The Brisbane Concert Choir is a secular auditioned adult mixed-voice choir of around 65 members, from 18 to 80 years of age, drawn from all walks of life, based in the heart of Brisbane, Australia. Formed in 1996, Dr Guy Jansen, a leader of choral music in New Zealand, was its first Musical Director. Christopher Kiver took over from 1997 to July 2002, setting the standard for performance for which the choir has become known. Dr Debra Shearer-Dirié was appointed as Musical Director in May 2005 and has continued to grow and develop the choir, including leading it on four highly successful overseas tours.
Performance & events
The Choir has established an excellent reputation for its performances of diverse repertoire from more traditional full symphonic works through to a cappella concerts which cover a wide range of musical eras and styles from Renaissance madrigals to Choral Concertos by Bortniansky (in Russian) to African American spirituals and modern composers such as Gjeilo and Lauridsen, including a number of Australian premieres. Performances have included appearances for ABC Television and in prestigious festivals such as Brisbane's Cathedrals' Week and the 4MBS Classic FM Festival of Classics. In August 2018, with the Camerata of St John’s, the Choir will provide the live musical accompaniment to the Brisbane screening of the National Geographic’s Symphony for Our World international event.
The Choir performs with a range of ensembles and soloists, sometimes joining with other Brisbane choirs to participate in the performance of bigger works or events, such as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Werner Andreas Albert in 2000 for the new millenium; the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at ANZAC eve concerts in 2012 and 2013; the re-opening of Brisbane City Hall in 2013; and the Berlioz Te Deum
with the Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016.
The Choir’s ANZAC Day concerts have attracted a significant following in the last few years as we seek to provide a meaningful contribution to this important day in the Australian calendar. For 2018, the centenary year of the Armistice, we were successful in obtaining a grant which enabled the Choir to commission works from two Australian composers, Michael Leighton-Jones and Gerardo Dirié which were therefore premiered at the concert on the day.On a lighter note, the Choir has run “From Scratch” events for a number of years, where singers can come together for a day to learn a work (or parts of a work – eg Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem) and then perform it in the evening. This attracts a variety ofsingers for a fun experience. On other occasions we have had “cafe” events where people have afternoon tea or light meal in a more informal space interspersed with the choir singing, the food and drink, along with the music, reflecting a particular theme.
See Previous Seasons for information on past concerts and events.
Tours - home & abroad
The choir toured North Queensland in June 2002, shortly after the release of its first CD and has enjoyed numerous weekend tours to local choir festivals and events in South East Queensland and northern New South Wales since.
The choir’s first overseas tour was a highly-successful ten-day visit to New Zealand in 1999. Further major tours followed in 2008 to pre-Christmas festivals in Prague, Salzburg and Vienna; 2011 travelling from Milan through northern Italy to Rome including
The Choir has produced 3 CDs - Journey, Radiance and Rejoice (Christmas music). Copies of Radiance and Rejoice are available for purchase - go to Hear the Choir.
singing for a service in St Mark's Basilica, Venice and performing Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Nova Amadeus Orchestra in the Church of St Paul within the Walls, Rome.
In 2015 the choir toured Spain and France and performed in the stunning but contrasting cathedrals of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and Notre Dame in Paris. In 2018 in Canada's colourful Fall we sang in Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec and Montreal in a memorable tour of the country's beautiful east.
Musical Director: Debra Shearer-Dirié
Accompanist: John Woods
The Choir is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld). For details of the current committee, or any other information about the choir contact us.
Originally founded as an outreach of St Andrew's Uniting Church, Ann St, Brisbane, the Choir greatly appreciates the ongoing support of the Minister and congregation in providing the Choir with a beautiful heritage building for rehearsal and performing space. The Choir also acknowledges Gary Fredericks for the design of the choir logo used at the top of each page of this website.