President

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.

 Vice-President

Chris Jeffery

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.

 Secretary

Tim Mason

In my first year at Eton College, I joined the musical society. My first performance was as a treble in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. I arrived in Perth early in 1971 and studied law at UWA. I joined the Undergraduate Choral Society (PUCS), which was my spiritual home for the next five years. One benefit of singing with PUCS was the annual intervarsity choral festival, which enabled me to visit and perform in six capital cities (including Perth in 1973, when I was privileged to be the convenor). After graduation, I joined Collegium Musicum, in which I sang between 1976 and 1987 under David Tunley, Richard Gill and Margaret Pride. I then had a stint with the WASO Chorus in the early 90s. I joined UWACS in 1996 and have been fortunate to sing in some 65 performances since then under Prue Ashurst, John Beaverstock, Burman Gu╠łner, Jangoo Chapkhana and Chris van Tuinen. I much appreciated the experience of singing requiems in Russia and New York (Verdi and Rutter respectively). Also memorable were the two tribute concerts for Prof Frank Callaway and the 75th, 80th and 85th UWACS birthday gala concerts. I have particularly enjoyed singing Carmina Burana (Orff), Vespers of 1610 (Monteverdi), Israel in Egypt (Handel), The Seasons (Haydn), Mass in B Minor (Bach), Tenebrae Responsories (Gesualdo), The Armed Man (Karl Jenkins) and War Requiem (Britten). I look forward (hopefully) to helping UWACS to celebrate its 90th birthday in 2021.

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

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 and since becoming a full time member of the choir in 2013, I have found the work of preparing major works a wonderful challenge.  I enjoyed my time as Librarian for three years and now continue to serve on the Committee as Registrar which, I am sure, will give me a lot of new experiences.

 Assistant Registrar

 Librarian

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. Since returning to the committee, she has enjoyed her time as Registrar for three years and now continues to serve on the committee as Librarian.

 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.

 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 -   StayTuned

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 of Gerontius”. 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 - IT;   Facebook; Newsletter


Valerie Lyon

Valerie was born with a love of music but acquired only a limited amount of relevant expertise, regardless those years playing the piano and oboe her talents were applied to construction and engineering. Fortunately, there is time to catch up, if enthusiasm counts, we hope for a significant possibly even beautiful contribution, as the developmental and educational aspects of UWACS welcomes another voice that finds joy in choral singing.

 General Committee Member -   Assistant  Librarian; Website update;   China Tour Liaison

Bronwen Channon

I grew up in the university town of Armidale NSW. Both my parents were lecturers at the University of New England and I was exposed to whatever classical music was visiting the town – usually MusicaViva. I was the fourth of five children, each of us learning a musical instrument – piano, violin, viola, cello and clarinet were all taken up by my older siblings, so I took up the flute. I went to university to study geology which saw the flute go by the wayside, but I did continue to sing at the Adelaide University Choral Society. Many years later the most singing I’ve done is to my kids, in the shower or in the car. I joined UWACS last year and although I’ve only been in the choir a short time, I feel like I’ve come home, the feeling of singing in a group cannot be felt in any other forum.  I was brought up to believe in the community surrounding us and to always participate and contribute as much as possible, that is why I have joined the committee.