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Richard Gill Tribute

Mon Nov 5 2018

ANCA wishes to acknowledge the passing of Richard Gill. He was a true giant of the Australian arts community, particularly music. The impact he made was immeasurable, tirelessly advocating for music and music education. The articulate way in which he spoke to everyone from the Prime Minister down and the passionate way in which he delivered his message meant that people listened.

Singing had a special place in Richard’s heart. His work with professional opera companies and choirs was well known. Many a professional singer has him to thank for finding their way in this demanding field. But for all of his outstanding work at the professional level, it will be for his work with “ordinary” singers that he will be most fondly remembered. He recognised that the key to maintaining a healthy choral community in this country is to get the general population singing. This he did with energy and conviction, all the while being a true gentleman.

Since his passing, it has been gratifying to observe the countless number of people who have spontaneously shared their own Richard Gill story. Inevitably such stories have focused on how personable Richard was, no matter the situation. He was famous for his ability to remember the names of everyone in the choir or orchestra almost from the first rehearsal. He was genuine in the interest he would take in individuals, able to recall long-past conversations and make mere acquaintances feel like life-long friends. Richard loved working with, or even better, singing with children. He knew that they are the future of choral music and he never tired of encouraging them.

Choral music in this country will miss the Richard Gill touch. He was an inspirational conductor, skilled teacher and tireless advocate for singing. It would be easy to say he is irreplaceable and in many ways this is the case. But, for all the kind and heartfelt words which have been shared about him in the last week, our greatest tribute would be to continue his mission, to follow his lead, to continue doing all we can possibly do to encourage people to sing. This is easier said than done of course but he deserves nothing less. Thank you, Richard, for all that you have done! 

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‘New Choral Composition Prize accepting entries’

 Bel a cappella’s inaugural Prize takes Australian music travelling

 Sydney chamber choir Bel a cappella will mark Music Director Anthony Pasquill’s 10 year anniversary with the choir with a tour to Russia and the Baltic in 2021. In early April they launched an initiative linked to the tour that promises to showcase new Australian music to the world.

The Bel a cappella Choral Composition Prize will award 3 Australian composers $1500 each for original a cappella choral works for up to 8 voice parts.  

Each of the 3 winning works will have its world premiere in one of the cities in the 2021 tour (to be chosen by the awarded composer), including St Petersburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallin and Riga. Their Australian premiere will be at the next concert Bel performs upon their return to Australia.

Pasquill believes that Australian choral music certainly has the capacity to match the depth and breadth of that being composed and performed in the traditional choral music countries of northern Europe and this Prize will give him and Bel a cappella the opportunity to demonstrate that.

Choir president Bruce Watson says, "When we launched our fundraising campaign for this Prize we were excited about creating an opportunity to bring new Australian choral music to the world. Now we also know we'll be supporting some local composers through this terrible time when so much work for musicians has vanished." 

Bel a cappella believes their Choral Composition Prize will make a big difference to composers in this difficult time for the Arts across the globe, providing both a sense of creative purpose and significant prize money to the three awarded composers.

Bel a cappella Choral Composition Prize

ELIGIBILITY: The Prize is open to any individual who is a permanent resident of Australia or Australian citizen. There is no age limit.



A panel of jurors will review entries and award the 3 Prizes on July 31, 2020

Information/ Web:

Contact: Pepe Newton | Publicity Officer |  | m 0412 548 703

See the attached flyer for more information. 



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