Our Vision - Enrichment through Choral Music
The Murray Conservatorium Choir plans to be nationally recognised as a strong regional choir with a focus
on both the performance and development of singers, based on a broad and challenging repertoire, which
includes original Australian compositions, consistent high performance standards, and regular
engagement with other choirs and musicians.
See our objectives and strategies
The Choir will provide a regular series of concerts in Albury, Wodonga and other centres through which
participants may develop excellence in choral skills, and through which residents in the region may extend
their appreciation of the choral repertoire of a range of cultures and languages.
History of the Choir:
The Murray Conservatorium Choir was founded in 1982 by John Ross , then Director of the Murray
Conservatorium. David Carolane was appointed as Director of Music in 1984, retiring in 1998. Following a
period of eighteen months under the leadership of Michael Leighton-Jones , John Rivers was appointed in
late 1999. In January 2004 Michael Halsey was appointed Director of Music and he was followed by Patti
Graetz from 2006 until December 2010, then Beth Ylvisaker for three years from 2011-2013. Mike Halsy
picked up the baton again for 2 years of 2014 and 2015. Our director over 2016 and 2017 was Hugh
The position of Repetiteur is now in the capable hands of Robyn Krowicky who was appointed at the
beginning of 2011 when previous repetiteur, Beth Ylvisaker was appointed Director of Music. In the early
days of the Choir, Greg Lewis held the position of Repetiteur and he was followed by Ben Wilson.
The Choir consists of approximately 60 voices and performs three to four different programs each year. It
has performed as an occasional choir with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Royal
Philharmonic Choir. It has also performed in special events such as the presentation of Handel 's
Messiah and Christmas celebrations at Albury City 's Carols by Candlelight.
The Bill Kell Scholarship is awarded to a talented young singer.
2017-18 James and Emma Strachan
2015 Mica Tores - soprano
The Bill Kell Service Award :
2020 - Jill Moodie
2019 - Dan Carberry
2017 - Penny Vine
2016 - Clare Russell
2015 - Lynne Williams
2014 - Professor David Mitchell
2013- Chris Morrow
2011 - Lorraine Curnow
The 'trophy' consists of a miniature trumpet that belonged to Bill Kell mounted on a timber stand made
and donated by Kelvin Barton of Barton Timbers. The base is made from a 9,000 year old timber (CSIRO
carbon dated) called Ancient Red Gum which is mined in the Albury-Wodonga Gravel pits. The wood is
black in appearance however the grain can still be seen. This timber was chosed to represent the
perpetuity of the award. The top section of the award is made from highly figured red gum from the local
area. The complexity and character in the local timber was chosen to reflect the same attributes of our
former chorister Bill Kell who was an Albury lad!.
Life Membership: 2011: Life membership was awarded to both Penny Vine and Marilyn Comitti,
who have been in the choir since its inception and have served the choir in various capacities ever since.
Patti Graetz was awarded Life Membership in 2012
Beth Ylvisaker in 2014
Mike Halsey in 2016
Chris Morrow in 2016
Peter Vine in 2018
Marie Hook - 2020
Helen Barton Chorister award, which was instituted in 2018 to honour the memory of Helen.
2018 - James Strachan Our Repertoire:
2019 - Jeremy Kerr
2020 - Sebastian Joss
The Choir prides itself not only on its richly varied repertoire, but also on its role as both a performing and a
training choir. We work closely with other ensembles and encourage local soloists.
The Murray Conservatorium Choir is an incorporated body under the Associations Incorporation Act, 1984.
This means that all choristers must be a member of the Association. A one off Association Membership
fee of $20 is therefore payable to the Membership Secretary.
The Choir has an elected Management Committee, which manages the Choir's affairs . The effective
functioning of the choir is also reliant on the voluntary efforts of choristers in taking on a wide range of
Musical Director July 2019 and current - Malcolm Halford.
Previous Musical Directors full information
June 2018 to June 2019: Pippa Andrews
Feb-May 2018: Jeff Mosher
2016 and 2017: Hugh Fullarton
2014 and 2015: Mike Halsey returned for a year.
Beth Ylvisaker - directed the choir for 3 years from 2011.Previously Beth from 2008-10 Beth was the
repetiter/accompanist for the choir.