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Melbourne University Choral Society

Melbourne University Choral Society
Melbourne University Choral SocietyMelbourne University Choral Society
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Melbourne University Choral Society

Contact Andrew Wailes (Music Director and Conductor)
Frewin Room, St Mary's College, University of Melbourne
VIC, 3052
Rehearsal Days Wednesday
Phone 0433661971


The choir rehearses Wednesday evenings 6.45pm - 9.45pm at St Mary's College, University of Melbourne. Closer to major performances there may be some additional dress rehearsals or combined orchestral rehearsal, usually on Friday evenings in the CBD.


Conductor and Musical Director: Andrew Wailes
Principal Accompanist: Zen Zeng
Assistant Accompanist: Stephen Marino

President: Alex Ritter
Secretary: Alice Kus
Treasurer: Owen Missen

The Melbourne University Choral Society (MUCS) is Melbourne's leading non-auditioning choir, offering both Melbourne University students and other interested members of the community the chance to learn and perform choral music in a friendly and relaxed environment. Anyone is welcome to come and sing with MUCS, irrespective of age, experience or profession. MUCS is also one of Melbourne’s largest choirs, with over 150 active members, and over 250 financial members. It is one of the oldest and most respected student organisations at Melbourne University.

MUCS was founded in 1939, when the university's men's and women's glee clubs merged. Since that time, MUCS has established a reputation as one of Melbourne's leading choirs, bringing youthful energy and musical skill to a diverse range of music in many of Melbourne’s major concert venues.

MUCS usually performs up to five major concerts each year. Recent concerts have included Orff's 'Carmina Burana', Rachmaninov's 'The Bells', Mozart's 'Requiem', Verdi's 'Messa da Requiem', Beethoven's 'Mass in C', Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Haydn's 'The Creation', Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius', Prokofiev's 'Alexander Nevsky', Vaighan Williams' 'Toward the Unknown Region' and Elgar's 'The Music Makers' to name but a few.

The choir has recently worked with some of Melbourne's leading musical organisations, including The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian Classical Players and Victorian College of the Arts Symphony Orchestra. Members have also participated in performances including AFL grand-finals, Rugby games, International Comedy Festival Galas, various charity performances, and studio recordings for Films and Television.

MUCS prides itself on its ability to perform concerts of a high standard, while being welcoming, relaxed and fun. Whilst the choir is run by, and predominantly for students, it enjoys the benefits of top professional musical direction, a professional accompanist, and regularly works with some of Australia’s finest soloists and instrumentalists. In 2010 MUCS was invited to be a demonstration choir at the Voices of Tasmania Festival in Hobart, where it performed a number of concerts.


MUCS performs a wide range of music, from large-scale works with full symphony orchestra to a cappella music from around the world. The choir often has the opportunity to perform with soloists and instrumentalists of international renown in Melbourne's foremost concert venues. Each year, we aim to perform a diverse variety of styles and repertoire.

In 2009 the choir celebrated its 70th anniversary, with a sold-out concert at St Paul's Cathedral featuring the Melbourne premiere of Gordon Kerry's new completion of the Mozart 'Requiem' and Brahms' 'Shicksalslied', as well as Haydn's 'Nelson Mass' and the Australian premiere of Karl Jenkins' 'The Armed Man' in the Melbourne Town Hall with the RMP Choir and Orchestra. The choir also appeared at the Rod Laver Arena for the State Memorial Service for the Victorian Bushfire Disaster with the MSO, and performed a selection of Great Sacred Choruses in Ballarat and Melbourne.

2010 highlights included a tour to Tasmania, Carissimi’s 'Jephthah', Vivaldi’s 'Gloria', Pergolesi’s 'Magnificat', Verdi’s 'Messa da Requiem' (with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra) and a concert of contemporary Auystralian symphonic choral works at BMW Edge.The choir also performed the National Anthems for the Australia v England International Rugby match at AAMI stadium.


In January 2010, MUCS successfully undertook its first international tour, the first Australian University Choral Society to do so. After arriving in the German city of Frankfurt am Main, 80 members of the choir presented around a dozen performances in various Cathedrals, Castles, Palaces and Concert Halls in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, singing a wide range of sacred music by composers including Bruckner, Rachmaninov, Schubert, Brahms, and Mendelssohn.

Tour Highlights included: Informal performance in Heidelberg Castle, Germany; Solemn High Mass in the Imperial Cathedral of St Peter, Worms, Germany; concert in the Pauluskirche, Stuttgart West, Germany; Concert with the Michael Haydn Choir, Lamprechtshausen, Austria; Recording in Salzburg Cathedral, Austria; Mozart Week concert in the Great Hall of the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria; Solemn Mass and Concert in the Burgershallekirche, Munich, Germany; Recording in the Abbey of St Florian Abbey, Linz, Austria; Concert in the Concert Hall of Bad Mergentheim, Germany; Solemn Mass in the Imperial Chapel, Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria; Concert with the Apollo Choir in the Old Jesuit Church, Bratislava, Slovakia; Informal performance in St Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Czech Republic; Concert in the Church of St Nicholas, Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic.

MUCS has hosted a number of visiting international choirs and orchestras, including several from the USA. These have included the Southwestern College Choir from San Diego, the Yale Glee Club (Yale University), Occidental Glee Club (Los Angeles), the acclaimed Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (Harvard University), the Orchester der Universität Stuttgart from Germany, and the Choir of the Hong Kong Baptist University. In recent years MUCS has also hosted the acclaimed a cappella ensemble 'The Whiffenpoofs' from Yale University (USA).

Purcell’s opera 'King Arthur'
With Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra in May

Beethoven’s 'Ninth Symphony'
With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in August

Elgar’s 'The Dream of Gerontius'
with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra in October

Defence Force School of Music Christmas Spectacular
with the Australian Army Band, Melbourne in December

Carols in the Cathedral
with The Australian Children’s Choir and RMP Choir in St Paul’s Cathedral late December


ANZAC Day Dawn Service and March
at the Shrine of Remembrance, with the Australian Air Force Band April 25

Haydn's 'The Creation'
at St Paul's Cathedral with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra May 26

Prokofiev's 'Alexander Nevsky' and Borodin's 'Polovtsian Dances'
at Melbourne Town Hall with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and Melbourne Youth Orchestras October 14

Defence Force School of Music Christmas Spectacular
with the Australian Army Band, Melbourne in December

Carols in the Cathedral
with The Australian Children’s Choir and RMP Choir in St Paul’s Cathedral December 21 and 22


Brahms 'Ein Deutsches Requiem' and Lauridsen 'Lux Aeterna'
with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra in May

Haydn's Missa Brevis St Joahnnis de Deo and Vivaldi's Gloria in D Major
with Chamber Strings of Melbourne

A concert of contemporary American choral works with the
Morgan State University Choir (Baltimore, USA)

A concert with the Whiffenpoofs of Yale University

An all Wagner Opera Spectacular
with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra in October

Three traditional Christmas Carols concerts in St Paul's Cathedral


In January 2014 the choir again toured to Europe, performing concerts in Germany, France, Austria and Italy with the Chamber Strings of Melbourne. Cities visited included Frankfurt, Aachen, Augsberg, Munich, (Germany), Reims, Paris, (France), Innsbruck, Salzburg (Austria), Padua and Venice (Italy). Performance highlights included a joint concert with the award-winning Mannerchor of Friegericht / Neuses (Frankfurt), a joint concert with the Choeur ‘Nicolas de Grigny du Reims’), Paris (concerts and masses in the famous L'église de la Madeleine, and The Église Saint-Augustin de Paris), and concerts and masses in Salzburg (Church of the Precious Blood), Innsbruck (with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Innsbruck, Padua (Church of the Madonna Pellegrina, and Venice (La Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, Chioggia).

Haydn's 'Missa Brevis St Johannes de Deo' with Chamber Strings of Melbourne

Elgar' The Music Makers' and Vaughan Williams' 'Toward the Unknown Region' (with the RMP Choir and Orchestra) in May

Combined concert with Whiffenpoofs of Yale

Mozart's Requiem with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra

Carols Concerts in St Paul's Cathedral

Midnight Mass


Karl Jenkins' 'The Armed Man' (A Mass for Peace),
Elgar's 'For The Fallen' and short works by Australian composers including Colin Brumby and Christopher Willcock in May

Concert of acappella works with Whiffenpoofs of Yale in August

Faure's Requiem in August

Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana' (with The Australian Children's Choir, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra) in September

Traditional Carols concerts in St Paul's Cathedral in December

Contact Melbourne University Choral Society

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