Arts / Celebrating fifty years of Canberra’s children’s choir

Choristers from the choir

IT’s 50 years since Judith Clingan founded the Canberra Children’s Choir and very appropriately, she’s been invited back to lead the celebrations tomorrow (September 16) at Canberra Grammar School’s Tim Murray Theatre.

As well, it will mark the occasion of many of the choir’s most distinguished alumni, such as Stephen Leek, Padma Newsome and Geoffrey Badger, who will join Clingan in a day of singing/choral workshops to suit everyone.

The Children’s Choir was founded by Clingan in 1967 as a place for young singers to focus on skills such as vocal development, score reading and vocal technique.

Judith Clingan

One of Canberra’s best known composers, she is still working hard and on the evening will premiere the performance “Heavenly Grandfather’s Banquet”, as well as choral offerings conducted by the aforesaid alumni and the composer. Soloists for the evening will be will be Christopher Lincoln Bogg, Greta Claringbould, Maartje Sevenster, Jenny Sawer and Johanna McBride.

There will also be an evening event at the Ainslie Arts Centre at 7.30pm today, Friday, September 15, and a meet-up for breakfast at the National Arboretum from 9am on Sunday, September 17.

Details at

Tomorrow’s full program at Canberra Grammar School’s Tim Murray Theatre:

9am–10am, singing workshop for children in kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, with their parent or carer will be run by Judy Clingan, Hanna-Mari Latham and Minnie Lin.

10am–11am, community/family singing workshop, for all ages, with Geoff Badger and Padma Newsome.

11am–12pm, part singing and rounds workshop for grades 3 to 6, with Geoff Badger and Padma Newsome.

12pm–1pm, BYO lunch but tea and coffee will be available. 

1pm–2pm, SAB/SATB choral workshop for music readers. It’s targeted at upper primary and secondary students, and adults, and will be run by Stephen Leek, Geoff Badger and Padma Newsome. 

2pm–3.30pm, SSA choral workshop for music readers (sopranos & altos only) of grade 5 to grade 12, as well as adults with Stephen Leek and Judy Clingan

3.30pm–4pm, afternoon tea with training choir performance.

4pm–4.30pm, Brahms dress rehearsal: SSA workshop singers and soloists.

4.30pm–6.15pm, final dress rehearsal of Judy Clingan’s opera for young people, Heavenly Grandfather’s Banquet.

6.15pm–7.15pm BYO dinner

7.15pm, concert.

All bookings and program details to 


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