ACU National Choirs

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About Us

ACU's National Choirs provide singers from across the nation with the opportunity to participate in various ways. The choirs are available to students, staff, alumni, affiliates, and community members. If you enjoy singing, you’re invited to enrich our University fabric and lift spirits through our ACU Choirs: another way to Connect, Create, Celebrate and Find Your Voice at ACU. Students based in Melbourne should join the dedicated Melbourne Choir group:

2024: BIG SING for a BIG CAUSE

Sing with ACU students, staff and others in a casual, low-pressure atmosphere. Bring your lunch and your friends! No auditions or experience needed -- just bring your enthusiasm. Music will be taught by rote -- like "Pub Choir" -- and sheet music will also be available for those who want it. Rehearsal tracks can be accessed online so you can practise at home between rehearsals. The music is easy and fun.


When: Wednesdays 12-1PM during semester 1

Where: Urban Theatre -- building 421, ground floor, alongside the escalator near the corner of Victoria Pde. and Napier St. (abutting the windows).

Address: 115B Victoria Parade, Fitzroy

Register (Melbourne):

If you're NOT based in/near Melbourne, click the JOIN button at the top of this page.

Each individual rehearsal is listed in ACU Life as an "event" (then scroll down to read details in the Event).


Please add the dates/times to your Calendar:


When: Wednesdays 12-1PM (during semester 1)

Where: Urban Theatre (bldg 421, ground floor near the escalator)

Dates (Melbourne, on campus)

Wednesdays, Feb 28 - March 27

Easter break

Wednesdays, April 10 - May 22

Zoom sessions

When: Wednesdays (during semester 1). Link:

Dates and times:

Wed Feb 28 - March 27: 5PM Brisbane; 6PM ACT, NSW and VIC

(Easter Break; daylight savings ends)

Wed April 10 - May 22: 5PM AEST

Other rehearsals

...will be scheduled for instrumentalists AND there will be additional rehearsals after May combining with other choirs and orchestras, leading up to the August performances.

Performance dates, 2024

Brisbane - Sat 3 August (details to be confirmed)

Ballarat - Sat 24 August (details to be confirmed)

Melbourne - Sun 25 August, 3PM, St Patrick's Cathedral

If you are based elsewhere, you have the option of coming to one of the performances to participate! Additional performances in Canberra and Sydney are in planning for 2025.

IMPORTANT: ACU Life lists the on-campus rehearsals scheduled for Semester 1 only. Additional rehearsals will be scheduled after May, involving the combined choirs, orchestra etc., leading up to the August performances.

Note: On-campus rehearsals are also being arranged for Ballarat and Brisbane. Details will be shared as soon as possible. In the meantime, the online Zoom option is available to those on other campuses.

CAN'T COME TO MELBOURNE ON WEDNESDAYS AT 12PM? A weekly online Zoom rehearsal is available -- see schedule above. The Zoom sessions will be recorded and shared via ACU Life.


If you are located away from one of the performance locations, there may be opportunities for you to join in a live performance. This will be discussed during the online rehearsals.

COMMUNITY CHOIR OPTION: The Melbourne Justice Choir, directed by ACU's Dr Kathleen McGuire (a co-creator of the music), will be rehearsing on Saturday mornings approx. semi-monthly, alternating between Brunswick West (inner northern suburb of Melbourne) and Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula. You are most welcome to join in. This group is a more formal choir, using sheet music and learning all of the movements. This is an established group of about 30 singers, many of whom have sung STREET REQUIEM on many occasions.

If you wish to join the external choir, you will need to register separately here:

(If you are not in Melbourne, further community choir options may be announced soon in other cities).

CAN I PLAY AN INSTRUMENT IN THIS PROJECT? YES! There are opportunities for instrumentalists to play to accompany the choir. The accompaniment is scored for a chamber orchestra with traditional strings, woodwind, brass and percussions, plus there are opportunities for other instruments including:

  • Piano (in performance AND we need rehearsal accompanists)
  • African drums / percussion (e.g., djembe, dun dun, shekere)
  • Tin whistle / recorder
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Drum kit
  • Bodhrán (Irish drum)
  • Harp
  • Yidaki (didgeridoo)

Rehearsals for instrumentalists will start later. Please LET US KNOW if you are interested in playing an instrument and we will add you to the list. There are also options to sing with the choir on some movements and play instruments in others.

CAN I AUDITION FOR A VOCAL SOLO? Yes! If you have solo vocal skills, let us know. Auditions will be arranged mid-year for those who are interested.

WHAT COMMITMENT IS REQUIRED? We ask that you attend most rehearsals (missing a few here and there is okay). Basically it's up to you to be "performance ready" by August. In addition to the live and online rehearsals, there will also be combined rehearsals after Semester 1 with other choirs and the instrumentalists.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT / SERVICE: Students involved in the Big Sing will be able to apply for Community Engagement hours for units. Staff can apply for Community Service release. If you have skills you wish to offer beyond performing, please let us know ASAP.


The “Cause” is homelessness and insecure housing. We will help support and perform alongside people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We will advocate and raise funds to support the urgent needs of ACU students, as well as contributing to service agencies/organisations in the wider community.

This quote explains further: “Instead of focusing on safety for our unhoused neighbours, the misperception that people without homes are perpetrators, rather than victims, of violence contributes to both criminalising homelessness and dehumanising people without housing.” (Kushel, 2022).

RELEVANCE: Census data (2021) revealed that 122,494 Australians are experiencing homelessness – an increase of 5.2% since 2016. “The average monthly number of people using homelessness services increased by 8% in the four years prior to to 2021-22. That's double the population growth rate over that period” [UNSW, 2022]. In Queensland, authorities noted the housing crisis and increases in homelessness (29% increase since Covid and 22% worse in 2023 than the rest of the nation) since the pandemic and in reaction to current economic and environment crises (Pengilley, V., 2022 and Ruddick et al., 2023).


THE MUSIC: “STREET REQUIEM – for those who have died on the street”, by Dr Kathleen McGuire (ACU), Andy Payne and Jonathon Welch AM, is a uplifting, multi-movement, contemporary cantata for community choir, vocal soloists and orchestra. Intentionally inclusive, it opens with an Acknowledgement of Country to recognise local Indigenous groups, then a Dedication sung in Persian or Arabic, evoking an Islamic call-to-prayer. World Music is included, such as Khoza and Zulu language, and Celtic folk music. The traditional Latin text is minimised, set alongside contemporary themes in English. The music incorporates a range of styles, from chant to popular idioms.

Since the world premiere at Melbourne Recital Centre (June 2014), STREET REQUIEM has been performed more than 30 times in several countries, receiving international acclaim. The most recent performance (Mornington Peninsula, 21 Oct 2023) raised $21,000 for direct services for homeless people.

The ACU BIG SING project will culminate in performances of STREET REQUIEM, featuring massed choirs, vocal soloists, and orchestras comprising ACU musicians and school students.


Brisbane: Saturday 3 August (details to be confirmed)

Ballarat: Saturday 24 August (details to be confirmed)

Melbourne: Sunday 25 August, 3PM, St Patrick's Cathedral

Further performances are slated for NSW and ACT in 2025.









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ACU National Choirs

40 Edward Street
North Sydney NSW 2060