President

Chris Jeffrey

Chris joined UWACS in 2012 after having sung for many years firstly as an undergraduate, then with the Bach Choir under David Tunley and Michael Brimer and after some time off while the family was young, with WASO and then Collegium Symphonic Chorus. While with Collegium he spent some years as the chair of the management committee and was also a Board member. The highlights of his choral singing career locally have been involvement in the major choral works such as Verdi’s and Brahms Requiems and various Bach works and Rachmaninov’s Vespers. Joining with about 250 other singers from all over the world to present Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Carnegie Hall was a truly memorable experience.

 Vice President

Trevor Parry AM

Trevor’s first experience with what became UWACS was as a fifth year medical student in 1961 when he sang Handel’s “Messiah “under the baton of the late Professor Callaway. After too long a gap he joined the Churchlands Community choir for several years and was President for a time before being 10 years with the Collegium Symphonic Chorus. Among the highlights of that time was the opportunity to join with some 250 choristers around the world to sing Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” in Carnegie Hall . Some satisfying challenges were to sing Rachmanonov’s Vespers in Russian, and to memorise the “Messiah.” He joined UWACS in 2012 and is enjoying this very much. As a relative newcomer he hopes to be able to contribute positively to the committee and choir.

 Secretary

Murray Wackett

My first experience of choral singing was with the Sydney University student choir (SUMS). I was quickly hooked, especially when SUMS was used to augment the Sydney Philharmonia Choir for major concerts in the Sydney Town Hall. (This was pre-Opera House).  Returning to Perth, I was a member of UWACS for several years from 1976, before a long period in the Perth Oratorio Choir, where I was a committee member for some time. I have also been a member of the ANU and Murdoch University choirs. I re-joined UWACS in 2010, and am enjoying contributing to the work of the Committee as Secretary.

 Treasurer

Margaret Wood

Music has always been an important part of my life. My father taught me the piano when I was very young, and I taught myself the recorder. I sang in choirs at school and university, and had the wonderful experience of performing Bach's St Matthew Passion at the Royal Festival Hall. When I started teaching I took up the guitar, joined a guitar ensemble, and this became my main musical focus for many years. When I migrated to Perth in 2002 I took up singing again. I sang a variety of music with a variety of choirs in a variety of languages including Latin, Icelandic and Vietnamese. I first sang with UWACS in 2013 for the performance of Carmina Burana on the Shelley Foreshore. Other choir commitments prevented me from joining until 2015, my first concert being Britten's War Requiem.

 Registrar

Irena Dillon

Irena’s love of choirs began at an early age when growing up in a rural town in South Australia and often hearing a choir singing in the local Lutheran church. Many years later Irena joined a UWA extension course to learn choral singing. Then in 2001 she had the good fortune to join the UWA Choral Society (UWACS). A couple of years later she began serving on the UWACS Committee as Secretary for three years, and then as Registrar for nearly two years. In 2011, in the year of UWACS 80th Anniversary, Irena was elected to the position of President and led the Committee in that role for three years. Irena feels that is a great honour to contribute to the management and organisation of UWACS, one of Australia’s longest standing choirs. She enjoys working with like-minded committee members and has returned to the committee this year as Registrar.

 Concert Manager

Megan Ellis

Megan is a relative newcomer to UWACS, having joined at the beginning of 2012 in time for Verdi’s Requiem. Since moving from Queensland and prior to joining UWACS, Megan sang with Collegium Symphonic Chorus. In Queensland, she sang with various choirs and an a capella madrigal group. She has thoroughly enjoyed her time with UWACS, finding the choristers warmly welcoming and saying that the Musical Director is a gifted teacher. She appreciates his constant quest for an excellent sound. Megan is very willing to make a contribution to such a smoothly-functioning choir.

 Librarian

Julie Campbell

I arrived in Australia in 1973 and, once family commitments eased off, I joined the then newly formed Churchlands Choral Society. This gave me back the joy of singing that I had forgotten about. I took on the position of Librarian with the choir position I held for 19 years before taking time off so that I could have more time to concentrate on singing with UWACS. Joining UWACS as a visitor to sing Carmina Burana gave me the confidence to tackle larger works which I have continued to enjoy since becoming a “regular” at the beginning of 2013. I have found the work of preparing major pieces a wonderful challenge and now that I have taken on the position of Librarian, I really enjoy meeting other choir members.

 General Committee Member

David Lin

David has enjoyed singing since his student days in the Sydney University Music Society (SUMS) and also participated in the “People’s Messiah” in the Sydney Town Hall. After a long break, a choral workshop run by the Geraldton Choral Society reignited his interest in singing. The Geraldton Choral Society were grateful to have a second or third tenor as they produced some ambitious works for a relatively small rural community. When David returned to Perth, he sung for a brief period with the “Discovery Choir”, then a number of years with the “Perth Oratorio Choir” and now he has been a member of UWACS for a number of years as well. Some enjoyable opportunities have been travelling with UWACS members to New York to sign the Rutter Requiem under the composer’s baton, to Vienna to sing the Mozart Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in G. Joining other choirs in Sydney to sing Handel’s Israel in Egypt this year was another great experience. As a committee member, David hopes to be able to support choristers to get the most out of their UWACS experiences.

 General Committee Member

Gina Davidson

Gina joined UWACS in 2009. Prior to that she sang with Perth Harmony Chorus for a couple of years. She has been a General Committee member since 2011 and was the Registrar for UWACS during 2012/13 and Treasurer for 3 years from 2013 - 1016. Gina has a life-long love of music and enjoys attending classical concerts. In a previous life, Gina played recorder and keyboards in a folk music band.

 General Committee / Rehearsal Co-ordinator

Jan Kirkman

I joined UWACS at the same time as Chris van Tuinen, so have been a member since 2011. It's my first 'official' choir and I love it. Having grown up with a mother who was a classically trained singer and a father whose family had a number of excellent amateur singers (and cut some vinyl!), music and singing has always been part of my life. In my working life as a teacher I was involved in a few school musical productions, but nothing more than that. As soon as I retired I joined UWACS and discovered a whole new musical experience. I was made to feel very welcome by fellow members and have felt blessed to have such a gifted Musical Director in Chris van Tuinen. Being on the committee has given me the opportunity to get to know more members and contribute in a different way to this wonderful choir.

 Co-opted Committee Member

Ruth Williams

Music has always been an important part of my life. I was in the school choir and was taught the piano; I play very badly! As a child, I remember my parents buying a Telefunken Hi Fi Stereoconsole. The first vinyl long-playing records they bought were Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” and Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”, which got played a great deal. I first joined UWACS in 1986. I have vivid memories of learning Haydn’s “Harmony Mass” and Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms” plus Elgar’s “The Dream ofGerontius”. During this time I was the Assistant Registrar of the choir. One of the most memorable choir moments for me during this time was singing Mikis Theodorakis’s “Axion Esti “ in the Perth Concert Hall. After a considerable break I returned to UWACS in 2012 to rekindle my love of choral singing and the friendship of the UWACS choir.

 General Committee Member

Roger Vella Bonavita

Roger joined UWACS in 1984 after he moved to Perth from Malta where he sang with the Chorus Melitensis. Currently he is a member of the committee. Over the years he served as UWAC’s president, vice-president and concert manager and as a member of the committee member. Roger has also sung with the WASO Chorus, the Collegium Symphonic Chorus, the Perth Oratorio Choir, and, in the Eastern States, with Chorus Oz and the World Festival Choir.