Anglican Church of Australia - Diocese of Melbourne
Christ Church South Yarra
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MUSIC AT CCSY

Music List  Choir  Music Foundation  Director of Music  Organist  Organ


Christ Church South Yarra has a strong and active musical tradition spanning more than a hundred and forty years, providing for the liturgical needs of the Parish as well as contributing to Melbourne’s wider musical life.

The Choir of Christ Church South Yarra

CCSY Choir 2014Following the establishment of the Parish in 1855 and the completion of the first section of the church building, a choir of the women and men of the Parish was formed.  Upon completion of the sanctuary and chancel in 1881, choir boys were introduced to form an all male choir of the English Cathedral Tradition, which served for more than a hundred years.  Due to welcome modernisations and realigned priorities in the Anglican Church, women were welcomed back into this choir in the early 1980s.

As it is now, the Choir consists of men and women of all ages.  Membership is open to anyone of any age with basic musical knowledge and the desire to perform to the best of their abilities within the ensemble.  The Choir rehearses on Thursday nights between 7.30 and 10pm, sings a weekly Choral Eucharist on Sunday mornings at 10am, and Choral Evensong on the third Sunday of most months.  Special services, concerts and performances both liturgical and secular outside the Parish arise from time to time, such as Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral, Trinity College, or a concert and service in a rural parish.

Although Christian values necessarily pervade and inform all aspects of the Choir, membership is open to people of all faiths and none; diversity of background and experience is welcomed and celebrated amongst its members, and throughout the Parish.

Diversity is also embraced in the Choir’s repertoire, which extends from various types of chant to works newly commissioned and composed, and sung in languages as diverse as Latin, Ancient Greek, Church Slavonic, French, German and English. This diversity is a priority for the Choir, which seeks to remain at the forefront of musical and liturgical developments across the globe.  In 2010, the Choir gave numerous first performances of specially composed psalms, hymns and other works, alongside more than three first performances of internationally composed and recognised works never heard as part of liturgy in Australia. Alongside these newer works, more traditional parts of the repertoire are also valued and sung at Christ Church, including mass settings from the Viennese School (eg Haydn, Mozart and Schubert) the English School (eg Byrd, Darke, Howells, and Sumsion), and from other parts of Europe including Italy (eg Palestrina) and Spain (eg Victoria, Lassus and Guerrero). In April 2009, the Choir gave a liturgical performance of Ivan Moody’s Passion and Resurrection.

 

The Christ Church Music Foundation

CCSY Choir - 2005 (Photo by Natasha Blankfield)The Choir is supported by the Christ Church Music Foundation, which provides and maintains musical instruments for the Parish’s use (including the magnificent Kenneth Jones Organ installed in 1998, and a fine grand piano), and a number of honorariums for the musicians of the Parish.  These payments are commensurate with (although generally slightly higher than) those offered by similar parish organisations in Australia, and are usually offered to professional musicians with the desire and potential to be leading forces within the Parish’s musical life.  The strong musical program at Christ Church South Yarra could not continue without the active support of the Christ Church Music Foundation and the generosity of its donors. 

How you can be involved

For more information, or if you would like to make a donation to the Christ Church Music Foundation, please contact the Director of Music by email music@ccsy.org.au. Donations over $2 are fully tax deductible.

If you are interested in joining the Choir of Christ Church South Yarra, or in applying for an honorarium through the Christ Church Music Foundation, please contact the Director of Music (music@ccsy.org.au) who will organise an audition time.  Auditions are held at Christ Church, and are attended by at least two members of staff.  They are not intimidating (performances of solo works by candidates are not required), but are a relaxed meeting at which we get to know one another and the candidate’s musical ability is ascertained both vocally and verbally.

 

Michael Fulcher, Director of Music

Michael Fulcher - Director of Music
Before coming to CCSY in June 2013, Michael was Cathedral Organist at St John‘s Cathedral Brisbane. He also had a busy vocal coaching practice, working at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and the University of Queensland School of Music, as well as having many private clients. In 2012 Michael conducted the Machin Opera scenes in a programme of Mozart excerpts in the Conservatorium Theatre and was guest vocal coach at the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School. He is in demand as a freelance vocal coach, conductor and choral workshop clinician. He as recently appointed President of the National Council of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA).

After completing his BMus in Organ Performance at the University of Queensland, he studied with the late David Sanger in London. He later studied orchestral conducting with John Curro (QYO), David Porcelijn (ABC Young Conductors Mastercourse), Robert Rosen (Opera Australia), and Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Mark Elder in the UK.

In 1997 Michael relocated to London where he studied conducting and vocal coaching, working for 3 years in Janice Chapman’s international singing studio.

Michael lived in Milan in 2000 studying Italian language, completed the blue ribbon Repetiteur’s programme at the Guildhall School of Music in London in 2001, and lived in Paris 2002-2004 where he worked as a repetiteur and accompanist. He has conducted Productions for Opera Queensland, the Guildhall School of Music (London), Victorian College of the Arts, and the Queensland Conservatorium Opera School (L’elisir d’Amore, Elijah the Opera, Pilgrim’s Progress, in the presence of Ursula Vaughan Williams). He has conducted performances of Billy Budd (1993 Brisbane Festival), Don Giovanni (1996 Victorian State Opera season) and La Traviata (touring production of Grange Park Festival Opera UK).

In 2004 Michael was appointed Organist and Director of Music at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul and Music Director of the Wellington Orpheus Choir. In 2008 he toured the Wellington Cathedral Choir to England and Paris, singing at venues including Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St John’s College Cmabridge and Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

In 2010, Michael prepared the massed choirs for a performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony for a NZ International Arts Festival, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. The Wellington Orpheus Choir and Choristers of Wellington Cathedral featured, as did the Christchurch City Choir, the NZ National Youth choir and Voices NZ (the NZYC alumni choir).

As an organist Michael has given recitals at the town halls of Wellington, Dunedin and Brisbane, in the Anglican cathedrals of Brisbane, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin and in the churches of St George’s and La Madeleine in Paris.

Positions Michael has held include Organist & Director of Music, Wellington Cathedral, NZ (2004-2011); Music Director, Wellington Orpheus Symphonic Choir (2004-2011); Organist, St George’s, Paris (2003-2004); Repetiteur, English National Opera (2000-01); Young Artist Conductor, Opera Queensland (1998); Young Artist Conductor, Victorian State Opera (1996); Director of Music, Trinity College, Melbourne, (1994-1996); Assistant Organist St John ‘s Cathedral, Brisbane (1985-86, 1987-1993) and Conductor of Queensland University Musical Society (1987-93).

 

Siegfried Franke, Parish Organist

Siegfried at the CCSY organ (Photo by Natasha Blankfield)Siegfried Franke studied in Melbourne with Dr June Nixon and in London with Richard Popplewell.  An Associate of the Royal College of Organists and a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, London, he is a sought-after accompanist, having worked with most of Melbourne’s finest choirs and soloists, whilst maintaining a high profile as an organ recitalist throughout Melbourne and beyond.

Siegfried was appointed Parish Organist in 2001.  In addition to his work at Christ Church, he is Sub-Organist and a member of the Cathedral Choir at St Paul’s Cathedral (Melbourne), teaches music at Trinity Grammar School and is the school organist and accompanist.  He is a member of the Victorian Board of the Royal School of Church Music, and is regularly appointed Festival Organist for their National Summer Schools.

 

 


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Christ Church South Yarra, Cnr Punt & Toorak Rds, South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia.  Phone +61-3-9866-4434
Sunday Services: 8am Eucharist (BCP), 10am Parish Eucharist, 6pm Evening Worship