Some highlights from the past 60 years


Following here is a very brief potted history of the Box Hill Choral Society (as it was), with some of the major highlights of the choir’s more than 60 year history included for the interest of readers. An official history of the Box Hill Chorale (as it is today) is currently being compiled, and anyone with archival materials or programs who may wish to make a contribution to the choir’s history is encouraged to contact the President via the website or via the contact details provided. These notes courtesy of Geoff Best who compiled them for the choir’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The Earliest Days (1946-1959) under Leonard Fullard & Herbert Davis


The Box Hill  Choral   Society was formed as a result of a public meeting, held in October 1946  to form the  committee to “establish a choral society, a brass band,  and to improve the  existing orchestra”. Cr. Sutton Crow,  was the  driving force  and conducted the first few rehearsals.


The first General   Meeting and rehearsal of BHCS was the subject of an article in the  Box Hill Reporter of 7 February.  There was also an advertisement calling for  singers.  The following weeks’ issue of “The Reporter” carried an article of the  11 February rehearsal and notice of a meeting of the  parent organization, the  Box Hill Music and Arts Association in the  West  Town  Hall on the 25th.  Mr. Leonard Fullard conducted the next rehearsal and was impressed by the choir’s ability. The 28 February issue of the Box Hill Reporter, stated that more singers were  needed.  There  was also an article regarding the appointment of Mr. Fullard as Permanent Conductor. He was to remain Box Hill Choral Society’s main Conductor until December 1949 (his tax return for  1949-50 showed only half the honorarium of £50).

Herbert Davis pictured at the Scots Church Organ circa 1958

A “semi-public” concert of madrigals and part-songs was presented in the  Box Hill Town Hall  in July or August.  This was followed by a formal concert on the  22nd  October (8p.m., Box Hill Town  Hall). Mr. Fullard conducted, with Ms. Meredith Moon at piano, Ms. Constance Ziebell  on violin and Mr. Morris  Williams  (baritone) as soloist.   The Box Hill  Reporter of 24 October carried a report of this first public concert – in glowing terms – and an invitation to new members.  Rehearsals were  held on Thursday evenings, at the Box Hill Tennis  Club Pavilion, which still exists at the western end of the Box Hill Gardens, Irving Avenue. The subscription was 5s 3d (five shillings  and threepence) per quarter.

Leonard Fullard (1907-1988), was organist at Christ Church, South Yarra for many years and founder of the annual Bach Festival. An organ pupil of AEH Nickson (1876-1964), he was initially a trained pianist who turned to the organ relatively late. He was subsequently attracted to the Orgelbewegung in Germany and in the process was derided by the ultraconservatives in Australia. From existing reviews it seems Fullard was only a pianist of limited abilities, but he was much admired as a choral trainer.

1948 – 1959

Concerts have  been  presented regularly ever since these  early efforts, with a wide range of repertoire – early efforts ranged from simple part-songs and madrigals to larger works such as  excerpts from “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast” (September 1948), to Purcell’s Te Deum  (August 1949) and the  first of a long series of Christmas concerts in the  Box Hill Gardens (18th December, 1949  at 3 p.m.).

The Box Hill Reporter of 10 February, 1950  carried a report of the appointment of Mr. Herbert Davis  as the new Conductor of the BHCS.  Rehearsals were changed to Monday evenings, at the Tennis  Pavilion.

Herbert Davis leaves, several others come and go (1960 – 1970)


Mendelssohn’s St. Paul was presented in association with the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra, in the Box Hill Town Hall, Wednesday, 27 July at 8 p.m. Admission was 7s 6d (seven shillinqs and sixpence). Soloists were Aldene Splatt (s), Lois Ackerly (a), Albert Barber (t) and Morris Willims (b). No proqramme notes were qiven.


By 1962 the choir’s main conductor was Mr. Ken Taylor, pianist Mrs. I. Sisely, President Mr. C. Envall and Secretary Miss A. Howie. A Spring Concert was presented on Monday, 15th October, which included a piano/organ performance of Purcell”s short Te Deum and Welcome to all Pleasures (also known as Hymn to Saint Cecilia). Soloists were Judy Anderson (s), Gwendda Taylor (a), Ian Godsil (c-t), Graham Swift (t), Brian Gilpin (b) and Keith Williams (b). A performance of Handel’s Messiah (accompanied by organ) was presented on Monday, 17th December.


Richard Trevare pictured in 1967

Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 was given its Australian premiere by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in July 1967, with conductor Willem van Otterloo, alto Helen Watts and the Combined Female Voices of the Box Hill Choral Society, Monash University Choral Society and the Ken Taylor Singers, with the Boys of St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir.

A Christmas proqramme was presented on 11th December, with the usual favourites, supported by a small local recorder consort. Supper followed.


BHCS took part in a Combined Service at Presbyterian Ladies Colleqe Assembly Hall, 7 p.m., Sunday Auqust 31st, performing Haydn’s short setting of the Te Deum (accompanied by organ). The offering was in aid of the Freedom From Hunqer Appeal. Carols were sung at Inala Village, on December 1st. The recently published Oxford University Press ‘Carols for Choirs’ books were used on this occasion. The choir sang several carols alone, and the usual favourites were sung by all present. A more formal Christmas Concert, includinq selections from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (sung in English and accompanied by organ) was presented on December 15th.


By 1970 the BHCS Conductor was Mr. Richard Trevare, Accompanist was Norma Goessling and Secretary Mrs. Margaret Austin. An Orchestral and Choral Concert was presented, under the banner of the South Melbourne Philharmonic Society, in the South Melbourne Town Hall, on Thursday, 16th April. Choral items included Mozart’s Ave Verum, the six songs A Spring Garland by Eric Thiman and works by Holst, Bruch, Parry and Wagner (‘Hail Briqht Abode’ from Tannhauser). “A Command Performance” at Box Hill Town Hall, organised by the Box Hill Council (Mayor, Mrs. E.H. James) was held on Thursday, 20th Auqust. BHCS performed a bracket just before Interval. Admission $1 (under 14, 50 cents!). Many other Box Hill performing arts qroups also took part. ‘A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon’ was presented on 25th October, with a retiring collection donated to Freedom From Hunger. Choral items ranged from spirituals to motets by Parry and Byrd to two choruses from Vivaldi’s Gloria, (performed with organ). Organist was Hugh Rivers, Clarinettist Mrs. M. Turner.

BHCS also took part in the Christmas Festival of Music in Melbourne Town Hall hosted by The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society at 8 p.m. on the 12th December. Other choirs involved were Caulfield City Choir, Melbourne Musicale, Mordialloc Choral Society and Postal Institute Choral Society. Programmes were sold at 20 cents each.

The Peter Larsen and Jean Wilson era (1971 – 1976)


Only one item from 1971 has been found – a ticket. A concert of music for choir and piano entitled ‘Music of Four Centuries’ was presented at Box Hill Town Hall (West Hall), on Monday, 27th September, at 8 p.m. Conductor was Peter Larsen, Ticket Secretary Mrs. M. Austin. Admission $1, children 50c.


Conductor was Jean Wilson, Accompanists Jane Davidson and Helen Wedd. ‘A Spring Concert’ was presented on Monday 11th November, at 8 p.m., in Box Hill Methodist Church (Station and Oxford Streets). Items included Haydn’s Te Deum accompanied by piano, a selection of songs including Thiman’s A Spring Garland and a number of Christmas carols (including two by Herbert Davis, former conductor of BHCS). Admission, by proqramme, was $1.50 (students 75c.).


7 July, 8 p.m., Box Hill Town Hall ; Handel The Passion of Christ (abridged), Brahms Gypsy Sonqs and a group of folk songs and Negro Spirituals, conducted by Jean Wilson, with Jennifer Turner (s), Peter Mander (t) and Michael Wood (b). Accompanist was Jean Featherstone, Jane Dickie played the flute, Jean Wilson conducted, and the proceeds were in aid of the Box Hill Hospital. $2 / $1. 24 November, 8 p.m., Box Hill Town Hall; Henry Purcell Te Deum  and Jubilate Deo, also several short choral works, with trumpets, string quartet (VCA) and organ (Helen Wedd) under the direction of Peter Larsen. Jean Wilson and Joan Miller were soprano soloists, with Gwedda Taylor (a), Jim Breen (t) and Barry Purcell (b). $2 / $1.


President was Paul Wiltshire, Secretary Miss Val George. 21 June, 8 p.m., Box Hill Town Hall; Four Centuries of Music with a small student orchestra (VCA) and organ (Lindsay Hutchinson). Soloists were Jean Wilson (s), Jiom Breen (t) and Brian Gilpin (b). Proqramme included Bach’s Sleepers Wake, Buxtehude’s Maqnificat and some small spirituals. Conducted by Peter Larsen. Proceeds in aid of Box Hill Hospital. $2 / $1. 22

November, 8 p.m., Box Hill Town Hall; ‘Music of Kings’, a selection of works by various composers, including Henry VIII, Borodin, Britten, Handel and Gilbert & Sullivan. After interval Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols was followed by some audience-participation carols from the Carols for Choirs book of Jacques and Willcox. Organist was Ivor Dorum, Geoffrey Duncan was soloist in the Vaughan Williams, and Jean Wilson conducted. $2 / $1.

The choir under Peter Nicholls – (1977 – 1985)


June – on the 6th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS presented a concert as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the City of Box Hill. Peter Nicholls conducted, Jean Wilson (s), sang ‘Let the Briqht Seraphim’ from Handel’s Samson. Short instrumental solos were also given. Items presented by the choir ranged from Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’, to madrigals and ballets by Morley, Dowland, Stanford and others. $2 / $1.50 included coffee and biscuits during Interval.

October – on the 10th, at the Blackburn Bowling Club, at 8pm, BHCS presented “Music for Pleasure”. A range of material was presented, with Peter Nicholls conducting and at the piano, Jean Wilson (s), providing solos, and the choir performing madrigals, songs and a selection of choruses from Handel’s Messiah (accompanied by piano).

November – on the 21st, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS  presented highlights from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with Peter Nicholls conducting and at the organ, Cherie Kerby (s), Corinne Werqles (a), Ian Lee (t), Brian Hansford (b) and Greqory Carr on trumpet. $3 / $1.50


President was Bryan Nitz & Secretary was Mrs. Joan Bateman. Rehearsals were in the West Hall of the Box Hill Town Hall.

May – on the 8th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS presented excerpts from Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation”, with Peter Nicholls conducting and playing the organ. Soloists were Cherie Kerby (s), Suzanne Johnston (a), Tony Jenkins (t) and Brian Hansford (b). Coffee and biscuits were served during interval (in the Lower Town Hall, by the Box Hill Women’s Hospital Auxiliary) and proceeds were donated to the Box Hill Hospital. $3 / $1.50.

Auqust – on the 21st, at the Assembly Hall, Box Hill tech. Colleqe, Dunloe Ave., at 8pm, a concert with Peter Nicholls at the piano / organ and conducting. Proqramme included songs such as Annie Laurie and The Dream of Olwen. The Chorale was joined by the Victorian Boys’ Choir (Philip Smart, conductor) in Sullivan’s The Lost Chord. The VBC also presented a bracket of their own material. $2 / $1.

November – on the 27th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS again presented highlights from Handel’s “Messiah”. A small instrumental group was put together for this performance, by Glynis Dickins (clarinet), while Peter Nicholls conducted. Soloists were Cherie Kerby (s), Barbara Evans (a), Ian Lee (t) and Brian Hansford (b). Greqory Carr once again played trumpet.

December – on the 17th, saw BHCS join the Box Hill City Brass Band in Box Hill City Council’s “Carols by Candlelight in the Gardens”, starting at 8 p.m. Proceeds went to Box Hill Hospital. 1979

June – on the 4th, at the Box Hill Community Centre, Bank Street – adjacent to the Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS  presented “Music for Enjoyment”. Programme included excerpts from Haydn’s “Creation”, with soloists and some instrumental accompaniment. $3/1.50.

September – on the 16th, in aid of Box Hill Hospital, at 3 pm, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Warrigal Road, BHCS presented highlights from Haydn’s “Creation”. Soloists were Cherie Kerby (s), Suzanne Johnston (a), Ian Lee (t) and Brian Hansford (b).

November – on the 26th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS presented Handel’s “Messiah”. Soloists as above, with David Farrands on trumpet and a small group of wind and timpani players, accompanied Peter Nicholls on organ (and conducting). $4 / $2 printed on proqramme, but some evidence suqqests prices were still $3 / $1.50. Members also joined Essendon Choral Society – the other Chapter of the Royal Victorian Choir -for their performance of “Messiah” on Tuesday, 9 October, in Strathmore Hiqh School’s Assembly Hall, with the same soloists and piano accompaniment. 1980

July – on the 28th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS presented highlights from “Gilbert & Sullivan”. Peter Nicholls (conductor & piano), Glynis Dickens (clarinet), Jean Wilson (s), Peter Newton (b). Selections from The Yeomen of the Guard, Patience, Iolanthe, Trial By Jury, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and Ruddigore. $3 / $1.50.

September – on the 22nd, at the Box Hill Town Hall at 8pm, BHCS presented highlights from J.S. Bach “St Matthew Passion” with Cherie Kerby (s), Suzanne Johnston (a), Ian Lee (t), Brian Hansford (b) and Brian Gilpin (b). Peter Nicholls conducted and played the organ. $4 / $2.

October – on the 7th, in conjunction with the Essendon Choral Society, BHCS performed choruses from “Messiah”, at St Monica’s, Moonee Ponds, accompanied by organ.

November – On the 24th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 8pm, BHCS again presented Handel’s “Messiah”, with soloists as in 1979, with a small band consisting of  one trumpet, 2 flutes, a clarinet and tympani!! $4 / $2. 1981

April – on the 26th, BHCS presented an Easter Concert at St Peter’s Church of England, Box Hill, at 3 p.m. A mixed concert of madrigals; an excerpt from Bach’s St Matthew Passion and a selection of Easter carols and liturqical music. Peter Nicholls conducted and also performed four items on the organ. Free, but donations divided between the choir and St Peter’s.

June – on the 28th, at the Box Hill Town Hall, at 3:30, the BHCS participated in “Music ’81 – Box Hill” which showcased many music groups operating in the Box Hill area. No details of proqramme. Orqanised by City of Box Hill Council.

July – on the 27th, again at the Box Hill Town Hall at 8pm, BHCS presented highlights from Edward German’s ‘Merrie England’. It was presented in a concert version, with Cherie Kerby, Barbara Evans, Ian Lee and Roland Cropley as soloists; Peter Nicholls conducting and accompanying, as usual. $4 / $2.

September – on the 21st, at the Box Hill Town Hall at 8pm, BHCS presented Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’, with The Australian Children’s Choir (Richard Gerner, conductor); Barry Purcell as Elijah, and Ian Lee, Cherie Kerby, Suzanne Johnston and John Westcott. Peter Nicholls, conductor and organist. $4 / $2.

November – on the 30th, at the Box Hill Town Hill at 8pm, BHCS  presented Handel’s ‘Messiah’. Soloists as before. $5 / $2.50.


2 May, 1 Auqust, 20 September Carol Singing in the Box Hill Gardens.


May – on the 2nd, Monday, 8 p.m., St Peter’s Church of England, Box Hill; “Music DC – or Six Hundred

Years of Music” with Peter Nicholls as conductor and organist, guest artists Carole McKenzie (s) and Lewis Plumridqe (piano). Programme included Palestrina’s Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, selections from Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah, and some part sonqs. $4 / $2.

Plans for 1983 included performances of the St Matthew Passion (Bach) and Messiah (Handel) as well as a salon concert in the Whitehorse room at Box Hill Town Hall on the 25th July and 1st Auqust.


In 1984 the Chorale became a chapter of the Royal Victorian Choir, which traces its origins back to 1868. The community choir of the City of Whitehorse (formerly Box Hill), the Box Hill Choral Society provided  all interested residents of the City of Whitehorse and members of the wider community with an opoprtunity to sing.

Performing Messiah, as the Royal Victorian Choir (a performance with Essendon Choral Society) on Sunday, 15 April at 3 p.m., Uniting Church, New Street, Brighton and Sunday, 29 April at 2:30 p.m., St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Surrey Hills.


In 1985, as part of Victoria’s sesquicentennial (150 years) celebrations, the Box Hill Music Council, of which Box Hill Choral Society was a member, obtained funding from the Australia Council to commission an oriqinal work by Georqe Dreyfus, “The Box Hill Gloria”, which was performed in the Box Hill Town Hall, with the composer conducting. This also formed part of the Frinqe Festival for that year.

Mixed Blessings and decline, leading to the Loughlin years (1986 – 1995)

Michael Loughlin  (BHCS conductor 1990 – 1995 )



September – On the 19th, again performing as the Royal Victorian Choir, BHCS joined with the other RVC choirs and performed “Choral Masterpieces”, St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Moonee Ponds. Conductor was Simon Harvey, soloists Merlyn Quaife (s), Sandra Oldis (a), Edward Parry (t) and David McLean (b). Schubert Mass No. 2 in G, Haydn Nelson Mass, with orchestra.


May – on the 6th, at St. Teresa’s, Essendon and the 9th, Camberwell Civic Centre, BHCS presented Johannes Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem Op. 45 sunq in English. The Royal Victorian Choir (Essendon & Box Hill Choral Societies) were accompanied by the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra, with Merlyn Quaife (s) and Dominic Natoli (b) & conducted by Simon Harvey.

Auqust – on the 29th, in the Whitehorse Room, Box Hill Town Hall at 8 p.m., BHCS presented “Songs of Olde England” – works by Vaughan Williams, Holst, Elgar, Morley, Sullivan and Parry. Conducted by Mathew Bates, accompanied by organist Andrew Bainbridge and quest pianist Basil Hawkins. Supper was served after the concert.

1990 – 1995

During this period Box Hill Choral Society continued to perform regularly in Box Hill and as part of the Royal Victorian Choir, regularly combining with groups such as Essendon Choral Society or Camberwell Chorale for major concerts. Most concerts featured piano accompaniment although there were several attempts at larger orchestral concerts, including Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

For this period of approximately five years Michael Loughlan was the choir’s main conductor. Concerts tended to take place in local churches, including St Andrew’s Uniting Church, St Peter’s Anglican Church and  from time to time in the Box Hill Town Hall.

A regular feature of these years was a tendency for small groups to perform half of each concert program, or for guest singers from other groups to augment the choir for larger works. There were some successful concerts during this period, but also a lot of instability, indecision and a general decline in membership and finances.


The Wailes makeover – BHCS becomes BHC and regains a high reputation through collaborations and raised musical standards (1996 – present)


A young Andrew Wailes, now Box Hill Chorale’s longest serving conductor, pictured in 2001

A young Andrew Wailes took up his position as Box Hill Choral Society’s new conductor, and immediately set about rebuilding the choir after several years of instability and decline, following the difficult dismissal of a previous conductor. Choir numbers hovered around 25-30, many of whom were ageing rapidly. Noted organist and pianist Thomas Heywood was appointed as the choir’s new accompanist. Rehearsals were conducted in the magnificent Box Hill Community Arts Centre, and venues ranged from The Box Hill Town Hall, to St Andrew’s Uniting Church, and several larger venues in surrounding Camberwell and Hawthorn explored to allow for larger orchestral concerts.Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius was performed in conjunction with Essendon Choral Society, Camberwell Chorale and the Zelman Memorial Orchestra,  and was conducted by Greg Hocking who had stepped in to lead Box Hill Choral Society during the search for a new conductor.

A concert of Dvorak’s Czech Folk Songs and Biblical Songs had been planned prior to Andrew Wailes commencing, but following his appointment it was presented at St Andrew’s Uniting Church accompanied by Thomas Heywood, with Wailes making his formal debut with the choir.

July – on Monday 17th, BHCS celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Society with a  Formal Dinner at Fountains Restaurant on the Elgar campus of Box Hill Colleqe of TAFE.

An afternoon  concert featuring Faure’s Requiem (Andrew Fysh, baritone) was performed with a small orchestra and Thomas Heywood (organist) at Our Lady Of Perpetual Succour Catholic Church Wattle Park . Following extensive coverage in the local press a large audience made this concert a financial success and helped boost choir numbers.

December – BHCS members joined other Melbourne choirs for the annual “Sing Christmas” concert in the Melbourne Town Hall with Chamber Strings of Melbourne and guest conductor Faye Dumont. BHCS presented their own bracket of Australian carols conducted by Andrew Wailes. This concert was broadcast on ABC Radio 3LO.

December – a Concert for Christmas time was presented at a crowded St Andrew’s Uniting Church, Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, on the 15th, at 8 p.m. The choir was accompanied by Thomas Heywood, orqan, and Southern Brass.


September – BHCS presented a concert in The Arbour at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre (on the 4th) with a selection of folk songs from around the world from Israel, Latin America, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, China, America, England and Australia. The sellout crowd enjoyed a wonderful proqramme, with performances by visitinq soloists including Andrew Wailes (t) and Jerzy Kowlowsky (b), and solo piano works by the choir’s new accompanist, Jonathan Bradley. The concert was recorded as a double CD.

May – the choir  also presented a very successful combined concert (on the 1st) with Glen Eira City Choir and the Orana Chambr Orchestra, singing Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” and “Sparrow Mass” also in C major, for orchestra, choir and soloists – Ellen Bennett, Geraldine Larkins, Andrew Wailes and Jerzy Kozlowski. Guest Conductor was Peter Mousaferiadis at Church of St Mary Star of the Sea, Victoria Street, West Melbourne.

December – the choir’s  last concert of the year was an Advent concert, presented at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Riversdale Road, East Camberwell, in collaboration with the Australian Children’s Choir and the Vivaldi Chamber Orchestra. The music presented included  favourite carols and some less familiar Advent music. This concert was also recorded aqain as a double CD.

Andrew Wailes conducting the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001

The choir again joined other Melbourne choirs for the annual “Sing Christmas” concert in the Melbourne Town Hall, broadcast live on ABC Radio 3LO.

Members also sang in the Aurora Australis Choir for the Melbourne Millennium celebrations.  The choir was also invited to sing carols in local shopping centres and at Whitehorse City events leadinq up to Christmas.


The choir adapted the new name of “Box Hill Chorale’- and introduced a new logo and corporate identity. Box Hill Choral Society changes its performing name to “Box Hill Chorale” as part of a general modernisation of the ensemble. A new

website is launched.

May – an “Easter to Whitsun” concert, including Kodaly’s Pange Linqua, the Australian premiere of John Rutter’s  “Cantus”, and the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, performed with the Vivaldi Chamber Orchestra conducted by Andrew Wailes at St Dominic’s Catholic Church in Camberwell. This concert was a great success.

September – a joint concert with Glen Eira City Choir and the Orana Chamber Orchestra featuring Beethoven’s “Mass in C” and Haydn’s “Missa Brevis S. Joannis de Deo”, at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. The audience of approximately 600 enjoyed a very rewarding evening of beautifully resonant music in the Cathedral’s lavish acoustics. Soloists were: Kylie Purcell (s), Jeannie Marsh (ms), Andrew Wailes (t) & Rodney Reynolds (bass), under the baton of guest conductor Peter Mousaferiadis.

October – on Saturday, 14th, at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre, BHCS  performed some short pieces in Russian, French, German, Latin, Hebrew and English as part of the 10th Birthday celebrations for the Arts centre.

December – BHCS presented an Advent concert, with Brass Consort, Organ, and percussion and alos featuring a guest appearance by The Australian Children’s Choir. Featuring well known Advent Hymns and Carols and Advent-to-Epiphany music, the concert was presented at St Dominic’s Catholic Church, on Sunday 3rd and was again a sell out.

December  – The final concert in the BHC season of 2000 was “Sing Christmas”, a joint concert with other Melbourne Choirs: The Australian Girls Choir, South Eastern Philharmonia, Melbourne Chamber Choir, Melbourne Women’s Choir, RMIT University Concert Choir and Victorian Welsh Male Voice Choir, with the Chamber Strinqs of Melbourne, in the Melbourne Town Hall conducted by Andrew Wailes and Faye Dumont.

Thomas Heywood, former BHC accompanist


March – BHCS performed at The Joan Wiltshire retrospective (posthumous) Art Exhibition which was held at  at Box Hill Community Arts Centre.

April – J.S.Bach’s  St. John Passion was presented in a joint concert with Camberwell Chorale and the Camerata Orchestra, at MLC Auditorium, Kew.

June – A Soiree of lighter classics and part songs was performed, at Box Hill Community Arts Centre: “If Music be the Food of Love….” was presented in conjunction with the Dorian Le Gallienne Youth Orchestra.

September -An orchestral concert “Vienna Masters” was presented by BHCS  and The Australian Classical Players at the magnificent Church of St Mary Star of the Sea , Victoria Street (corner of Howard St) West Melbourne. This concert featured two Australian premieres of newly discovered works by Albrechtsberger (Te Deum in D major) and Eybler (Cantate Domino) Our accompanist, Jonathan Bradley, performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 14 in A major K414, with the Australian Classical Players and outstanding professional soloists conducted by Andrew Wailes.  A CD was produced of this performance and it was later broadcast on 3MBS -FM.

December – BHCS presented an Advent-to-Christmas themed concert, “Acclaim”, in conjunction with the Australian Children’s Choir, the Band of the Box Hill Salvation Army Citadel  and musical qroups from Box Hill and Blackburn Secondary Colleges.                                                                              The concert was held in the Box Hill Town Hall.   Once aqain, a CD was produced as a record of this special event.


In March BHC toured to Hamilton and Portland to sing at the “Take Note” Festival with the Australian Children’s Choir and the Australian Classical Players Orchestra.  Performing Pergolesi Magnificat, Mozart Laudate Dominum and Ave Verum Co

rpus, and several works by John Rutter.

In June the concert was repeated at the BoxHill Town Hall.  Two instrumental groups from Blackburn High School also featured. The Latin Strings and the Senior Flute ensemble from Blackburn High rounded out a ‘Variety Concert’, and helped provide a musical evening with a selection of music to suit many tastes.

A ‘Songs from the Shows’ concert, with new accompanist Evan Cresswell and Blackburn High School’s Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band at the Xavier College Performing Arts Centre was packed.  On the last Saturday before Christmas a concert at the Xavier College Chapel featuring a wide selection of music from Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Rachmaninov’s ‘Bogorodytse dyevo’ to Australian Carols by Colin Brumby and W.G. James, and the great Christmas Hymns with spectacular brass fanfares and audience participation, proved to be an excellent combination.

Christmas saw 2 concerts –  a week later at MLC a combined concert was given with the Melbourne Singers, for a joint concert of carols, the Vaughan Williams Fantasia and choruses from Handel’s Messiah.

Former BHC accompanist Jonathan Bradley pictured with conductor Andrew Wailes at the Church of St Mary, Star of the Sea, West Melbourne in 2003.


BHC toured to Glenelg (South Australia) and Portland to participate in the Take Note Festival, performing Mozart’s Requiem with the Australian Classical Players, and repeating it in Melbourne to great acclaim. This concert was also recorded as a CD.

A concert with orchestras and bands from Blackburn High School took place at the Besen Centre – ‘New York, New York’. This concert was sold out.

December 3 – Box Hill Chorale  performed the Messe de Minuit pour Noel  by M.A. Charpentier, as well as J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 140, “Wachet auf,” as well as  the nativity sequence and Christmas highlights  from Handel’s Messiah in Auburn Uniting Church, Oxley Rd, Hawthorn . Soloists included Susan Shakespeare, Lareen Ashbolt (sopranos), Rose Nolan (contralto), Tobias Mertz (tenor one) Andrew Wailes (second tenor and conductor), Robert Latham (baritone), Evan Cresswell (organ).


BHC performed a full scale performance of Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and Melbourne Singers, both in Portland and in Melbourne. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

The choir was joined by Hawthorn Band in the Box Hill Town Hall for a rousing concert featuring brass band fanfares and marches as well as folk songs and famous choruses. Conducted by Andrew Wailes


The choir appeared at another concert which featured 2 brass bands in a Melbourne Cup Eve bash; and also gave its voice to several weddings.

A Baroque Christmas was performed with the Vivaldi Chamber Orchestra including Vivaldi’s Gloria, Buxtehude’s cantata In Dulci Jubilo and various choruses and arias. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

The choir was employed to sing carols at a number of Box Hill Centro venues in the days prior to Christmas; and also appeared at at a local football team dinner at Box Hill Town Hall.


BHC organised and staged a special Tsunami Relief Variety Concert in January just a few weeks after the disaster, which raised over $10,000 for local disaster relief charities. The Chorale also performed at a concert in the City of Whitehorse to celebrate Rotary International’s 100th birthday.

Saturday, September 17th at 8pm.  “Songs of Praise, Great Hymns through the Ages”, and works inspired by the great hymn tunes including Abide with me, Jerusalem, I Vow to thee, my country; Amazing Grace; The Holy City; Let all mortal flesh keep silence; All people that on earth do dwell; All through the night; Guide Me, O Thou great Redeemer; Praise my soul, the King of Heaven; When I survey the wondrous Cross; and more! Included audience particiapation in some numbers. Performed by over 100 voices, Australia’s leading brass band, organ, percussion and soloists. Box Hill Chorale with The Australian Children’s Choir, the Hawthorn Brass Band, Jonathan Bradley (organ), conducted by Andrew Wailes and Howard Ward. Performed at the Wesley Uniting Church, Lonsdale St, Melbourne.

May – Sunday 29 at 5pm Box Hill Chorale proudly presented Gounod’s Solemn Mass for Saint Cecilia and Charpentier’s Te Deum, accompanied by the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and professional soloists, in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful churches the Church of St Mary, Star-of-the-Sea, West Melbourne. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

December – Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noël, Buxtehude Magnificat,  J.S.Bach  Wachet Auf Cantata 140 excerpts with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and professional soloists. With Auburn Uniting Church, Saturday December 3, 2005    at 8pm. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

Evan Cresswell, BHC accompanist

By now membership of the Box Hill Chorale was at around seventy voices and the choir had again re-established itself as one of Melbourne’s leading community choirs.


April –  BHCS presented a full scale performance of Handel’s Messiah with soloists Emily Uhlrich soprano, Rose Nolan contralto, Benjamin Martin tenor, Derek Welton Bass, Jonathan Bradley harpsichord, Evan Cresswell organ. Box Hill Chorale, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by Andrew Wailes. Easter Monday, 17 APRIL 2006 at 7pm Church of St Mary, Star of the Sea, West Melbourne. Some 500 people packed the Church for this highly successful concert.

July – BHCS presented A Night at the Opera. Celebrating 60 years in 2006, Box Hill Chorale proudly presented  a conceert of opera highlights with soloists Lauren Oldham (soprano), Rose Nolan (mezzo), Brendon Wickham (tenor), Samuel Dundas (baritone) and Evan Cresswell (pianoforte). Box Hill Chorale conducted by Andrew Wailes. Saturday  22 July, 2006 at 8pm at the MLC Music Academy Auditorium

October – BHCS presented Faure’s  Requiem with members of the the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and various motets and chanson by French composers

December – BHCS presented “Hodie: A Christmas Celebration in Song”, A highlight was the world premiere performance of a work specially commissioned for the occasion by young Perth composer David Howell, set to a poem by Andrew Wailes entitled “Hodie! Christmas Morning in Australia” for mixed chorus, organ, woodwind ensemble and percussion.


March, 2007 Gala Concert – A Night of British Proms music, featuring airs, songs, marches, folksongs and rousing anthems for choirs, soloists and featuring the award-winning Hawthorn Brass Band.  (Civic Hall, Portland)

May, 2007 – “Celebrations and Lamentations” (Including the world premiere of Nicholas Buc’s ‘Celebration Lament’ commissioned in memory of Paul and Joan Whiltshire, with Hawthorn Band. At the Ian Roach Auditorium, Scotch College, Hawthorn. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

September, 2007 Sing Unto the Lord  Mozart’ Coronation Mass and J.S. Bach’s Magnificat – with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra at the Police Academy Chapel, Glen Waverley conducted by Andrew Wailes

December, 2007 A Concert of Carols and Christmas Music was presented at the Victorian Police Academy Chapel in Glen Waverley to a packed audience.



April – “Schubertiade”. A concert celebrating the great Franz Schubert, including performances of the Deutsche Messe (German Mass) D.872, Tantum Ergo in E flat D.962, Ellens dritter Gesang, Mass No. 2 in G Major D.167, Der Erlkonig, Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen D.343 and songs from Die Schone Mullerin. Emily Uhlrich (sop), Robert Macfarlane (ten), Laurence Miekle (baritone), Evan Cresswell (piano and organ), Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Wailes. Sunday 27 April 2008 at 7pm, Church of Saint Mary, Star-of-the-Sea, West Melbourne

August,  Discovery Choral Symphony by Dindy Vaughan (World Premiere – Portland Civic Hall) Presented by Music Glenelg.

August,  Discovery Choral Symphony by Dindy Vaughan (Melb Performance at BMW Edge , Federation Square) This performance was filmed and featured spectacular visual displays of the Great South West Walk.

December,  A Christmas Journey featured music for choir and wind ensemble, including the world premiere of a work specially commissioned by BHC by Nicholas Buc, Journey of the Wise Men. BMW Edge , Federation Square


May 2009  Remembering The Masters (Purcell’s Te Deum, Haydn Te Deum , Mendelssohn) with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

August-  – Nicholas Buc’s Mary MacKillop Mass and other works (with Australian Catholic University Choir & Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra). Civic Hall Portland, Robert Helpman Theatre Mount Gambier (SA) and Central Hall, Fitzroy.  August 2009 Also sung as part of the Sunday Mass at St. Scholastica’s Catholic Church, Bennettswood.

September  Mary MacKillop Mass (Nicholas Buc) and other works Portland, Mount Gambier (SA) and Central Hall, Fitzroy.  August 2009 Also sung as part of the Sunday Mass at St. Scholastica’s Catholic Church, Bennettswood

December 2009 A Concert of Christmas Music



Composer Christopher Willcock, conductor Andrew Wailes and BHC members. December 2010

April 2010 Dvorak Stabat Mater (with Australian Catholic University Choir & Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra). Jessica Aszodi (sop), Emily Bauer Jones (contralto), Roy Best (tenor), Hadleigh Adams (bass) conducted by Andrew Wailes. Central Hall, Australian Catholic University Fitzroy,  April 2010

December 2010 – “Christmas at the Edge”  Christopher Willcock’s Five Days Old and Nicholas Buc’s Journey of the Wise Men and Mary Mackillop Mass (with Melbourne University Choral Society  & Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra) BMW Edge, Federation Square, December 2010



September 2011  Variety Concert (with the Chamber Strings of Melbourne). A program of choral and orchestral miniatures, including music by Handel, Mozart, Britten, Vivaldi, Dvorak, and more. Conducted by Andrew Wailes and Stefan Cassomenos. MLC Music Academy, Kew.

August 2011 Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and massed choirs). Beethoven’s great choral masterpice, with soloists Anita Watson (soo), Sally-Anne Russell (mezzo), Steve Davislim (ten) and Peter Rose (bass). Chorus Masters Andrew Wailes and Jonathan Grieves Smith. Conducted by Douglas Boyd.  28 August, 2011, Melbourne Town Hall.

May 2011 Mystical Songs – Rutter’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs, and Stanford’s Evening Canticles, as well as music by Michael Head and Howard Goodall. Box Hill Chorale with Members of Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, and soloist Michael Leighton Jones (baritone) and Samara Marinelli (soprano), Evan Cresswell (organ) Conducted by Andrew Wailes. Saturday  7 May 2011, 8pm BMW Edge, Federation Square.

December  – Cantique de Noël – A Concert of French Music for Christmas  Works performed included including Saint Seans’ Oratorio de Noël (Christmas Oratorio) Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noël and music by Gounod, Faure and Adolphe Adam-  With Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Strings. Soloists: Stacey Alleaume (sop), Charlotte Betts-Dean  (sop), Nicholas Jones (ten), Kristian Gregory (bar), Evan Cresswell (org) Conducted by Andrew Wailes Saturday 3 December 2011 8pm, BMW Edge, Federation Square.



Saturday 10th March, 2012 at 2pm at Portland Baptist Church, Percy Street, Portland. As part of Music Glenelg’s Maritime Festival “It Started From the Sea”, Box Hill Chorale performed Stanford’s Songs of the Sea as part of a concert of Sea Shanties and choral works inspired by our Colonial Maritime History. Also performing were the Vocal Consort, and the day included a three hour choral workshop with local choristers from Portland and the surrounding region. Accompanied by Evan Cresswell. Conducted by Andrew Wailes

Sunday 22nd April 2012 at 3.30pm at Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre, Xavier College, Barkers Rd, Kew. BHC performed Dvorak’s Requiem Op.89 in conjunction with Camberwell Chorale and the Camerata Orchestra. With soloists Lee Abrahmsen (sop), Kerrie Bolton (mezzo), Roy Best (tenor), Gary Rowley (bass). Andrew Wailes Chorusmaster, Conducted by Douglas Heywood OAM.

Sunday 29 July, 2012 at 7pm BMW Edge, Federation Square.  BHC performed as part of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic’s RMP Oratorio Festival. Box Hill Chorale and Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir joined with RMP Oratorio Festival Singers and Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Faure’s Requiem (1893 version) to a sell out crowd. With soloists Greta Bradman (sop), Nicholas Dinopoulos (baritone), Christopher Cook (organ), conducted by Andrew Wailes

Saturday, 26th October from 12pm – 11pm. Surrey Hills Music Festival.  Box Hill Chorale was invited to share in the musical diversity and spirit of the community, and presented an afternoon performance as part of the Festival program featuring a selection of short works including Stanford’s “Sailing at Dawn”, Woodward’s “Crossing the Bar”, Ireland’s “They that go down to the Sea in Ships” and highlights from Stanford’s “Songs of The Sea”. Andrew Wailes (soloist and conductor), Evan Cresswell (piano).

Saturday, 20 October 2012, at 7.30pm Wangaratta Performing Arts Center , BHC performed a “Last Night of the Proms” concert. The concert was presented by the Legends of Brass, and featured Box Hill Chorale, The Australian Children’s Choir, and Guest Soloists. Brian Davies and Andrew Wailes conducted. Box Hill Chorale performed a selection of songs with a maritime theme in the first half of the concert, including selections from Stanford’s Songs of the Sea and other composers including John Ireland, H. Woodward , J. Barnby and others. After interval the choir performed the traditional “Last Night at the Proms” including favourites such as Parry’s Jerusalem, Holst’s I Vow to Thee My Country, Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory, and Arne’s Rule Britannia.

Sunday, 21 October 2012, at 10am, at The Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta. BHC performed a Festival Eucharist with The Legends of Brass and The Australian Children’s Choir. Box Hill Chorale performed the Eucharist Service Music by Michael Dudman, as well as motets, hymns and anthems by composers including John Rutter, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Howard Goodall. Conducted by Andrew Wailes. Evan Cresswell (organ).

Sunday, 21 October 2012, at 2pm, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta. Box Hill Chorale, joined by The Australian Children’s Choir and the Legends of Brass, performed an afternoon “Hymns of Praise” concert in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, including BBC style arrangements of favourite hymns through the ages. Great hymns included Vaughan Williams’ coronation setting of The Old 100th; magnificent arrangements of All Creatures of Our God and King; Now Thank We all Our God; Patriotic Hymns such as I Vow to Thee, My Country and Jerusalem; and favourite hymns such as Love Divine; Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehova; Abide With Me; Be Still My Soul; Praise My Soul the King of Heaven and more.

On Saturday, 15 December 2012, at 8pm at BMW Edge, Federation Square BHC presented “A CHRISTMAS FANTASIA”  – a magnificent concert of Christmas music, including the cantatas ‘The First Nowell’, and ‘Fantasia on Christmas Carols’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams, ‘Christmas Day’ and ‘Four Old Christmas Carols’ by Gustav Holst, and other works including Corelli’s famous Christmas Concerto, and other works for strings, organ, choir and soloists. Box Hill Chorale with Chamber Strings of Melbourne and members of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, and soloists soprano Lotte Betts-Dean and baritone Nathan Lay, conducted by Andrew Wailes.

BHC conductor Andrew Wailes photographed by Ken Pryor in 2012


Saturday 25th May, 2013,  2.30pm and  7.30pm at Ivanhoe Girls Grammar Performing Arts Centre, Ivanhoe.   BHC (in association with the Heidelberg Choral Society), performed “Great Moments from Opera”, a concert of  opera choruses in concert.  The combined choirs and Opera Festival Orchestra presented a selection of opera’s most stirring and uplifting choruses.  A highlight of the concert will be performances of best-known arias and duets, sung by  soloists Alexandra Flood (soprano), Lotte Betts Dean (mezzo soprano), Nathan Lay (bass baritone), Andrew Wailes (baritone) and Michael Lapina (tenor). Composers included Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, Purcell, Puccini and Wagner. Conducted by Andrew Wailes and Peter Bandy.

Sunday 11 August, 2013 at 7pm. BHC participated in the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic’s “Sing Your Own Oratorio” event at Deakin Edge  (formerly BMW Edge) Federation Square, Featured full scale performance of VIVALDI “Gloria in D Major” with RMP Aria Festival Choir and soloists, Accompanied by the Chamber Strings of Melbourne and members of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra,  conducted by Andrew Wailes

Sunday 25 August, 2013 at 3pm  Christ Church, South Yarra and concert featuring  VIVALDI “Gloria in D Major”, HAYDN “Missa Brevis St Johannes de Deo” with the Chamber Strings of Melbourne and soloists and orchestral works by Vivaldi, Handel, Sibelius and others conducted by Andrew Wailes and James deRozario

Saturday 7 December 2013, at 7pm “Glorious Harmony – Music to inspire” A concert of sacred music for choir, organ and orchestra, and music for strings by composers including Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Saint-Saëns, Elgar, Sibelius, and Australian composer Christopher Willcock. Box Hill Chorale in concert with Chamber Strings of Melbourne, Evan Cresswell (organ) and soloists conducted by Andrew Wailes. Christ Church South Yarra, Cnr. Punt Rd and Toorak Rd, South Yarra. Tickets: $35, $29 conc. $24 students, $16 under 16 yrs.