WINTHROP SINGERS CELEBRATE 10 YEARS
NICHOLAS Bannan is proud to have provided a piece of Perth culture with his Winthrop Singers choir.
He founded the group at UWA 10 years ago.
“Any member of the public can go into St George’s College into the chapel at 6pm on any Thursday while we’re in term time and hear the fruits of the labour of these students,” he said.
“We don’t expect applause or money; we’re just doing that thing we believe we do well so that people can enjoy it. Sometimes we have very few people there, sometimes a lot more – 30, 40, 90.”
The choir will celebrate its anniversary this month with a performance alongside Pipe Organ Plus.
Past and present members will sing, taking the usual group number of 26 to about 60.
“The highlight of running the choir for me has been the formation of a kind of community, evident in the fact that so many want to come back for this concert,” Bannan said.
“Part of the way we have achieved that is to build the teamwork that has been necessary for members to perform about 50 times a year, once a week or more.
“We do a lot of touring as well. We’ve been to China, Singapore, Geraldton, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Bunbury and have performed and made CDS in New Norcia.
“It is quite an intensive experience only possible when you have a sense of loyalty and mutual support and that’s what I associate most with the choir – it’s a big family.”
When Bannan came to work at the university in 2006, choral activity was minimal.
“I was working in music education and was somewhat shocked to realise that a lot of the future music teachers had never sung in a choir despite doing a degree for three years before that,” he said.
“So we now have five choirs at UWA and Winthrop was the first one that I formed.
Choir director Nicholas Bannan with singers (L-R) Holly Broadbent, Brock Stannard-brown and Aishan Chadwickstumpf.