That’s music to my ears
If choral singing is your thing, chances are Dr Philip Matthias has a choir for you.
Since leading the University of Newcastle Chamber Choir to victory in last year’s national Battle of the Choirs competition, Philip’s mission has been to connect the community through music. And with two new choral groups to his credit, this conductor, composer and organist is well on his way to doing just that.
The Seven Network series win helped put Newcastle on the map for choral singing - and earned the Chamber Choir $100,000 in prize money. "We took it by the scruff of the neck and gave it our best shot," Philip says modestly. These funds, together with Philip’s passion, are the force behind the newly formed Callaghan Choir and Seniors’ Choir. He has also gone on to develop links with an Indigenous Choir.
His vision is to not only foster vocal talent and technique, but to build supportive social networks with people from different backgrounds and community groups. Through the universal language of music, together they can connect with and move "all sorts of audiences".
"We want to make really upbeat music, but still be able to perform a traditional repertoire," Philip says.
Philip aims to help singers combine their individual voices to create "something unique, exciting and colourful" - an experience larger than any single choralist, but one where all feel they have personally contributed.
News that is music to many ears, no doubt.
Portrait of Philip Matthias was taken by Elise Neal, Bachelor of Fine Art.