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the Sydney Children’s Choir

Pushing creative boundaries.

Founded in 1989 by Lyn Williams AM, the choir are recognised for their crystal-clear sound and their precision and artistry, possessing a courageous and compelling performance style.

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The Sydney Children’s Choir is one of the world’s leading treble vocal ensembles, having forged a reputation for artistic innovation and spell-binding performance over 30 years. Recognised for their crystal-clear sound, their precision and artistry, they possess a courageous and compelling performance style. Founded as a single ensemble by Lyn Williams AM in 1989, it now includes approximately 500 young people, comprising performing choirs and training ensembles. 

Close to the choir’s heart is its repertoire of over 100 specially commissioned works, and it continues to premiere new music from leading and emerging composers annually. The choir enjoys rich artistic collaborations with musicians from a wide range of cultures such as Suara Indonesia Dance and Mongolian singer and horsehead fiddle player, Bukhchuluun Ganburged.  

The choir has a long history of performing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and other leading ensembles, and has worked with conductors including Simone Young, David Robertson and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Over the decades it has performed at many high-profile events including the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony, World Youth Day, Sydney Festival and with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. The choir has toured extensively, presenting their signature performances of contemporary Australian music to new audiences across the world. 

In 2019, the Sydney Children’s Choir hosted the Gondwana World Choral Festival, which brought the world’s finest children’s choirs to Sydney for a week of 21 performances at the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Conservatorium of Music, broadcast on ABC Classic.  

In June 2022, the choir gave the premiere performance of the daring staged work Hypnopompia, directed by Alexander Berlage. The following month, the Sydney Children’s Choir performed William Barton’s Of the Earth with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Simone Young to celebrate the re-opening of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. In December, the Sydney Children’s Choir returns to the Concert Hall to present its much-loved Voices of Angels program. 

Join the Sydney Children’s Choir

Join the Sydney Children’s Choir to sing, make friends and learn new skills. Our approach is based on our values of excellence, accessibility and community, and most importantly, fostering the inherent creativity of children through song.

Our choral training program offers a standard of vocal training unsurpassed in Australia, developing each chorister in choral singing, aural skills, music theory, composition, sight singing, movement and professionalism on and off stage. The program goes beyond the school curriculum, allowing choristers to extend their musical knowledge and providing them with exciting performance opportunities.

There are two options for rehearsal location from Term 2, 2023 onwards:

  • Sydney CBD: rehearse at Wharf 4/5 at the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct (there are choirs for all school-aged choristers)
  • Parramatta CBD: rehearse at PHIVE, 5 Parramatta Square (there are choirs for young people in Years 2-6)

Children up to Year 5 will be placed in the choir most suited to their age. We will listen to children in year 6 and up so that they can sing in the best choir for them.

The Sydney Children’s Choir is a place for children to find their voice, develop their musical skills and be part of something truly extraordinary. Join us today!

Contact Ariel Bonnell, Manager, Sydney Children’s Choir, using the enquiry form below or call us on (02) 8274 7000.

Download brochure (Sydney CBD)
Download brochure (Parramatta CBD)

The Sydney Children’s Choir is available to perform for a range of events and recordings. The Choir has performed widely for industry and government conferences as well as charity, community and private events. Our team is always pleased to discuss options: fees are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the scale of the performance, length of time required, as well as the choice of repertoire.  

Please contact Earl Marrows, Operations Coordinator, to enquire using the form below.

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  • Lyn Williams AM

    Artistic Director & Founder

  • Sam Allchurch

    Associate Artistic Director

  • Sally Whitwell

    Principal Pianist

  • Bronwyn Cleworth

    Director of Choral Education

  • Lachlan Massey

    Artistic Associate

  • Elizabeth Scott

    Conductor, SCC Junior Performing Choir

  • Heinz Schweers

    Pianist, Sydney Children's Choir

  • Adele Kozak

    Conductor, Sydney Children's Choir

Lyn Williams AM

Artistic Director & Founder

Lyn Williams is widely regarded as one of the finest conductors of choirs around the world. For over 30 years, Lyn has harnessed the incredible power of young voices through her world-renowned ensembles: the Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Voices, the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and Marliya. Her choirs have appeared with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors and at festivals including the BBC Proms and Polyfollia.  

Lyn has commissioned over 200 works from composers across Australia and around the world and her ability to forge innovative and meaningful collaborations is widely recognised. She continues to foster strong relationships with First Nations artists across Australia, bringing together cultural custodians and composers to create new works which preserve and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island languages and cultures. Lyn enjoys a long-standing collaboration with singer-songwriter Felix Riebl of the Cat Empire and the singers of Marliya, presenting the critically-acclaimed show Spinifex Gum, which has featured at almost every Australian arts festival since its premiere at the Adelaide Festival in 2018.  

In 2017, Lyn received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Don Banks Music Award for outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia, in recognition of her lifework as founder and director of Gondwana Choirs. 

Sam Allchurch

Associate Artistic Director

Sam Allchurch is recognised as one of Australia’s leading conductors of choirs. Sam began his life in choral music as a chorister of the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices, under the direction of Lyn Williams AM. He is now the Associate Artistic Director of Gondwana Choirs, directing the Young Men’s Choir which is regularly featured in concerts at City Recital Hall and heard on ABC Classic. Working closely with Artistic Director Lyn Williams, Sam has also prepared the treble ensembles of the Sydney Children’s Choir for performances with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia and plays a key role in artistic planning.

Sam Allchurch is the Artistic Director of the acclaimed Sydney Chamber Choir, and the Director of Music at Christ Church St Laurence. Sam is frequently invited to conduct the City Recital Hall’s Flash Mob Choir and has appeared as a guest conductor at Festival of Voices, Tasmania and the Combined Schools Music Festival.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Melbourne and a Master in Music (Choral Studies) from the University of Cambridge. His studies in Cambridge with Geoffrey Webber and Stephen Layton were supported by a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sally Whitwell

Principal Pianist

Pianist and Composer Sally Whitwell maintains a busy and eclectic musical existence from her base in Sydney.  

As a solo performer, she has recorded five albums to date with ABC Classic, garnering between them 8 ARIA nominations and 3 wins. She is known particularly for her interpretations of the piano works of American minimalist Philip Glass, her debut album Mad Rush leading to invitations to premiere Glass’s Etudes for Solo Piano at Perth International Arts Festival, Center for the Art of Performance UCLA, and at Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music. In a five star review of her recording of Glass’s Etudes in Limelight Magazine, Sally is described as “one of Australia’s finest solo performers”. 

Sally has composed for many vocal ensembles including Adelaide Chamber Singers (2020 Composer in Residence), The Consort of Melbourne, The Australian Voices, Divisi Chamber Singers, The House That Dan Built, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Moorambilla Voices, Brisbane Birralee, BachChor Salzburg and Juice Vocal (London). She has also created instrumental works for Phoenix Central Park, Ensemble Offspring, Acacia Quartet, Plexus Ensemble, Homophonic, Emily Granger (harp) and Alicia Crossley (recorders). A new work ‘Starwalker’ commissioned by guitarist Matt Withers will be released on ABC Classic in late 2022. 

Sally’s newest recording is a vocal chamber music work, an LGBTQIA+ pride-flag themed song cycle Spectrum, released by Divisi Chamber Singers. She is currently working on a short film comedy musical Sparky about a woman plumber, and also a new setting of the poetry of Gwen Harwood for Katie Noonan and the Australian Vocal Ensemble. 

Bronwyn Cleworth

Director of Choral Education

Bronwyn Cleworth conducts ensembles within the Mini Singers and Intermediate Training Choirs levels of the Sydney Children’s Choir.

Dedicated to music education, Bronwyn has more than twenty years experience as a specialist music teacher at SCEGGS Darlinghurst. She is a longstanding member of the Sydney Chamber Choir, specialising in early music and contemporary repertoire, with an emphasis on Australian composers.

With the Sydney Chamber Choir, Bronwyn has toured Taiwan, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Adelaide and regional NSW. As an educator, Bronwyn has expertise in both Kodaly and Orff. She is passionate about the musical development of young children and enjoys sharing her love of song and singing.

Lachlan Massey

Artistic Associate

Lachlan Massey is an Australian conductor and composer.

Lachlan is Artistic Associate at Gondwana Choirs, working under Lyn Williams AM. He has assisted in preparing choirs for performances with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. In 2023 he was children’s chorusmaster for Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Julia, directed by Sarah Goodes, and recently he assisted on the development of new devised work, Hypnopompia (or the edge of the unknown) with director Alex Berlage.

Lachlan founded Musgrove Opera in 2018 to present contemporary opera for children and families. He composed & directed Pinocchio! (2018), which had its premiere at the Zenith Theatre, prior to a regional tour. His second children’s opera, an adaptation of Hansel & Gretel (2021), premiered at The Concourse. This year, Lachlan has directed Sid the Serpent who Wanted to Sing and Heroes in the Sydney Opera House Utzon Room. Most recently, he worked with composer Aija Draguns, directing the premiere of her children’s opera, Max and Moritz.

Recently, Lachlan appeared as a guest conductor for the RSCM Junior Schools’ Choral Festival.

​Lachlan is an alumnus of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and a former Young Ambassador for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Elizabeth Scott

Conductor, SCC Junior Performing Choir

Elizabeth Scott is the Associate Music Director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and is a Lecturer in Conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She is a graduate of Symphony Australia’s Conductor Development Program and was awarded the Sydney Choral Symposium Foundation Choral Conducting Scholarship in 2008. As an undergraduate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Elizabeth earned the prestigious Student of the Year Award and the Reuben F. Scarf Scholarship for academic and musical excellence. As the holder of scholarships from the Hungarian Ministry of Education, she then undertook post-graduate studies in choral conducting, vocal performance and aural training in Hungary and Germany before returning to Australia in 2004. Elizabeth completed a Doctorate in Choral Conducting in 2021.

Elizabeth has been the Musical Director of Vox, Sydney Philharmonia’s youth choir since 2008 and has built this ensemble into one of Australia’s leading youth choirs. She regularly works as a chorus master for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and has prepared choirs for international conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Simone Young and Stephen Layton. Elizabeth is in demand as a studio session conductor and has performed and recorded with Pinchgut Opera and The Song Company.

Heinz Schweers

Pianist, Sydney Children's Choir

In 1998 Heinz acquired a repetiteur/conductor position at the State Theatre of Mecklenburg, Germany, where he directed Michelangelo by Shostakovich and The Barber of Seville. In Berlin, Heinz directed new productions for the Neukoellneroper; these productions comprise Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wild’s The Young Prince and Le Vin Herbe, by the Swiss modernist, Martin. These productions were widely reviewed in the German press, as was his arrangement of Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus which premiered with Germany’s favourite pop star, Marianne Rosenberg. He also conducted an A Grade performance of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat in Essen.

In 2005 and 2006, upon returning to Australia, Heinz presented Sid the Serpent and Hansel and Gretel for OzOpera in NSW and Cinderella and The Sound Garden in 2009 and 2010. Heinz has also produced, written and performed in two cabaret performances at the Seymour centre: Kathleen Ferrier: A Time of Kings and Queens, and Noel and Cole: Lives in Exile. In addition to his duties as Musical Director for Pacific Opera in 2007, Heinz produced his musical The Curious Pain of Louis XIV at the Seymour Downstairs. He wrote the book, lyrics and music for this piece. He was commissioned to write A Nasty Piece of Work with Nicholas Parsons for The New Theatre in 2008. In 2009 he was commissioned to write a children’s musical Wombat’s Wild Weekend which toured in pre-schools throughout Sydney. In 2010 he produced 40 In Song, a retrospective of his best 18 songs. He has written incidental music for many productions including Hell Hath No FurySuddenly SomedayThe Crucible, Mrs Petrov’s Shoe and Burnt By The Sun. His music has been published by Wirripang and Origin Theatrical.

Adele Kozak

Conductor, Sydney Children's Choir

Adele is an upcoming lyric soprano in Sydney and has featured as a consort singer with several Australian organisations including The Song Company, Luminescence Chamber Singers and Cantillation. Adele began her singing career with Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Children’s Choir, which she was a part of from 2004 – 2019. Adele completed her Masters of Music Performance, majoring in classical voice, at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and currently works for The Arts Unit with the Department of Education. Adele has always had a passion for choral conducting and is thrilled to be able to return to Gondwana Choirs as an educator in 2023.

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Join the Sydney Children’s Choir