About us

The Sydney University Graduate Choir is one of Sydney’s leading classical choirs. Established in 1952 as the graduate group of the Sydney University Musical Society (founded in 1878), the Choir has over ninety singers and an extensive repertoire of choral music ranging from the grand works of the classical masters to the compelling music of contemporary composers.

Under the leadership of the highly respected conductor and composer Christopher Bowen OAM, the Choir has given several Australian premiere performances of choral works including the first Australian performance of Beethoven’s important Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II in 2006. In 2014, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I and the Gallipoli campaign, the Choir premiered “An Australian War Requiem”, a commissioned work by Christopher Bowen presented in the form of a meditation on conflict and loss.

The Choir is immensely proud of its contribution to Sydney’s vibrant musical and cultural life. The Choir presents a regular program of major choral performances each year in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney. The Choir’s ‘Sydney Sings’™ massed choir events provide an opportunity for hundreds of singers from NSW and beyond to perform great choral masterpieces with an outstanding orchestra, choir, soloists and music director in the Sydney Town Hall.

Since its inception the Choir has continued to provide opportunities for choristers, instrumentalists, soloists and conductors to widen their repertoires and expand their local and international careers as professional musicians. As part of this mission, the Choir founded the biennial Joan Carden Award singing competition in 2004 to foster the development and showcase young professional singers.

The Chamber Choir, established in 2004, is a subgroup of the larger Choir, comprising around thirty singers chosen through an annual audition process and increases the Choir’s performance flexibility and choral repertoire. Offering separate concert programs, as well as enhancing sections of the major works being performed by the main choir, the Chamber Choir provides an intimate sound suited to delicate chamber works and sections within the major works performed by the full choir.

From 2002-2020 the former Governor of New South Wales and former Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, was our Patron.

The Sydney University Graduate Choir is one of Sydney’s leading classical choirs. Established in 1952 as the graduate group of the Sydney University Musical Society (founded in 1878), the Choir has over ninety singers and an extensive repertoire of choral music ranging from the grand works of the classical masters to the compelling music of contemporary composers. Under the leadership of the highly respected conductor and composer Christopher Bowen OAM, the Choir has given several Australian premiere performances of choral works including the first Australian performance of Beethoven’s important Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II in 2006. In 2014, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I and the Gallipoli campaign, the Choir premiered “An Australian War Requiem”, a commissioned work by Christopher Bowen presented in the form of a meditation on conflict and loss. The Choir is immensely proud of its contribution to Sydney’s vibrant musical and cultural life. The Choir presents a regular program of major choral performances each year in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney. The Choir’s ‘Sydney Sings’™ massed choir events provide an opportunity for hundreds of singers from NSW and beyond to perform great choral masterpieces with an outstanding orchestra, choir, soloists and music director in the Sydney Town Hall. Since its inception the Choir has continued to provide opportunities for choristers, instrumentalists, soloists and conductors to widen their repertoires and expand their local and international careers as professional musicians. As part of this mission, the Choir founded the biennial Joan Carden Award singing competition in 2004 to foster the development and showcase young professional singers. The Chamber Choir, established in 2004, is a subgroup of the larger Choir, comprising around thirty singers chosen through an annual audition process and increases the Choir’s performance flexibility and choral repertoire. Offering separate concert programs, as well as enhancing sections of the major works being performed by the main choir, the Chamber Choir provides an intimate sound suited to delicate chamber works and sections within the major works performed by the full choir. From 2002-2020 the former Governor of New South Wales and former Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, was our Patron.

Christopher Bowen OAM

Music Director

In 2022 Christopher Bowen marks 30 years as director of the Sydney University Graduate Choir (SUGC). This makes his the longest directorship of the Choir since its founding in 1952. It has also been one of the most successful partnerships the Choir has enjoyed with a musical leader.

Christopher was born in Melbourne and studied music at the University of Melbourne and at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien where he studied conducting, piano and korrepetition. He has worked with many organisations, including the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Victorian State Opera and has been a staff member of the Vienna and Sydney Conservatoriums.

His conducting repertoire embraces major orchestral and choral works from the 16th century to contemporary music. Known for his imaginative and innovative concert programs, he has introduced audiences to many unjustly neglected works such as Mozart’s Thamos König in Ägypten; Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and his extraordinary oratorio Paulus. Christopher has conducted the Australian premieres of Beethoven’s Kantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II; Saint-Saëns’ Le Déluge, Mass Op. 4, Oratorio de Noël and Requiem; and Bruckner’s Requiem in D minor.

Noah peres

Rehearsal Pianist

Noah commenced his piano studies at the age of four. Although piano is his main instrument, he also plays the oboe and the clarinet. He was awarded the Associate Diploma of Music Australia in piano performance at the age of fourteen. Noah has won numerous prizes at the Central Coast and Sydney Eisteddfods as well as being the honoured recipient of the Ray Allen scholarship in 2016.

In recent years his most sought-after skill has been as an accompanist and supporting musician. He is the official accompanist for the Sydney University Graduate Choir and the Sydney Community College Choir.

He has contributed to a number of stage productions including: Pirates of Penzance; Gosford Musical Society’s The Music Man and Shrek as well as Central Coast Opera’s The Magic Flute, Carmen and La Boheme.

He is the accompanist for the Chamber Choir in all its performances and was one of the two pianists in the SUGC Chamber Choir’s performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in December last year.

Noah graduated in Mathematics from University of Sydney in 2020 with First Class Honours and The University Medal.

Christopher Bowen OAM

Music Director

In 2022 Christopher Bowen marks 30 years as director of the Sydney University Graduate Choir (SUGC). This makes his the longest directorship of the Choir since its founding in 1952. It has also been one of the most successful partnerships the Choir has enjoyed with a musical leader.

Christopher was born in Melbourne and studied music at the University of Melbourne and at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien where he studied conducting, piano and korrepetition. He has worked with many organisations, including the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Victorian State Opera and has been a staff member of the Vienna and Sydney Conservatoriums.

His conducting repertoire embraces major orchestral and choral works from the 16th century to contemporary music. Known for his imaginative and innovative concert programs, he has introduced audiences to many unjustly neglected works such as Mozart’s Thamos König in Ägypten; Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and his extraordinary oratorio Paulus. Christopher has conducted the Australian premieres of Beethoven’s Kantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II; Saint-Saëns’ Le Déluge, Mass Op. 4, Oratorio de Noël and Requiem; and Bruckner’s Requiem in D minor.

Noah peres

Rehearsal Pianist

Noah commenced his piano studies at the age of four. Although piano is his main instrument, he also plays the oboe and the clarinet. He was awarded the Associate Diploma of Music Australia in piano performance at the age of fourteen. Noah has won numerous prizes at the Central Coast and Sydney Eisteddfods as well as being the honoured recipient of the Ray Allen scholarship in 2016.

In recent years his most sought-after skill has been as an accompanist and supporting musician. He is the official accompanist for the Sydney University Graduate Choir and the Sydney Community College Choir.

He has contributed to a number of stage productions including: Pirates of Penzance; Gosford Musical Society’s The Music Man and Shrek as well as Central Coast Opera’s The Magic Flute, Carmen and La Boheme.

He is the accompanist for the Chamber Choir in all its performances and was one of the two pianists in the SUGC Chamber Choir’s performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in December last year.

Noah graduated in Mathematics from University of Sydney in 2020 with First Class Honours and The University Medal.

Noah Peres

Rehearsal Pianist

Noah commenced his piano studies at the age of four. Although piano is his main instrument, he also plays the oboe and the clarinet. He was awarded the Associate Diploma of Music Australia in piano performance at the age of fourteen. Noah has won numerous prizes at the Central Coast and Sydney Eisteddfods as well as being the honoured recipient of the Ray Allen scholarship in 2016.

In recent years his most sought-after skill has been as an accompanist and supporting musician. He is the official accompanist for the Sydney University Graduate Choir and the Sydney Community College Choir.

He has contributed to a number of stage productions including: Pirates of Penzance; Gosford Musical Society’s The Music Man and Shrek as well as Central Coast Opera’s The Magic Flute, Carmen and La Boheme.

He is the accompanist for the Chamber Choir in all its performances and was one of the two pianists in the SUGC Chamber Choir’s performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in December last year.

Noah graduated in Mathematics from University of Sydney in 2020 with First Class Honours and The University Medal.

Christopher Bowen OAM

Music Director

In 2022 Christopher Bowen marks 30 years as director of the Sydney University Graduate Choir (SUGC). This makes his the longest directorship of the Choir since its founding in 1952. It has also been one of the most successful partnerships the Choir has enjoyed with a musical leader.

Christopher was born in Melbourne and studied music at the University of Melbourne and at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien where he studied conducting, piano and korrepetition. He has worked with many organisations, including the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Victorian State Opera and has been a staff member of the Vienna and Sydney Conservatoriums.

His conducting repertoire embraces major orchestral and choral works from the 16th century to contemporary music. Known for his imaginative and innovative concert programs, he has introduced audiences to many unjustly neglected works such as Mozart’s Thamos König in Ägypten; Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and his extraordinary oratorio Paulus. Christopher has conducted the Australian premieres of Beethoven’s Kantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II; Saint-Saëns’ Le Déluge, Mass Op. 4, Oratorio de Noël and Requiem; and Bruckner’s Requiem in D minor.

SUGC Management Commitee

President – Jane Sinclair
Vice President – Robert Johnstone
Secretary – Minh Le
Treasurer – Janina McKay
Committee Member – Kent Broadhead
Committee Member – Bob Jordan
Committee Member – Lyndall Haylen
Committee Member – Christoph Kaufmann