Telling their stories
Significant in the life of the Choir are the young musicians who move on to professional or semi-professional careers in music. Many ex-trebles migrate back to the Cathedral for significant services and events, and everyday services, and speak so highly of the education that they were offered at the Cathedral. This was a musical and spiritual education in the very best of the English Cathedral tradition. One young person remarked at a Christmas Eve Carol Service: “You can take me out of the Cathedral Choir but you will never take the Cathedral Choir out of me.”
Some recent alumni include:
Anthony began singing in Adelaide as a chorister at St Peter’s in 1988, aged 7. He was head chorister in 1994, and began learning the organ in 1995. He then sang for many years as a tenor whilst studying at the University of Adelaide, and played as Assistant Organist until 2007, before moving to London for two years to study at the Royal Academy of Music as an opera repetiteur. He returned to Australia in 2009 to work in Sydney with Opera Australia as Assistant Chorus Master, before being appointed to the role of Chorus Master in 2013.
As a professional musician, all of his fundamental musical training came through the choir at St Peter’s; He said “I owe much of my musical personality to the continued musical mentorship of wonderful musicians like Dr David Swale, as a chorister and organist; to the weekly services and broad repertoire from every avenue of musical style, and to the various extra-curricular activities and concerts the choir is regularly engaged in. At the basis of all music is breathing and singing, and for any child or adult there is nothing more special or valuable than the experience of singing together as a team, bringing joy to people, communicating through music and text, and the discipline and skill involved.”
Joshua van Konkelenberg
Joshua van Konkelenberg studied piano at the University of Adelaide between 2001 and 2003 with Stefan Ammer and Lucinda Collins, and then at the Australian National Academy of Music with Ian Munro and Rita Reichman, having studied privately with Graham Williams. In 2004, he was awarded First Class Honours in Composition. Joshua held the positions of Organ Scholar and Assistant Organist at St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide during his undergraduate studies, studying with David Swale.
After moving to Melbourne in 2006, he worked as a freelance pianist before being appointed College Organist and Music Tutor at Trinity College, Melbourne. He subsequently relocated to London to study organ and improvisation with David Graham and Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin at the Royal College of Music, where he received the degree of Master of Music with distinction in 2012, and completed the Ph.D. in Composition (at the University of Adelaide) in the same year.
Joshua was Organist for St Peter’s Cathedral Choir’s 2010-11 International Tour to southern England and Rome, playing in some of the great English Cathedrals, including Canterbury and Salisbury, and culminating in playing in the Vatican, to great acclaim.
Joshua was awarded the Walford E. Davies Prize for Dux of the Organ Faculty at the Royal College of Music, and has been the recipient of grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, an University of Adelaide Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement, and an Australian Postgraduate Award. He is currently Artist in Residence at Marryatville High School where he teaches classical improvisation, and tours with Opera Australia as a pianist for their school’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola.
In March 2015 Joshua began work as Cathedral Organist.
After graduating from the University of Adelaide, Edward began a career in arts management, managing two-time “Choir of the World” Adelaide Chamber Singers, and subsequently as South Australian Manager of Musica Viva Australia. With MVA, Edward worked with some of the world’s finest performers, including Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI, Gidon Kremer, the Tokyo and Borodin String Quartets, Steven Isserlis, Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort, Paul Lewis, the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, and countertenor Andreas Scholl.
From 2003 to 2012 Edward was a bass lay clerk at Adelaide Cathedral (the one on the cricket!), and toured to the UK and Italy, sang on two CD recordings and on an ABC TV broadcast and DVD. Edward moved to the UK in 2012 to take up an alto position at Lincoln Cathedral, where he worked for two years and sang on four CD recordings, two BBC radio broadcasts and a tour to the United States.
Since September 2013 Edward has been a lay clerk at Southwell Minster, the cathedral church of Nottinghamshire. Since arriving in Southwell, Edward has featured on a BBC Radio 3 broadcast and toured to Germany.
Edward has performed under the baton of notable conductors including Paul Hillier, David Hill, Stephen Layton, Olari Elts and Hannu Lintu, and in venues including St Paul’s Cathedral, St Peter’s Basilica, Washington National Cathedral and the Sydney Opera House. He has performed many large-scale works, including Bach’s St John Passion, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt and Vespers Music for the Carmelites, Mozart’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, Arvo Pärt’s Passio, Te Deum and Miserere, Brahms’ German Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has been lucky to benefit from the vocal tuition of Keith Hempton, Robert Rice and David Lowe.
Tom played various musical instruments from the age of five, with a ten-year focus on the trumpet during his time as a student at St Peter’s College, but it wasn’t until he completed his schooling at the end of 2000 that he took up singing at St Peter’s Cathedral as a bass. It was here under Director of Music, Leonie Hempton, that he developed his love of singing, and of early music in particular, and in the process re-discovered the challenge of sight-reading in the bass clef – something he hadn’t done since the age of nine. Within three years Tom was undertaking a Bachelor of Music (Performance) with Keith Hempton at the Elder Conservatorium, and had become a member of Adelaide Chamber Singers under the direction of Carl Crossin.
Having graduated from his degree with First Class Honours, in 2011 Tom relocated to London with his violinist wife, Julia, where he quickly established himself as a freelance singer. Particular solo highlights since that time include guest performances with the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Monteverdi String Band, and the Chamber Orchestra of Wales.
Tom is fortunate to perform regularly throughout the UK, Europe and North America with Britain’s leading ensembles and opera companies, including The Tallis Scholars, Alamire, The Eric Whitacre Singers, Ex Cathedra Consort, Birmingham Opera Company, and the Early Opera Company, and is the resident low bass with multi-award-winning early music vocal ensemble, Stile Antico. He also currently works as a Lay Clerk at Winchester Cathedral.
Alex Roose, began his choral life as treble when Dr Swale was Master of Choristers. He sang as a Bass Lay Clerk with Guildford Cathedral in England from 2009-2014 but has recently become a freelance singer.
Alex currently sings at various London churches whenever they need a Bass. He is also a regular with St Martin’s Voices – a small professional group based at St Martin-in-the-Fields who sing regular lunchtime and evening concerts.
Alex also sing with various professional concert choirs on an ad hoc basis and has appeared as a soloist for a number of choral societies and small opera companies.
Edward Ananian-Cooper began in the choir as a treble, before moving to the bass section. He graduated last year with a Masters in Choral Conducting from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, and now continues his studies there in Orchestral Conducting. He sings tenor with the Helsinki Chamber Choir and the Arnold Schönberg Choir in Austria.
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Alistair was a former Organ Scholar and also a former Assistant Organist and tenor in the Cathedral Choir. He previously taught at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, and now teaches at the Islamic College of SA.
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Jonathan Bligh is a former treble and bass scholar. He is currently studying a Master of Music through the University of Queensland and has a Bachelor of Music in classical flute and conducting (Adelaide), a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (London) and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Adelaide). Jonathan is a secondary school classroom music teacher and a nationally recognised choral conductor, particularly through his work as founder and musical director of the award winning Festival Statesmen Youth Chorus – www.festivalstatesmen.com.au. Jonathan is still an active singer and currently performs with the Adelaide Chamber Singers. He is grateful for the wonderful experience of singing in one of Adelaide’s finest choral ensembles and stunning venues that is Saint Peter’s Cathedral.
Claire Casucci was a treble in the Cathedral Choir from 1994 – 1997 and was among the first girls to join the choir. Claire has a Bachelor of Finance and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and is now working as a financial advisor. Claire pursued her passion for music through working as a professional DJ for many years and is also an enthusiastic West Coast Swing dancer. Apart from a love of beautiful music and life-long friends, singing in the choir from an early age instilled in her a strong work ethic, professionalism and the ability and confidence to perform in public at short notice whilst under pressure.
Paul Patiniott, an ex-treble, is now working as a Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and hopes to pursue a career in surgery. He has been a participant in the Archbishop’s Pilgrimages to the Sudan. In the future he hopes to be in the position to help his partner, Emma with her projects teaching in Sudan/Africa and working in the medical clinic in Bor.
Paul remember the kindness of the members in the choir, some of whom left a very positive and indelible impression on him. He notes that the experience was very important in developing his appreciation for Christianity, music and his compassion and empathy which is intrinsic in his current vocation.
Sophie and Annabel Crompton, David Thomas
Sophie Crompton, aged 10, is a third generation Chorister. Her uncle Matthew and his father David sang together in the Choir when Matthew was a treble. Matthew became Head Chorister in 1986, retiring to the serving team after his voice changed. David stayed on for many years. Her mother, Annabel, joined as one of the first regular women in the Choir in her twenties, so it was natural that Sophie would move into the ranks as a probationer in 2013. Sophie had a wonderful time singing in the 2014-15 tour to the UK and France, as she well remembers attending services in 2010-11 when she was six. Her highlight was sitting in the Headmaster’s Pew for Evensong at Westminster Abbey. History repeated itself when Sophie and her sister were allowed to sit in the same Headmaster’s Pew, although she was more excited about sitting in the Choir Stalls to sing Evensong for Epiphany.
Jason McMahon, ex treble and tenor, is now an accomplished jazz musician. He also sang on Scholarship at St Paul’s Cathedral London in 2001 as a 12 year old (including the Memorial Service for 9/11 with the Queen and other dignitaries) on the strength of his Adelaide training.
Andrew Chatterton, Assistant Director of Music who joined as a bass, now teaches music at St Peter’s College.