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Do you love to sing? The Coast’s leading youth choral program, Central Coast Children’s Choir, is launching a new choral scholarship sponsored by Kawai Australia for young choristers aged 9-12.

Central Coast Conservatorium’s Artistic Director is delighted to announce this new initiative and partnership between Kawai Australia and the Conservatorium, launching in Term 2. The scholarship will enable 20 Central Coast children to become the first wave of students in its inaugural selective choral scholarship program.  

The selected Kawai Choral Scholarship students will be invited to join the Central Coast Conservatorium’s flagship children’s vocal group, the Central Coast Children’s Choir, and also attend free weekly Keyboard Club lessons for a year. “This fantastic Kawai scholarship is aimed at children on the Coast who show a strong interest in music and also have an interest in singing but haven’t necessarily had any formal singing or keyboard lessons,” said Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Artistic Director, Patrick Brennan.

“It is a cost-effective way of gaining music education that includes both singing and keyboard skills and gives students the ability to come together in a cohort to learn transferable skills on an instrument, as well as singing and to feel the joy of being involved in a group activity.”


About Central Coast Children’s Choir

Central Coast Children’s Choir is a three-tiered choral program for children aged 5-18 and over and is led by Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Artistic Director Patrick Brennan, alongside experienced vocal teacher Jo McMahon, former Opera Australia mezzo-soprano Anne Haslam and stagecraft and performance coach Nicky Castle.

The Central Coast Children’s Choir levels are:

  • NEW Mini Voices Training Choir – a fun and relaxed program for 5 – 8 years (approx kindergarten to Year 3) with Jo McMahon and Nicky Castle.
  • Children’s Choir – For students aged 9 – 12 years.  
  • NEW Youth Choir – Our most senior choral group for high school and tertiary students.

All choirs rehearse on Monday nights at Gosford Presbyterian Church (Mini Voices, 4 – 5pm, Children’s Choir, 5 – 6.30pm, Youth choir 5 -7pm). 

Our Children’s Choir has performed with Opera Australia regional touring company, at Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular and at our regular Premier Ensembles Concerts.

What to expect at Choir

Throughout the year, Choir Program students will perform at least once a term in a performance project featuring a diverse repertoire including classical, contemporary, sacred, traditional, operatic and musical theatre works.  

Choir students will gain knowledge in reading music, vocal techniques, safe voice warm-up methods, ensemble singing, how to sing with a conductor, and occasionally an introduction to various languages for opera or classical pieces. 

Additionally, we will teach performance & stagecraft skills such as the fundamentals of drama, stage directions, and simple choreographed movement, allowing them to present themselves in performance or presentation situations confidently. 

“An essential aspect of stagecraft skills is the ability to effectively connect with an audience, to ‘tell a story’ – whether through song, dialogue, movement, or gestures,” said drama coordinator Nicky Castle.

“Through weekly rehearsals in a fun, supportive environment, performance opportunities, and individual practice, our students will develop their choral and stagecraft skills, leading to increased confidence. We will use drama games and activities to improve adaptability in responding to changes in rehearsals, or during performances.”

Why join a choir?

Choir offers participants the opportunity to experience the joy of blending their voices with a group to create a unique and beautiful sound while also learning that EACH voice plays a crucial role in the overall sound and harmony.

Singing in a choir has so many benefits. It improves vocal skills and musical understanding, but it also promotes teamwork, boosts confidence, and provides a sense of community.

The most important reason for singing in a choir is simply for the student to experience the joy of music.

“Every person has a song in their heart. Singing is as natural for us to do as walking, dancing and talking. Our choir and performance program permits the students to express themselves in a kind, supportive environment,” said Nicky.

“We have age-appropriate expectations of the students and ask for a respectful level of behaviour, a good attitude toward learning and a willingness to practice at home.  We have a lot of fun but we also take learning quite seriously.”


Entry into the Central Coast Children’s Choir is by audition. CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Students will each be invited to take part in a short musical aptitude test and meet a member of the Children’s Choir team. Students will be asked to sing a short, prepared song of their choice unaccompanied (this could be a nursery rhyme, the National Anthem or one of their favourite pieces) and will be given a simple aural and rhythm assessment. 

Eligible students will be automatically be considered for the Kawai Choral Scholarship as part of their application.