hard work and dedication of each individual member of the choir.

Many of our former choristers are now professional singers, composers, conductors, instrumentalists, developing the skills necessary to excel in their field throughout their years in our programs. Others have taken the ethos of hard work and dedication learned with the choir to enrich the lives of others as teachers, medical professionals and social justice advocates.

Follow their stories here

What l learned have been lessons for life:
how hard you have to work to elevate many individual voices into unison and harmony and how worthwhile that effort is.
Its collective impact far outweighs that of any individual.

Dr Tessa Boyd Caine
Founding Chorister, Sydney Children’s Choir
CEO, Health Justice Australia

ALICE CHANCE

Composer
Member of Gondwana Chorale

Gondwana Choirs has given me incredible opportunities that helped me to form my identity as a musician and composer.

Being a part of Gondwana Composer School meant I had the best teaching and mentors possible from an early age. Being a member of Gondwana Chorale gave me incredible performance opportunities in so many interesting places. And being Composer-in-Residence for Sydney Children’s Choir gave me the humbling experience of hearing my own compositions performed by the over 300 choristers at Barangaroo.

Thank you to Lyn Williams and Gondwana Choirs – I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.

GLENN CHRISTENSEN

Gondwana Voices
Violinist, Australian Chamber Orchestra

Gondwana taught me the importance of teamwork, hard work, and finding the joy in music-making, all the while working at an exceptionally high standard.

I was challenged by time signatures I’d never heard of, learned about quarter-tones for the first time, and memorised all the music, while having the best time!

I definitely wouldn’t have a professional career in music without my time in Gondwana.

TIONNE SEDEN

Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir
1st Year Doctor of Medicine Student, UQ

Performing in prestigious venues and collaborating with a multitude of famous singers and artists – as a young girl from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, this was the most exciting opportunity you could imagine.

We had been blessed with the opportunity to learn songs which had been passed down through generations and it was our responsibility to share them with the world. My experience in the choir, together with my everlasting passion for my culture, has inspired me to share my culture to my fellow peers through song and dance.

DR TESSA BOYD-CAINE

Founding Chorister, Sydney Children’s Choir
CEO, Health Justice Australia

As a child, joining Sydney Children’s Choir gave me a much-needed avenue to develop my love of singing.

What l learned, particularly from the Choir’s ensemble work, have been lessons for life: how hard you have to work to elevate many individual voices into unison or harmony; and how worthwhile that effort is, with its collective impact far outweighing that of any individual.

Now I am a Board member of Gondwana Choirs and I am loving the opportunity to be involved again in this extraordinary organisation, supporting its impact through education and opportunity as well as making beautiful music.

PASCAL HERRINGTON

Founding Chorister, Gondwana Voices
Sydney Children’s Choir
Tenor, Nationaltheater Manneim

Gondwana taught me my music fundamentals. Not only the technical skills I needed for analysing harmony, understanding polyphony and approaching language; but the performance skills I still use today.

Being in Sydney Children’s Choir taught me how to use my ears, how to blend, to be aware of around me and take in everything that is happening.

It taught me to love choral music and the voice as an instrument. I’m so thankful for that.

RUSSELL HARCOURT

Sydney Children’s Choir & Gondwana Voices
International Countertenor

Under the leadership of Lyn Williams, I enjoyed a varied repertoire with a strong focus on contemporary music, new commissions and Australian composers. Weekly rehearsals and Saturday school enhanced my sight reading and musicianship skills in a caring and nurturing environment.

Amazing performance opportunities at a young age surrounded by other talented young musicians, encouraged me to pursue a career in music.
I am currently at Glyndebourne for Rosencrantz for Brett Dean’s new Hamlet. Lyn’s passion for new and challenging music has clearly rubbed off!