Brisbane Concert Choir is an auditioned SATB chorus of 7o volunteer singers performing a varied and challenging repertoire focussed on classical music. A registered Not For Profit incorporation, the choir each year stages concerts ranging from entirely a cappella performances, to major classical works with professional orchestral ensembles and soloists, and four-part carolling leading into Christmas.
Based in the heart of Brisbane, where it was formed in 1996, the choir has excellence in performance as its core goal, and retains the services of a professional Director of Music and professional accompanist. Its performances include collaborations in the Concert Hall at QPAC, performing Symphony for our World live before an audience of 2000 for National Geographic, recording music for Queensland Theatre shows, and international tours to famous music venues in major cities across Europe and Canada.
Dr Guy Jansen, a leading musician in New Zealand became Brisbane Concert Choir's first Director of Music. In 1997 Christopher Kiver took over the role until July 2002, setting the standard for performance for which the choir has become known. Dr Debra Shearer-Dirié was appointed to the role in May 2005 and has continued to expand the choir's repertoire and polish its performances, as well as leading it on four highly successful overseas tours to many countries of Europe and Eastern Canada.
Performance & events
The choir has put extensive work into establishing a reputation for excellence in its performances of diverse repertoire, from traditional full symphonic works through to a cappella concerts. This array of musical eras and styles ranges from Renaissance madrigals to choral concertos by Bortniansky (in Russian) and African-American spirituals to modern composers such as Gjeilo and Lauridsen, including a number of Australian premieres. Performances have included appearances for ABC Television and in festivals such as Brisbane's Cathedrals' Week and the 4MBS Classic FM Festival of Classics. In August 2018, singing with a full symphonic orchestra, the Choir performed live musical accompaniment for the Brisbane screening of National Geographic’s Symphony for Our World on its international tour.
The Choir performs with a range of ensembles and soloists, and collaborates with other Brisbane choirs in the performance of bigger works, 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 and delivered a powerful emotional but uplifting dimension 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, both works premiered at the concert on Anzac Day. The choir has also engaged professional musicians to invite singers from throughout the community to “From Scratch” events over a number of years. Singers from many communities 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 the same evening. It provides a great learning experience which is also great fun. The choir also stages “cafe” events where people have afternoon tea or light meal in an informal space interspersed with the choir singing, usually with music and the food and drink 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.