BEHIND THE DECADES

BEHIND THE DECADES

The Australian Boys Choir was founded in October 1939 and has pursued excellence for over eight decades.

In 2014, a dedicated team of volunteers and staff worked for over a year to design an exhibition and program to commemorate the Australian Boys Choir 75th year. That team devoted hundreds of hours to the design of an exhibition design and program, celebrating the choirs' history as Australia's 'first and finest' boys' choir.

We hope you enjoy perusing these beautifully crafted stories as your journey with us behind the decades.

24 November 2020

CHOIR VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are vital to the Australian Boys Choir. Indeed in the beginning, there were no paid staff at all. When the Choir began in 1939 at the start of World War II, society was different and women were not directly involved in the Choir. But mothers were armed at home with needle and thread!
24 November 2020

THE DUSTING FAMILY

Arguably the most extensively involved family throughout the choir’s history is the Dusting family. Jonathan Dusting joined the choir as a probationer in 1987. He recalls, “I was six… I don't think I knew what a choir was!
23 November 2020

UNIFORM & STAGEWEAR

Since its inception, wearing a uniform and performing in either uniform or robes has been standard for the Australian Boys Choir. However both street and stage wear have seen a number of incarnations over the years.
23 November 2020

MENTORING & COMMUNITY

Typically, communities have a hierarchy of membership in which seniority and experience are recognised. The ABC has a very clear training system where boys progress, at their own pace, through the seven different ‘ranks’ – Probationer, Tyro, Junior Singer, Senior Singer, Chorister and, when their voice changes, the Kelly Gang and The Vocal Consort.
26 October 2020

10 INTERESTING THINGS

A list of the 10 interesting (non-musical) things that choir members have learned from their time with the ABCI.
26 October 2020

STAGED WORKS AND CANTATAS

From the very first concert, dramatic works have played an important role in the repertoire of the Australian Boys Choir. Although this has sometimes meant the boys dressed up as girls in order to fill all the roles, the chance to act as well as sing has always been popular.
26 October 2020

AUSTRALIAN CHORAL MUSIC

You’d expect the Australian Boys Choir to sing a lot of Australian music, wouldn’t you? But that was not how it was in the beginning. At last we can confidently call ourselves the Australian Boys Choir.
26 October 2020

MOST PERFORMED SONGS

Looking through the list of the ten most performed songs, today’s audiences may not recognise many. The choir’s repertoire has changed significantly over the years. The following list was catalogued during the Choir' 75th anniversary year.