Newcastle University Choir
Chris is a senior lecturer in Voice at the University of Newcastle,
NSW. He is well known as a baritone soloist with many choral
institutions such as Sydney Philharmonia Choir, Newcastle University
Choir, Willoughby Choir and Coro Innominata. Chris appeared
as guest artist with The Song Company for many years in concert
and radio broadcast and appeared with Opera Australia as understudy
and chorus member. He also toured extensively for Musica Viva
with the Song Company and the early music ensemble Sounds Baroque.
Chris held the post of Artistic and Musical Director of the
Newcastle University Choir from 1999-2004 and was reappointed
to the position of Musical Director from 2011. With the University
Choir he directed performances of major works of the choral
literature including the JS Bach Magnificat, John
Rutter’s Magnificat, Vittoria’s Requiem and
Haydn’s Mass in Time of War. Additionally, he
directed concerts of Jazz, popular and operatic works with
guest artists Terence Koo, Ghillian Sullivan and Francine Bell.
From 2004 – 2009 he directed the University of Newcastle
Conservatorium Choir in performances of mixed genres of music
as well as works such as settings of the Gloria by
Vivaldi and Poulenc and Britten’s Rejoice in the
Chris enjoys ensemble singing and
performs regularly with the Sydney based professional chorus
Cantillation on recording, in broadcast and in live performance.
In 2011 he performed with Pinchgut Opera in the first Australian
performance of Haydn’s 1791 opera L’Anima
del Filosofo (or Orpheus
e Euridice) which has also been recorded for commercial
release. He also enjoys singing with friends Jennifer Barnes,
Rosemary Saunders and Paul Bevan who appear together as Waxing
Lyrical for projects in the Newcastle, the Hunter Valley
He has recently successfully completed his doctoral thesis
looking at the use of modal voice as a catalyst in encouraging
a classical vocal sound in developing singers. He has presented
papers on aspects of vocal technique and singing teaching at
international and local conferences and enjoys facilitating
workshop sessions with choral groups focusing on all aspects
of performance. He has presented workshops for Sydney Philharmonia
Choirs, Hastings Choristers, Newcastle University Choir, Pleasant
Company (Forster) and, lately, the Seaside Singers at Corlette.
Australian soprano Celeste
Lazarenko is a graduate of the Guildhall Opera Course, London,
under vocal tuition of Rudolf Piernay and from the Sydney Conservatorium
Opera School. She has a Masters Degree in Performance from
both colleges, and a Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in Painting
from University of Sydney. Celeste has been the recipient of
many prizes and awards including the Countess of Munster Award,
The Australian Music Foundation Award, The Marten Bequest and
was a finalist in the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Competition
2005 at the Wigmore Hall, London, where she was described in
the Daily Telegraph (UK) as ‘...the most darkly intense
of the lot...Electrifying.’ - Read more...
Special Guest October 2012
Award winning Australian
jazz musician Terence Koo is one of the most highly sought
after jazz performers in the Newcastle area. A pianist, composer,
producer, and teacher, Terence lectures music at the University
of Newcastle, and has shared the stage with performers such
as Francine Bell, Sandip Burman, Nic Cicere, John Cleary, Su
Cruickshank, Andy Firth, George Golla, Ashleigh Grace, Damien
Leith, Bruce Mathiske, Wendy Matthews, Dave Pudney, and Glen
Shorrock. Terence has released two feature albums, and recorded
as a session musician on numerous others. With a Masters of
Arts in Jazz Education, an Associate Diploma of Music, Bachelor
of Music with First Class Honours, and a University Medal, Terence's music has
been described as intelligent, sophisticated, elegant, passionate, exciting and
Visit : www.terencekoo.com
Musical Director Emeritus
Barnes is well
known to Hunter audiences for her solo performances in opera
and oratorio. She was the Musical Director for the Newcastle
University Choir in 2009-10, and returns in this role to conduct
our Swing Over the Pacific concert in August 2015.
Jennifer Barnes began her
career with oratorio. She has built an impressive repertoire
in this genre, ranging from popular works such as Handel's "Messiah" and Bach's "St.
Matthew Passion" to David Fanshawe's "African Sanctus".
She has performed as soloist with the Sydney Philharmonia,
Newcastle University Choir, Newcastle City Choir and Gosford
Philharmonia. Jennifer was a finalist in the 1999 City of Melbourne
Song Recital Award , winning the Best Performance of an Australian
Song and equal first in the Best Musical Partnership. Opera
performance includes principal roles with Opera Hunter, Opera
Queensland, Sydney Metropolitan Opera, Sound Construction Company,
Sydney Festival and Opera Australia. In 1995, Jennifer won
a CONDA for the best performance by a professional actress
for her Opera Hunter Season as Cio-Cio San in Puccini's "Madama
Butterfly ". Jennifer has been awarded a PhD for her research
into the operatic soprano voice. In 2008, Jennifer directed
and conducted Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti" for
Opera Hunter, in addition to performing the role of Cleopatra
in their production of Handel's "Julius Caesar":
Jennifer also leads the organising committee for the Sunday
Interlude concert series at Adamstown Uniting Church and conducts
a private studio.
Organ Soloist – Choral Masterpieces
The Gift 2011
Christmas Rewrapped 2012
Peter Guy studied for his Bachelor of Music, majoring
in pipe organ and choral conducting under Philip Matthias, at the University
of Newcastle and achieved first class honours and the University Medal.
He is the youngest person to be appointed Organist and
Master of the Choristers at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, Newcastle.
Previously he was Director of Music at St Stephen’s Uniting Church,
Macquarie Street, Sydney, and the inaugural Director of Chapel Music at St
Andrew’s College at Sydney University. During his time studying in
Newcastle, Peter was Organ Scholar and Assistant Director of the St Nicholas
Choir at Christ Church Cathedral.
Peter reached the national keyboard final of the Symphony
Australia Young Performers Award in 2003 where he played Poulenc’s
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Tympani in G minor with the Adelaide Symphony
Orchestra. He has toured internationally with the University of Newcastle
Chamber Choir, playing in such venues as St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster
Abbey and Notre Dame Cathedral. He has an active recital schedule both locally
and interstate. He was also the Organ soloist in the performance of Saint-Saens’ Symphony
No 3 in C minor (Organ Symphony) with The University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra
at the Great Hall in October 2010.
Guy at the organ accompanies the Choir
at the Great Hall 2011.
University Choir: 38 Proud Years
The Newcastle University Choir first began rehearsals in 1976
under the baton of Ulric Burstein. The first concert took place
in May,1977, Verdi's Requiem, to an audience of 200
people. Soloists included Pearl Berridge and Lauris Elms from
the Australian Opera. From these humble (but challenging) beginnings,
the Choir grew rapidly to become the premier adult choir in the
Hunter Region, with the assistance of some excellent conductors.
When Ulric Burstein resigned in 1980, Peter Brock became the
conductor, leading the Choir for 20 years until retirement in
1998. Kevin Cameron then lead the Choir until 2001 when Christopher
Allan took up the role of both conductor and artistic musical
director. Between 2004 and 2006 Peter Ellis, became artistic
musical director. Dr Jennifer Barnes was appointed musical director
in 2009, and Dr Chris Allan returned to the post in 2011.
The Choir has performed works from the 16th to the 21st Centuries.
Composers have included Bach (St John Passion, St Matthew Passion,
Christmas Oratorio), Verdi (Requiem), Britten (War Requiem, Ceremony
of Carols), Handel (Messiah, Israel in Egypt), Haydn (Creation),
Mozart (Requiem), Boyd (Coal River), Brock (Five Australian Folk
Songs) and Goodall (Eternal Light), just to name a few. Repertoire
has included support from orchestra, organ, brass band, piano,
percussion, and unaccompanied.
Performances with other choral groups have also enhanced our
musical activity. These include the Hunter Singers, the Waratah
Girls Choir, Australian Signing Choir, NBN Children's Choir,
Newcastle University Chamber Choir, Conservatorium Choir, Christ
Church Cathedral Choir, Waratah Brass, and the Dungeon Big Band.
Throughout 38 years, the Choir has had hundreds
of people as members, all with one common love, choral music.
Members come from all walks of life. Many stay with the choir
for only a short time. Others have sung in every concert for
more than 30 years. Membership of the Choir is open to anyone
who can carry a tune and who enjoys singing with others.
above: Newcastle University Choir at Sydney Opera House
above: Newcastle University
Choir at Harold Lobb Memorial Hall Newcastle Conservatorium of
above: NUC at Lake
Macquarie Festival of the Choirs