The internationally acclaimed Choir of Trinity College is the flagship of Trinity’s musical life.
The primary focus of the Choir of Trinity College during term-time is the singing of choral services in the College Chapel, where it can be heard in music from the 13th century to our own times, much of it written especially for the Choir.
The Choir is acclaimed for its collaborations with the world’s leading musicians, and each year has a busy schedule of concerts and tours across Australia and overseas. The Choir is noted in particular for its critically acclaimed performances in Melbourne of Bach, which have included the St Matthew Passion with Jeremy Summerley in 2011, and the St John Passion with Stephen Layton in 2012 and Jonathan Grieves-Smith in 2014.
A frequent guest in concert halls and cathedrals across Australia, the Choir has performed regularly as featured artist of Musica Viva and broadcast on ABC Classic FM, and in 2013 collaborated with Eric Whitacre on his first visit to Australia.
The Choir has undertaken eight international tours, visiting England, Germany, the Baltic States and Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, and performances at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral (London), National Cathedral in Washington, and St Thomas’s, Fifth Avenue (New York), St Thomas’s, Leipzig and in St Peter and St Paul Lutheran Church in St Petersburg.
The Choir is a champion of new and old music, and has a special advocacy for new Australian repertoire. Recent performances of contemporary repertoire include music by Gabriel Jackson, Daniel Riley, Arvo Pärt, Brett Dean, Eriks Esenvalds, Owain Park, Lachlan McDonald, Sir John Tavener, Pawel Lukascewski, David Briggs, Joseph Twist, Calvin Bowman and Nigel Westlake.
The Choir comprises students studying a wide range of subjects, many of whom are resident at Trinity College, but with others drawn from Monash or Swinburne University, the Victorian College of the Arts or RMIT, and other centres of tertiary education.
The current Director of Music is the renowned conductor and chorus master Jonathan Grieves-Smith.
Beyond the singing of Evensong at 6pm on Sundays during term-time, future plans include:
Concerts and services in Sydney (St James’, King Street, 1 July 2015), Adelaide (St Peter’s Cathedral, 3 & 4 July 2015), Perth (St George’s Cathedral, 8 July 2015), Fremantle (St Patrick’s Basilica, 10 July) and New Norcia (11 July).
Arvo Pärt 80th Birthday Concert
This concert – being held on 11 September at 8pm in St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne – will include two of Arvo Pärt’s most iconic and exquisite masterpieces: his Magnificat and his Berliner Messe (here with renowned organist Christopher Cook).
This concert will be repeated in St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, at a date to be confirmed.
In 2015, these much loved annual services will all held in Trinity College Chapel on 4, 5 and 6 December. Details to come.
Find out about Trinity College Chapel service times
Find out about the choir music schedule
Director of Music
English conductor and chorus master, Jonathan Grieves-Smith is one of the world’s leading choral conductors renowned for compelling performances and artistic leadership.
Jonathan has trained choirs for some of the world’s finest musicians, including Simon Rattle, Stephen Layton, Sir Andrew Davis, Manfred Honeck, Ed Gardner, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Klaus Tennstedt, Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa and Roger Norrington.
An outstanding conductor of old music, notably Handel and Bach, he is also a champion of the new, performing music by composers including Brett Dean, Paul Stanhope, Arvo Pärt, Eriks Esenvalds, Gabriel Jackson, Giya Kancheli, Richard Mills, Alfred Schnittke, Lou Harrison, Ross Edwards, Krzysztof Penderecki and Peteris Vasks.
For more than sixteen-years Jonathan was Chorus Master of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus leading them to international recognition and acclaim in the concert hall, recording studio, and on tour in South America and South-East Asia, with leading conductors, Oleg Caetani, Markus Stenz, Jakob Hrusa, Neeme Järvi. Maasaki Suzuki, Bernard Labadie, Mark Wigglesworth and Tadaaki Ozawa. Prior to this Jonathan was Chorus Master of the Huddersfield Choral Society, the Hallé Choir, and Music Director of Brighton Festival Chorus.
As guest conductor he has worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields Chorus, Orchestre National de Lille, Sydney Chamber Choir, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Singers, London Mozart Players, Cantillation, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Dartington International Summer School, Royal Academy of Music, the Flemish Federation of Young Choirs and Europa Cantat.
Conducting highlights include three tours of Brazil including with pianist Nelson Freire and the London Mozart Players, and performances of Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro with the Coro di Accademia di Santa Cecilia.
He conducted the Australian premiere of many new works including James MacMillan’s The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, as well as the first modern performances of Percy Grainger’s The Warriors with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Charles Tournemire’s Symphony No.2 ‘Ouessant’ with the Orchestra National de Lille. With the Hallé Orchestra and soloists Bryn Terfel and Tasmin Little, he conducted Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and the Elgar Violin Concerto, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.2 Lobgesang with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Brighton Festival.
Contact the Director of Music
Choral and organ scholars 2014
Emeritus Choral Scholars
Bruce Munro Junior Organ Scholar
Former Directors of Music
Michael Leighton Jones (1997–2014)
Former member of London-based vocal quintet, The Scholars, and of vocal sextet Jones & Co in Brisbane
Michael Fulcher (1994–97)
Director of Music, Christ Church, South Yarra
Former Director of Music, Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, New Zealand
Dr Christopher Dearnley LVO (1992–93)
Former Organist at St Paul's Cathedral, London
Emeritus Professor Peter Godfrey CBE (1990–91)
Former Chorister and Choral Scholar (and later Guest Director of Music) at King's College, Cambridge
Bruce Macrae (1985–89)
Geoffrey Cox (Acting Director, Semester 2, 1979)
Professor Peter Dennison (1976–85)
Professor of Music at Melbourne University