Australian Choral Conductors and Current Choral Practice: A Longitudinal Study of Australian Choral Experts
This dissertation explores the nature of the Australian Choral Conductor. Through survey, interview and case study, the research aimed to reveal the attributes of the Australian Choral Conductor, particularly in relation to the skills and experiences that contribute to a conductor becoming an expert. The Australian Choral Conductor, it could be argued, is under valued and little understood. There are very few opportunities for Australian experts to remain as full time choral conductors within
... conductors within their own country. In some cases Australian conductors have moved overseas to take up choral conducting positions, and in the process have gained international recognition. This research investigated if there was a particular pathway to becoming a choral conductor, and if there were opportunities to remain as such within Australia. The research arose out of three defining moments in Australian choral music. These were the 1998 National Strategic Plan for Choral Development; and the 1998 ANCA survey research entitled 'So you want to be a choral conductor?' and the 1996 World Symposium of Choral Music in Sydney. Using a longitudinal frame, the research focussed on examining the cases of five eminent Australian musicians, probing areas of a conductor's passion and reasons for becoming a choral conductor. The research also investigated the ways in which choral conductors' training, knowledge and experience influenced their choice of repertoire and, in turn, their performance standard and level of expertise. The research examined whether there was a consistent way of determining how conductors' choral practice is developed. The study went on to investigate why Australian conductors did not receive wider recognition as experts within the choral community, or within Australia in general.