Voyces in a Spin at contemporary choir’s Churchlands concert

Gabrielle Scheggia (Melville), Jade Hansen (Stirling), Laura Igglesden (Yokine) and Luke Donohoe (Claremont). Picture: Andrew Ritchie d455306
Gabrielle Scheggia (Melville), Jade Hansen (Stirling), Laura Igglesden (Yokine) and Luke Donohoe (Claremont). Picture: Andrew Ritchie d455306

MANY people would associate a choir with a performance they see in church, but the repertoire Voyces contemporary choir present is far from this stereotype.

“We are very unchurch-like; it’s still very tonal and easy to listen to but it’s not like you’re at a Mass,” Voyces president Luke Donohoe said.

“We’re the only choir in WA that focuses wholly on contemporary choral music.

“There are lots of other choirs that will throw a piece in their program here and there, but our responsibility or our mantra is to do contemporary choral music, so that means doing it all the time, making sure we do it well and that we don’t always just perform pieces people know by famous composers.

“We’re representing contemporary choral composers, potentially not just the ones you’ve heard of, and given we are an Australian choir, making sure we are performing a lot of Australian composers too.”

Donohoe, who lives in Claremont, graduated from Trinity College and studied music performance at UWA, began Voyces in 2012 after the WA Youth Choir ended and there was a gap in the choral scene.

Many founding members came from the WA Youth Choir and he enlisted the help of Trinity College head of music Dr Robert Braham as musical director.

“It’s a lot of work with sleepless nights and I’m only 30 but there are grey hairs,” Donohoe said.

“It’s all worth it.”

Next on the Voyces program is concert Spin at Churchlands Concert Hall on Saturday, June 18, which will feature a 29-strong choir plus eight soloists, including vocal soloists, percussionists, a didgeridoo player and pianist.

Featured composers range from Matthew Orlovich and Stephen Adams to Lawrence Whiffin, Gerard Brophy and Caleb Burhans.

“Spin is a unique concert made of contemporary choral works that we think through our research haven’t been performed in WA before,” Donohoe said.

“There are a lot of Australian composers and some international composers, but the main focus is staging the contemporary choral music more theatrically in terms of stage movement, lighting and visuals to enhance or complement the pieces.

“It makes it more explanatory, logical and will be a great piece of musical production.

“I think the great thing about choral music is its power to move people.”


What: Voyces – Spin

Where: Churchlands Concert Hall

When: June 18

Tickets: www.voyces.com.au