The Australian Children’s Choir (ACC), founded in 1976, is a mixed-voice children's choir based in Melbourne, Australia, and consisting of some 200 boys and girls aged 7 to 18 in six different training ensembles. The choir has developed a strong reputation for its refined performances, varied repertoire and the production of fine young musicians, many of whom have gone on to pursue successful musical careers.
There are approximately 200 singers in the choir, ranging in age from 7 to 18, and composed of six groups: Probationary, Melody, Harmony, Intermediate, Reserve, and Senior Choristers. The young singers who comprise the senior performing ensemble of the Australian Children's Choir meet twice a week to rehearse outside school hours, and must demonstrate a high degree of musical ability, personal organization and concentration to become proud wearers of the ACC's distinctive green uniforms. In return, they receive many musical and social opportunities that they would not otherwise experience, and take on the role of fine young ambassadors for both the ACC and their country.
The choir regularly tours throughout Australia and has made regular international tours, to countries including England, Hong Kong, Wales, and New Zealand. In 2004 the ACC undertook a major concert tour of Europe and the United Kingdom, performing in cities such as Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Edinburgh, Cambridge and London. In 2005 the choir toured New Zealand for the second time, and in January 2007 the ACC undertook its first concert tour of mainland China, performing in cities such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Tianjin and Huangyan. In 2015, The ACC traveled to the United States to tour the East Coast and participate in the Washington D.C. Serenade Festival. The choir also made appearances in Toronto. In 2016, the Australian Children's Choir toured the East Coast of Australia to mark it's 40th Anniversary, making appearances in Brisbane, the Gold Coast including Surfers Paradise, Sydney and Wollongong.
The ACC regularly appears in concert with many of Melbourne's leading musical ensembles, including groups such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, the Academy of Melbourne, the Central Band of the RAAF, the[Australian Classical Players, Royal Australian Naval Band, and the Victorian Police Showband.
Highlights in recent years have included Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under conductor Markus Stenz, a featured appearance at the nationally televised AFI Awards Ceremony, numerous televised performances on Rove Live, and concerts with the legendary rock band Kiss and the Melbourne Symphony at the Telstra Dome. The ACC appeared at the 2004 AFL Grand Final. It participated in a series of filmed international television commercials for the Korean Motor Company Kia, filmed on various locations around Victoria, and gave a live televised performance to an estimated one billion people for China Television to mark the 30th anniversary of Australian-Chinese relations.
Leading artists the choir has recently appeared with include Julie Anthony, Marina Prior, Rhonda Burchmore, Marcia Hines, Delta Goodrem, Rove McManus, David Hobson and Peter Brocklehurst. Past recordings include John Farnham's Whispering Jack album, and the single "You're the Voice", as well as numerous recordings ranging from folk music and commercials to movie soundtracks.
The choir has produced two CDs; Leave No Song Unsung (which was nominated for a Sounds Australian Award in 2004 for best Choral Recording), and more recently, Christmas Lullaby, featuring music for the festive season. Both have been featured on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM.
2006 included performances of J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion with the Melbourne Bach Choir, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and Orff's Carmina Burana (with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic) as well as the "Irish Songs of Praise" concerts and appearances at the Melbourne International Fashion Festival at BMW Edge and at the Stringybark Folk Festival. The choir also performed in concerts with the Salvation Army, a series of concerts with the Victoria Police Showband at the Police Academy, a series of concerts at The Australia Club, the RACV Club, several corporate performances at various venues around the city, a featured appearance at Banyule's Carols by Candlelight, and Carols in the Cathedral (also with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic) in St Paul's Cathedral. In 2007, the choir received a contract to perform in the Australian Ballet season of The Nutcracker at the State Theatre, Victoria. These were in addition to the numerous charity and local community performances the choir performs throughout the year.
In 2009 the choir started the year by performing (along with many other choirs) in the Day of Mourning for those lost during the Black Saturday bushfires. They also performed Gordon Kerry's Requiem Tropes, a work based on the Mozart Requiem. Throughout the year the choir also participated in several recording, including pieces such as "World Keeps Turning" by Jetty Road and "Advance Australia Fair" with Judith Durham. The choir ended their year with several Christmas performances, notably Carols in the Cathedral (in Melbourne's St Paul's Cathedral) with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and several guest soloists including Roy Best.
Andrew Wailes is the current musical director of the choir, and conducts the senior choristers.John Howard
Jean Ashworth Bartle
Principal accompanist: Amir Farid