National Choral School Opportunity

NECOM students are invited to audition for National Choral School, the pre-eminent immersive choral experience for young singers in Australia. Established by Lyn Williams OAM in 1997, Gondwana Choirs is the leader in Australian choral performance for talented young choristers. Its annual National Choral School offers an intensive residential 2-week camp for choristers aged 10-26 years to participate in rehearsals, performances and workshops with leading choral conductors, composers and singers.

The choirs are led by the nation’s leading choral artists which include Lyn Williams, Carl Crossin, Paul Holley, Mark O’Leary, Claire Preston, Kim Sutherland, Christie Anderson, Deborah Brown (choreographer), Rowan Johnston, Amandine Petit, Kylie Los and Paul Jarman.

In 2020, Lisa Young will be our Guest Artist, leading an elective and writing a new commissioned work for the combined choirs.

Choristers also choose from a range of special electives of musical interest, led by an expert in the field. 2020 electives include consort singing, Suara Indonesia Dance, Peter Pan (creative development with Sydney Chamber Opera/scenes from a new children’s opera by Andrew Ford), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Music of the Middle East, Gondwana in the Community, music media.

NECOM’s Cantilena Singers recently took part in an information session about the National Choral School with special guests William Mackson and Veronica Marshall, former members of Cantilena who have been attending Gondwana Choirs, and New England Singers conductor, Leanne Roobol. Catilena found out about the audition process, what’s involved in the camp and some of the wonderful experiences the former members have had.

To help students prepare for their audition, NECOM will be running a sight-singing course. This course is open to all singers 10-26 years of age (must be min 10 years of age by January 2020).

The course is comprised of 3 x 1-hour sessions leading up to the Gondwana auditions on Saturday 31 August at NECOM. The course will familiarise students with the aural and sight singing components of the audition and will cover:

  • Aural memory exercises, commencing with simple intervals and progressing to short melodic phrases
  • Recognising keys on the score
  • Singing and holding your part whilst another part is played over the top
  • Graded sight-singing exercises
  • How to practise at home with the Mark O’Leary Sight Singing School on-line resources (included in the course fee).


  • Courses Dates: Thursdays 15, 22 & 29 August from 4:00 – 5:00pm
  • Course Fee:        $50 (includes access to the Mark O’Leary Sight Singing School on-line resource)

If your child or student wishes to be part of this course, please complete the Gondwana Audition Course info & registration form (below) and to return to  as soon as possible.

Gondwana Audition Course info & registration form

Also, note that applications for 2020 National Choral School close on Friday 9 August and can be registered at: