formerly performing as
The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir
Director: Philip Matthias
Winners at the 2010 World Choir Games, held in Shaoxing China, as well as the 2010 McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod Echology offers aspiring singers an opportunity to sing with and learn from this very distinguished choral ensemble. The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir has been in its current format since its inception in 1995. It comprises students and community members who share a love of singing and performing a challenging and varied repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance to more contemporary music and also a number of Australian works.
Echology's repertoire is wide-ranging, from the Renaissance to the 21st century and includes many Australian works. In 2006 the choir premiered "To Love" by iconic Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe at the National Seniors’ Choral Festival held in Newcastle. The choir has also released a recording of the complete choral works of Western Australian composer Iain Grandage, several of whose highly evocative works the Choir performs regularly in concert and in competition (including at the 2010 World Choir Games during its tour of China).
Want to Join?
Entry to the choir is by audition only, and to meet their regular performance and recording commitments the choir rehearses every Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Additional rehearsals are called from time to time, as required.
To arrange an audition, please contact Phillippa Miskiewicz: Telephone +61-2-49215507; Email: Phillippa.Miskiewicz@newcastle.edu.au
Echology's many successes include wins in major national competitions, performing in many of the world's great venues, and the release of seven compact disc recordings.
In July 2010 the Chamber Choir was named overall winner in the Mixed Choir and Contemporary Music sections at the Sixth World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China, and also also received a Gold Diploma in the Folklore category.
In July 2010 the Chamber Choir was named overall winner in the Mixed Choir and Contemporary Music sections at the Sixth World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China, and also received a Gold Diploma in the Folklore category.
Following its success in Shaoxing, the Choir is now ranked 8th in the Interkultur "Musica Mundi" rankings for Mixed Choirs and 21st in the top 1000. We will be out to better these rankings in the 2012 World Choir Games to be held in Cincinnati.
The Choir was the winner of Channel 7's highly-rating 2008 national television program, "Battle Of The Choirs", catapulting the Choir to national prominence and launching it into a new world of performance style. This took the Choir to a wider audience, offering the opportunity to open up the full range of the choral experience to audiences beyond those used to classical music. As part of its prize the Choir also released the best-selling CD "Battle Cry", featuring the music it sang in the show.
In 2006, the Choir won Adult Choir of the Year in the ABC's "Choir of the Year” competition, competing against the best choirs from each State of Australia. Both the state and national finals of this competition were broadcast nationally on ABC Classic FM. Apart from the "Choir of the Year” competition, the Choir has also undertaken a number of broadcasts for ABC Classic FM, including a 2011 “Sunday Live” broadcast of its concert given to a packed Conservatorium Concert Hall.
The Choir has also enjoyed major successes at the McDonald's Performing Arts Challenge, including winning the Open Award for Choirs, the City of Sydney Chamber Choir Award and the John Lamble Australasian Open Choral Championship. In June 2010 the Choir once again took out three first prizes at the McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod, winning the John Lamble Open Choral prize, the City of Sydney Chamber Choir Award, and the Sacred Music Award (more details here). At the National Eisteddfod held in Canberra in August 2007 the Choir also won all three of the divisions entered: the Open Sacred Choral Award, the Open Contemporary Australian Choral event and the inaugural Australian Open Choir Championship.
In 2008 the Choir travelled to Tasmania as a guest choir at the Festival of Voices in Hobart, and also presented the first Australian performance of Gabriel Jackson's 40 part motet, 'Sanctum est Verum Lumen', in conjunction with the Sydney Chamber Choir for 'Musica Viva'.
The choir has toured internationally five times: China in 2010, the UK in 2007 and 2000, UK and France in 2002 and South Korea in 2004.
In July 2010 the Choir was proud to represent the University of Newcastle and the City of Newcastle during its tour of the People’s Republic of China Choir that included performances at Beijing Institute of Technology, Huazhong Normal University (Wuhan), the East China University of Science & Technology (Shanghai), and the Australian Embassy in Beijing. We were privileged to perform for an invited audience at Beijing’s National Millennium Monument and in Shanghai with the Choir of the Pudong New Area District Government and the ECUST choir. The tour culminated with the Choir's wins at the World Choir Games in Shaoxing.
During the 2004 South Korean tour the Choir was hosted by five Universities and performed to its largest and most exuberant audiences ever at concerts and church services across the region.
The Choir has performed in St Paul's Cathedral, London, on many occasions, and has also performed in Westminster Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Chelmsford Cathedral, Temple Church, London, St Alban's Abbey, St Asaph Cathedral, Wales, and Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. The Choir has undertaken twelve live broadcasts for BBC Radio and recorded two programs for BBC's Sunday Half-Hour
Nationally the Choir has toured to Brisbane, Canberra, Singleton, Tamworth, Sydney, Goulburn, Armidale Grafton and Port Macquarie.
Plans for the Future
In 2012 the Choir will be undertaking a tour to the United States of America, including participation in the “Rhythm of One World Festival” in New York under the auspices of the United Nations Organisation, and competing in the Champions Competition of the 7th World Choir Games in Cincinnati.
The Choir also plans to release a Christmas CD that will feature both traditional favourites and some new and exciting repertoire.
We also look forward to commissioning new works and arrangements from both well-known Australian composers and emerging talents, including an exciting multi-media work from a prominent Australian composer and works that will extend our work in the pop and rock genres.