Helen Pietsch


The ANCA National Council and members are saddened to hear that ANCA life member Helen Pietsch passed away on 22nd March 2017.

Dr. Helen Pietsch held the position of President of ANCA SA since 1995 but gradually had to relinquish presidential responsibilities this year for health reasons. Helen came to SA in 1994 having served on the ANCA committee in Melbourne as vice-president.

Helen’s term as President over the last 20 years is notable for the consistency and quality of workshops and activities held in the state averaging three times per year as well as a newsletter published four times a year under her leadership. Helen had also served on the ANCA National Committee for many of the 20 years in various capacities including secretary. Many well-known choral directors have been willing to come to SA from overseas at her invitation; most of them have come with little or no financial incentive but have managed to make arrangements to make the trip to SA possible. Likewise, many interstaters have crossed borders and have provided inspirational workshops.  Over her time, the two annual Choral Festivals, Young Adelaide Sings and Adelaide Sings, have grown from strength to strength. Her contributions to Choralfest 2006 in Adelaide and shepherding ANCA SA through difficult times are tributes to her diligence and commitment to choral music in SA and Australia more generally.

Helen was highly regarded as a music practitioner for her knowledge and integrity and ANCA SA has greatly benefited from her valuable connections in the realm of choral music. Among other achievements, she had a PhD on the topic of choral music in schools, conducted choirs in a range of primary schools and had been active in the Lutheran Church music scene for many years including a period as Chairperson of the Lutheran Church of Australia's Department of Music.


Ralph Morton


Dr. Ralph Morton, after an eight-month struggle in hospital with a lymphoma, went peacefully after hearing his favourite anthem, Like as the hart by Herbert Howells playing on a CD.

I understand that Ralph was a National Council member of ACCA, the Australian Choral Conductors Association, 1989-1990 and then of ANCA 1999-2005. He was made a Life Member of ANCA in 2010. Latterly, he has been heavily involved with the RSCM as National President as well as Chair of the Queensland Branch.



Harley Mead


It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the tragic passing of our colleague Harley Mead. Harley was an inspirational character to many people in the worlds of choral music, music education and composition. He was the National Vice-President of ANCA, President of the ANCA Queensland Chapter and a tireless worker in the area of choral music in Australia and overseas. He was a prolific creator of over 80 works, mostly for choir.