The Toowoomba Choral Society Youth Choir is a non-auditioned community choir for children and youth aged 5 – 18 years. The Youth Choir provides a widely varied program of training and performance. Choir Members develop an interest in the skills of choral singing and in aural musicianship. This is of great benefit in building self-confidence and in learning about teamwork. Members make friends with other young people who share similar interests and all in an atmosphere of fun. The TCS Youth choir currently consists of 4 Choirs.
Our choirs rehearse on Tuesday evenings during the state school terms. With changing restrictions under Covid-19 guidelines, sometimes rehearsal locations must change. Any changes to rehearsal times and venues are communicated via the weekly choir newsletter.
Hummingbirds (5-10yrs) rehearse at Choral Hall.
Youth Choir, Harmonics and John Penny Singers rehearse at Choral Hall.
Hummingbirds: 5:15pm to 5:45pm
Youth Choir: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Harmonics: 6:30pm – 7:00pm
John Penny Singers: 7:00pm – 7:30pm
As part of the membership fees, student in the Youth/Harmonics choirs will be issued with a white shirt and choir vest for performances which are returned at the end of the year. Hummingbirds will be loaned a polo shirt when required for performances. The John Penny Singers often perform in their own ‘Glam Blacks.’
The Youth choirs are managed by a team of parent volunteers who meet monthly and are led by:
|Assistant Treasurer||Mary Watts|
|Events Coordinator||Melanie Wilkes|
|Uniform Coordinators||Pauline Town and Kerri Jacoby|
|Blue Card Coordinator||Liddy Ward|
|Vice Convenor||Cathie Quiroga|
Hummingbirds (Training Choir)
For Prep to Year 4
This choir introduces young singers to a fun choral environment and provides an opportunity for them to develop their pitch and listening skills. It also teaches basic choir skills such as paying attention and performance. In the past, Hummingbirds Choir members are invited to stay for the first 15 minutes of the Youth Choir rehearsal. While this isn’t possible at the moment, we will endeavour to provide this opportunity should restrictions ease. Members of the Hummingbirds who are 10 year old are also welcome to sing with the Youth Choir. This choir performs once or twice a year as part of the TCS events and usually at a Christmas event. Performing is optional but encouraged.
Rehearsals: Tuesday 5:15pm to 5:45pm
Youth Choir provides a widely varied program of training and performance. Choir Members develop an interest in the skills of choral singing and in aural musicianship. This is of great benefit in developing self-confidence and in learning about teamwork. Members make friends with other young people who share similar interests and all in an atmosphere of fun. We recognise that many choir members participate in multiple activities and we like to keep performance commitments at a level that makes it possible to ensure the best level of participation from members. The highlight of the year for Youth Choir is the Annual Holiday Theatre Programme. This activity involves approximately 100 students rehearsing for two weeks, culminating in two performances at the Empire Theatre.
Rehearsals: Tuesday 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Grade 8 – 12
The Harmonics provide an opportunity for older students to learn more challenging repertoire. It is an extension of the Youth Choir, rather than a separate choir. This group often combines with Contemporary Choral for joint performances.
Rehearsals: Tuesday 7:00pm to 7:45pm
The John Penny Singers
A small group of 15-20 singers selected by audition from the Harmonics. Our only auditioned choir, the students will often represent the Youth Choir at smaller performances and events.
Rehearsals: Tuesday 7:45pm to 8:30pm
Prior notification is provided about performances which may differ from year to year, but typical performances include:
- Toowoomba Eisteddfod
- Fundraising concerts with other local ensembles
- Holiday musical production mid-year – June/July holidays
- Paul Morton Festival
- Community events and functions (e.g: ANZAC Day)
- Combined concerts with other choirs in the Society
- Christmas concerts and events:
- Mayors Christmas Carols
- Highfields Carols in Peacehaven park
- Lions Christmas lights in Queens Park
- Christmas Tree Festival
How to Join?
Children are welcome to come to two rehearsals as a trial before registering as members. Registration and fees need to be finalised before a uniform can be issued or the child can perform with the choir.
To register your child or for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Conductor (Youth, Harmonics and JP Singers) – Morgan Chalmers
Morgan Chalmers is a Toowoomba-based musician and educator, who, over the past several years has masqueraded as an instrumental and choral conductor, musical director, arranger, composer, adjudicator, accompanist, and pianist. He currently works as a classroom teacher, instrumental music tutor, and ensemble director to unsuspecting students across Toowoomba and Brisbane.
When not teaching or annoying other musicians, Morgan can be found hiking, attempting to play tennis, or providing “expert” couch commentary on the cricket. Morgan is looking forward to assuming the role of conductor of the Toowoomba Choral Society Youth Choir and is hopeful its choristers will benevolently accept his below-par humour and inevitably terrible demonstrations of the soprano part.
Accompanist (Youth, Harmonics and JP Singers) – Christine Lebsanft
Christine plays an active part in the musical life of Toowoomba and is currently employed as a piano tutor and repetiteur at Fairholme College and Concordia College. Her work includes freelance accompanist for musicals, choirs, exam candidates, as well as vocalists and instrumentalists competing at eisteddfodau. Since the late ’90s she has filled the role of official accompanist for the Toowoomba Choral Society Youth Choir.
Hummingbirds Conductor – Leisa Johnston
Leisa is a registered primary school teacher with 10 years of classroom experience both here and in Scotland. She now runs her own music studio teaching Kindermusik to hundreds of our youngest musicians from birth to age 7.
Some of Leisa’s fondest memories are of singing in choirs and being part of the arts. She sang with the Dalby Junior Choral Society during her primary and secondary school years as well as her school choirs. While she was studying teaching in Brisbane, she sang with the Queensland Youth Choir. Once teaching, Leisa was the lead singer in a covers band working around Toowoomba and the region.
With four of her own children who have been members of TCSYC for the past 13 years, it has been a delight to be able to teach more little people the joy of making beautiful music together.
Hummingbirds Assistants – Claire Tiller
Claire Tiller is a year 11 student who has been a member of the TCSYC for a number of years and sings with all four choirs. Claire has wowed audiences in a number of roles with her singing, dancing and acting.
Hummingbirds Accompanist – Kerenza Herndon
Kerenza Herndon is a year 11 student who loves playing piano for our Hummingbirds. She is also a flautist and amazing fine artist.