Melbourne Women’s Choir
The Melbourne Women’s Choir’s began 26 years ago with singing at a Melbourne-hosted Women Composers Conference. It has sung with the Melbourne, Sydney and Stonnington Symphony Orchestras in The Planets – Holst, Sirenes from Nocturnes – Debussy and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Mendelssohn. It has appeared on the TV’s Football Show, sung gospel music in St Patrick’s Cathedral, and donned nuns’ habits for a Sister-Act gig. MWC has shared concerts: it has hosted ten national Voices of Women festivals, and concerts with Women of Note Bendigo, the Japanese Kanazawa Choir and the New Zealand Cecilian Singers; and with men’s choirs – the Gwent Male Voice Choir of Wales, Adelaide Male Voice Choir and Melbourne Mastersingers. It has provided choral music backing for a film and a video game; and has co-hosted 16 state Choral@Montsalvat festivals. The choir toured in England, France, Switzerland and Italy in 2016.
In addition to Choral@Montsalvat the choir each year presents a concert series, in which it explores the wide range of music across many eras and styles available to women. Larger works this year include Beatus vir – Vivaldi, Psalm 112 – Hasse, Miserere – Allegri, Miserere – Hasse, Gipsy Songs – Dvorak and A Ceremony of Carols – Britten. The choir’s Montsalvat concert included twelve works by Australian women composers, two being premieres. Some MWC members sang Christmas carols in the snow at Mt Baw Baw recently, and the full choir sang at the Kew Festival Interfaith Service and at a Student Mass at St Carthage’s, Parkville. In late September it will tour in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Italy.
Dr Faye Dumont, Artistic Director
Faye taught in Melbourne high schools across fifteen years. While at MacRobertson Girls’ High School she became co-founder, then conductor, of Melbourne Youth Choir, whose experiences included singing with Melbourne Symphony and Melbourne Youth orchestras and touring Japan, England and France. Studies at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, resulted in a Master of Music, Performance, and doctoral studies. In 2016, she completed a doctorate by research at RMIT University. She has worked at Melbourne CAE and Melbourne, La Trobe, RMIT, Monash and ACU universities. She founded the Faye Dumont Singers, which has become the Melbourne Chamber Choir and Melbourne Women’s Choir, and has conducted choirs in New Zealand, the ACAP Festival Choir in Beijing and ACU National Choir in Rome.
May Gavin, Accompanist
Commencing piano lessons with her mother at the age of five, May received a Licentiate Diploma of Music at thirteen. For fifteen years, May appeared with her mother, composer and pianist Val Gavin, in the 2piano team Duo Gavin. May also played the violin, playing professionally for dozens of shows in Melbourne. May has worked as an accompanist both here and overseas and has also been Music Director for many productions. May and her husband, tenor Raymond Khong, have performed extensively in Australia and have released two recordings on the Move label. May has a busy performance schedule, both as an accompanist and soloist with local orchestras, most recently performing Gershwin’s Concerto in F, Carnival of the Animals and Rhapsody in Blue. She is a piano examiner both here and overseas, and is Head of Keyboard at Donvale Christian College.
Women of Note