About Us

The Canberra Choral Society (CCS) is an auditioned symphonic choir based in Canberra, and has become one of the most innovative and exciting choirs in the nation’s capital. The choir is known both for traditional choral repertoire, and for surprising audiences with new music, new venues, and new ways to experience old favourites. Members range in ages and abilities, and are passionate about working towards performances that capture the impact and energy of the music while maintaining the clarity and subtlety required for excellence in every performance.

CCS performs at least four concerts a year, including a capella and piano-accompanied concerts, through to major works of the symphonic choral repertoire using the choir’s ongoing engaged orchestra. The choir is currently exploring partnerships with community music groups, including the National Capital Orchestra. At times the choir is engaged by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, when their program calls for choral forces. The choir performs in venues around Canberra, including Australian National University (ANU) Llewellyn Hall, the city’s major concert auditorium.

A key focus for the choir is an annual “Come and Sing” program, in which up to 120 unauditioned guest singers rehearse with the choir and perform a major work in ANU Llewellyn Hall with professional soloists and orchestra. The choir has recently had a strong emphasis on concerts featuring Australian composers, and in the last four years has presented four highly-acclaimed productions of Handel’s dramatic oratorios. CCS has given performance opportunities to other Canberra-based youth choirs within its own concerts. The choir also contributes to community events, including the Canberra International Music Festival, events at Parliament House and the Anzac Day services at the Australian War Memorial and has recently made themselves available as a “choir for hire” for events.

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings in St John’s Church Hall in Reid, with occasional additional rehearsals or workshops as required.

CCS welcomes experienced singers to join our choir. It is an auditioned choir, but we make the auditions as painless as possible! Contact canberrachoralsociety@gmail.com to express your interest.

History

The Canberra Choral Society originated with a small group of people who, in 1952, began singing together for their own pleasure and musical advancement. This group became known as the Canberra Choral Group and was conducted in its foundation years by Ronald Penny, Peter Bailey and Jane Malone. The name was changed to The Canberra Choral Society in 1960, and the Society became an officially incorporated association in April 1962. It celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2012.

The history of the Society was documented in Canberra Choral Society: a capital choir for a capital city, by Peter Campbell. (Canberra, PC Publishing 2002).