Box Hill Chorale

Box Hill Chorale

Box Hill (City of Whitehorse), Vic

Box Hill Chorale
The Box Hill Chorale  (formerly known as the  Box Hill Choral Society), was formed in 1946. Since that time the choir has developed into one of Victoria's leading community choirs, having behind it a proud history of performance, both within what now forms the City of Whitehorse and the wider community.

In 1984 the Chorale was invited to become a chapter of the Royal Victorian Choir, which traces its origins back to 1868. The community choir of the City of Whitehorse (formerly Box Hill), the Chorale is open to all interested residents of the City of Whitehorse and members of the wider community.

Membership currently stands at around 60 voices and the Chorale is today widely regarded as one of Victoria's leading community choirs. Since 1995 the Chorale has been under the musical direction of one of Australia's foremost choral conductors Andrew Wailes, who is assisted by the BHC Principal Accompanist William Schmidt. In 2023 the choir is looking to appoint a new Assistant Conductor and Accompanist in the form of a new Scholarship. 

The Chorale performs a wide variety of (mainly classical) music, from many different musical styles and traditions, often accompanied by professional orchestral ensembles and soloists. In recent years the Box Hill Chorale has performed with other ensembles such as the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne University Choral Society,  Victoria Chorale, Ballarat Symphony Orchestra, the Box Hill Citadel Band of the Salvation Army, and Camberwell Chorale. In 2011 the Chorale joined several of Melbourne's leading large choirs in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at Melbourne Town Hall, and in 2020 the choir was to perform Mahler's 8th Symphony with the MSO (although this concert was sadly cancelled due to the pandemic).

The choir has toured to Portland to participate in the Portland Maritime Festival. Major works performed have included large orchestral masterpieces such as Mozart's 'Requiem', Haydn's 'The Creation', Bach's 'Wachet Auf!' Cantata, Gounod's 'Saint Cecilia Mass', Charpentier's 'Te Deum' and Handel's Messiah and Dvorak's 'Stabat Mater' and 'Requiem', Carissimi's Jephte, Vivaldi's 'Gloria', and John  Rutter's 'Gloria' and 'Requiem'.

BHC also regularly performs new Australian works written especially for the choir, which in recent times has included the highly acclaimed 'Mary Mackillop Mass' by Nicholas Buc (performed in Mount Gamber, Portland and Melbourne), and the 'Discovery Symphony' by Dindy Vaughan (performed in Portland and at Federation Square). Both of these works were filmed and produced as DVDs. Other Australian works have included 'Five Days Old' by Christopher Willcock, and several other works by Nicholas Buc including 'The Journey of the Magi', 'Centenary Flourish', and 'Celebration Lament' (all commissioned for BHC).

As well as presenting a number of its own concerts each year, Box Hill Chorale also regularly performs at various civic and community events, including the Whitehorse Festival, concerts at the Nunawading Library and  the Whitehorse Centre and in conjunction with the Box Hill Salvation Army. The choir has also given its services to local charities and in in 2005 produced and organised a Tsunami Benefit concert at Box Hill Town Hall which raised over ten thousand dollars for local aid agencies assisting the Tsunami disaster relief operation.

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings (excluding public holidays) from 7.30pm - 10pm in the main auditorium - "The Arbour" - of the spectacular Box Hill Community Arts Centre (corner of Station Street and Combarton Street, Box Hill). When you arrive at the Arts Centre, you will always be greeted by a member of our committee who will answer any questions and find a spot for you to sit and join in. There are no formal auditions, although it is definitely preferable for people to be able to have some basic sight-reading ability or choral experience, and be able to sing in tune. Membership of BHC is open to all local residents and other interested members of the community from around wider Melbourne from 15 years upwards. Keen students are particularly welcome.

People interested in joining are always welcome to sit in on a few rehearsals and get to know us before making a commitment and we ecourage prospective members to let us know in advance they are interested in joining so that we can look out for them.

Box Hill Chorale prides itself on its friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and encourages its members to participate in a number of specially organised social and fundraising events throughout the year. These occasional include interstate and regional excursions, informal dinners, a regular once a month bring a plate supper during rehearsal, Bunnings BBQs or Cake Stalls, and various concert excursions. Non-singing partners, relatives and friends are encouraged to participate in many of these events and are welcomed into the life of the choir as valued supporters.


In September 2022, BHC teamed up with members of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne University Choral Society, ensembles from Christian College Geelong and Xavier College to perform "Music on the Edge" at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Accompanied by Andrew Bainbridge (organ), William Schmidt (piano), and members of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra music included Mozart's Spatzenmesse in C Major, Dan Forrest's Song of the Earth, John Leavitt's Missa Festiva, and  works by composers including  Fauré, Whitacre and Ola Gjeilo.

In December 2022 Box Hill Chorale singers joined with the Victoria Chorale, creating a mighty and joyful singing force to capture the spirit of Christmas  at St Paul’s Cathedral. The program included: Camille Saint-Saëns: Oratorio de Noel (Christmas oratorio), Gustav Holst's:  Christmas Day (Fantasia on Old English Carols) and William James': Five Australian Christmas Carols. Performed in conjunction with the Art of Sound Orchestra.

2023 began with a concert of Australian music to mark Anzac Day in April. Performed in conjunction with the Box Hill Salvation Army Citadel Band and a Catafalque party, and hosted by the Box Hill Branch of the RSL, this concert featured Australian works by composers including Paul Jarman, Christopher Willcock, Roger Heagney, Nicholas Buc, Peter Elliget as well as the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand, and traditional hymns and ballads.

In June 2023  the choir performed "Glorious Majesty" at historic All Saints Church in East St Kilda. A concert of magnificent music to celebrate 500 years of English Coronations - works by composers including Handel, Purcell, Wood, Vaughan Williams, Gibbons, Tye, Parry, S.S Wesley and Karl Jenkins.

For further information please contact the Chorale via its website:, or by contacting the President Susan Lorraine Walker on 0408 203 080, or the Conductor Andrew Wailes on 0433 661 971.
Club: Box Hill Chorale
General public contact: Andrew Wailes
Rehearsal day and time: Monday evenings 7.30-10pm
Rehearsal venue: The Arbour
Box Hill Community Arts Centre
470 Station St (cnr. Combarton St)
Box Hill 3128

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