Parish of Manuka South Canberra
St Paul’s Children’s Choirs
About our Children’s Choirs
St Paul’s Manuka is proud to offer a children’s choral program designed to support young people in the development of their innate musical abilities throughout their school years, from kindergarten right through to the end of high school.
Our children’s choirs are skilfully led by qualified and experienced music teachers (see below).
Choristers receive training in vocal technique, musicianship, sight reading, aural skills and ensemble skills, and are exposed to challenging, beautiful and uplifting music from the rich Anglican music tradition, in a variety of musical styles from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods through to more modern repertoire.
We believe that every child deserves an opportunity to sing in a welcoming, encouraging and inclusive environment. For this reason, our youth choirs are not auditioned, and we warmly invite all children to be part of our children’s choirs, whatever their family’s religious beliefs or cultural background. Choir membership is free – all associated costs are covered by the Parish of Manuka.
Child safety and wellbeing is an absolute priority in the Parish of Manuka and the Anglican Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn to which we belong. All personnel working and volunteering with children are required to hold a current Working With Vulnerable People card (ACT Govt) and to complete the Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn’s ‘Creating Safe Ministries’ programme. Further information about Diocesan policies and protocols can be found here
The three choirs in our children’s choral program are designed to take children through the various stages of their musical development:
The Prep Choir for ages 5-7
Rehearsals: Wednesdays 4.15-5.00pm during school terms. Supervised play time and afternoon tea provided from 3.45pm.
Services: Prep choristers are typically required for 2-3 Sunday morning services per school term. They generally sing at the same services as the Junior Choir. A calendar of service dates for the year can be obtained by contacting email@example.com
Auditions / Fees:There are no auditions for our youth choirs and no cost to families.
Prep Choir Director: Greta Claringbould
Prep Choir Associate Director: Alison Waddell
Greta Claringbould is a highly acclaimed professional Baroque Soprano who frequently performs as soprano soloist with various Canberra choirs and ensembles.
Greta holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Viola Performance, an AMusA in voice, and an ATCL in Violin Performance. Currently Greta is Principal Soprano of ensemble Adhoc Baroque, Principal Soprano Soloist with Canberra Bach Ensemble, and Vocal Coach and Choir Director at Canberra Girls Grammar School, where she teaches voice and directs choral ensembles.
Greta is a former professional orchestral violist, leader of the Violas in the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra, chorister with the Wellington Cathedral Choir and Director of the iconic Canberra Children’s Choir.
Alison Waddell has been a registered K-6 teacher in the ACT for many years. She was Music Director and/or Relief Teacher at the Canberra Montessori School for 10 years, and also ran recorder lessons and a school choir during that time. Her Professional Development during that period often focused on Special Needs and Music. For two years Alison was Music Director for the Australian Military Wives Choir (AMWC) Canberra. She taught Early Childhood music (for children aged 3 months – 5 years) in Childcare Centres in Melbourne for 4 years, and later ran the music program at Page Pre-school in the ACT for 2 years. Alison plays the piano, percussion and recorder and also composes music. She enjoys working with children, fostering their learning and appreciation of music.
The Junior Choir for ages 8-14
Rehearsals: Wednesdays 4.15-5.15pm during school terms. Supervised play time and afternoon tea provided from 3.45pm.
Services: Junior choristers are typically required for 2-3 Sunday morning services per school term. They generally sing at the same services as the Prep Choir. A calendar of service dates for the year can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Auditions / Fees: There are no auditions for our youth choirs and no cost to families.
Kate Edwards is a qualified high-school teacher with over a decade’s experience teaching Music and Languages. Having graduated from the University of Sydney in 2006 with First Class Honours in Music, she also holds postgraduate qualifications in Languages and in Education. Kate has directed numerous choirs in school, church and community settings, and has worked on multiple occasions as a Regional Children’s Choir Director for Opera Australia. As a pianist, violinist, and mum of four, Kate believes in fostering and encouraging all aspects of a child’s musical development. She loves to see the joy that children derive from choral singing and to witness the transformative effect that it can have on their musical and social confidence.
The Youth Choir for ages 13+
Rehearsals: Wednesdays 5.30-6.15pm during school terms.
Services: The Youth Choir sings at 2-3 services per term, either at the 9.30am or 5pm Evensong service.
Our Youth Choir comprises high-school students who are have some singing experience and music reading ability, and who wish to further develop their musicianship and extend their skills in choral part singing (SATB). There is a special focus on supporting and encouraging boys through vocal change.
Music Tuition Grants
Music Tuition Grants are offered annually to children who demonstrate exceptional musical potential and who can be fully committed to the choir for the duration of the year.
Any children aged 8-14 who are members of the Junior Choir are eligible to apply for an award of $1000 to be used towards the cost of tuition in any musical instrument with a suitably qualified teacher.
Auditions for the Music Tuition Grants are held in February/March