St Paul’s Youth Choirs

Click here to register your interest in the St Paul’s Manuka Youth Choirs or to request further information.

Choristers from The Paul’s Junior Choir

About our Youth 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 youth 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 youth 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 youth 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 juniorchoir@stpaulsmanuka.org.au

Auditions / Fees: There are no auditions for our youth choirs and no cost to families.

Prep Choir Director: Jade McFaul

Jade McFaul was born in 1996 in South Australia and moved to Canberra at the beginning of 2014, recently graduating from a Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University. She was a recipient of the 2014 ANU Christel Larko Music Scholarship, the 2015 Bill Hyslop Prize in Voice, the 2016 Llewellyn Choir Prize, and was the ACT Young Virtuoso of 2016.  Jade has been a chorister with Gondwana National Choirs since 2011 and is regularly involved in local ensembles, including the Canberra Bach Ensemble and Kompactus Youth Chamber Choir. She has been a conductor with the Woden Valley Youth Choir since August 2018, a private music teacher in voice and piano for 7 years, and a chorister at St Paul’s since December 2018. Jade is also the Director of Music at Wesley Uniting Church.

Prep Choir Associate Director: Alison Waddell

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 juniorchoir@stpaulsmanuka.org.au

Auditions / Fees: There are no auditions for our youth choirs and no cost to families.

Junior Choir Director: Kate Edwards

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 three, 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.

Youth Choristers for ages 13+

Our group of Youth Choristers comprises high-school students who are confident music readers. These choristers come together once or twice per term to rehearse for and sing the service of Evensong. They are introduced to challenging and inspiring SATB choral repertoire through this beautiful, traditional Anglican service.

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

Enrolment Enquiries

Children are welcome to join the choir at any stage during the year. For further information or to register your interest, please complete our Expression of Interest Form or contact the Junior Choir Director, Kate Edwards, at juniorchoir@stpaulsmanuka.org.au