Information current as at DECEMBER 2011



Sharon Batterham, Musical Director, 0425 849 264

Choir's Email Address:

Choir's Website:



Vision statement / Artistic goals: Southern Voices, formerly The National Children's Choir and Youth Chorale of Australia (NCCA), prides itself in offering an exemplary program, catering fully for both male and female singers up to 21 years of age and beyond; Southern Voices provides its choristers with a broad musical experience encompassing theoretical and aural training, as well as vocal and performance technique; staff endeavour to model musical excellence, and to share with their choristers their passion for music and commitment to the organisation; Southern Voices aims to contribute to the musical and personal development of each chorister, and to foster their sense of worth as an individual and a member of a team

Voice type: SATB, treble/children's voices

Choir performs: Both unaccompanied & accompanied

Year Choir formed: 1993

No. of Singing Members - Currently: 500 (as at late 2004) Desired:

Musical Repertoire: Music sung by Southern Voices is selected because it is fun to sing, often has enticing melodies, improves musical skills and knowledge, and has audience-friendly qualities; quality arrangements of modern music, including songs from music theatre and films, and traditional choral music are sung; a wide range of music is performed, from unison to 6 part, written by composers from different centuries and nationalities, including music from the great masters

Musical Director: Sharon Batterham

No. of years in current post: since 2010

Previous musical experience: Sharon Batterham is a choral music specialist, with over 25 years experience as a chorister, tutor and conductor; she has studied music at the University of Melbourne, and holds both a Bachelor of Music, in composition and voice, and a Bachelor of Music Education; as a chorister, Sharon sang with the Australian Children's Choir, and travelled to Hong Kong and the United Kingdom where the choir performed at the prestigious Llangollen Musical Eisteddfod; she continued singing while at University, with the Faculty of Music choir and the Chamber Singers, and enhanced her vocal studies by performing with the Royal Philharmonic Choir, Faye Dumont Singers, CHIME Choir and Australian Youth Choir; conducting became a particular interest when Sharon commenced tutoring the training groups of the Victorian Boys' Choir, and she continued developing this area with positions in the Australian Girls' Choir and the CHIME Choirs; training in choral pedagogy followed, under Rodney Eichenberger, Andre de Quadros and Doreen Rao, and Sharon was selected from conductors around the world to attend the 3rd Choral Symposium held by the Toronto Childrens' Chorus under Jean Ashworth-Bartle; after a short break to raise a family, Sharon is now conducting with the National Children's Choir and Youth Chorale of Australia, and is the founding conductor of Harrisfield Harmonies; she has spent spare time writing musical plays for children, whilst composing and arranging choral music for her choirs

Choir's past collaborations with other musical groups: Australian Youth Band Southern Stars, Melbourne Youth Symphonic Band, Springvale Bicentennial Youth Concert Band, Salvation Army Band, Victoria Police Band, Diamond Valley Brass Band, City of Dandenong Municipal Band, Malvern Municipal Band, Bayside City Brass Band, City of Kingston Combined Bands, Moorabbin Brass Band, Liedertafel Arion (German men's choir) and St Gregorius (Dutch men's choir)



Audition: Yes - Children from 7 years (at least Grade 2) to youth aged 20 years may attend an audition to join Southern Voices; these auditions are relaxed and friendly, and parents may attend if desired; children in primary school need no experience, however those who are older need some background in music; no preparation is necessary; contact the Southern Voices office for an appointment

Minimum Attendance policy - Rehearsals: Yes - 80% of weekly rehearsals and all special concert dress rehearsals; members of Southern Voices' SATB youth choir are required to attend about 3 Saturday rehearsals per year, one mid week rehearsal per term at another chapter (venue other than the usual weekly venue) and 1 weekend music camp per year

Minimum Attendance policy - Concerts: Yes - some concerts are compulsory, from the third level

Membership Fees: Joining Fee - $50 plus term fees; for up to date details of term fees, please see the Southern Voices web site (link above); a "money back guarantee" is offered

Ability to read music: Levels 1 and 2 - Not necessary; Level 3 - Desirable (children's performing choir), Some ability essential (SATB/youth performing choir)

Sight-reading ability: Levels 1 and 2 - Not necessary; Level 3 - Desirable (children's performing choir), Highly desirable (SATB/youth performing choir)



Av. No. of rehearsals/week: 1

Usual Rehearsal Nights, Suburbs and Rehearsal Venues: Monday - Berwick Anglican Church; Tuesday - Keysborough Christian Centre; Thursday - Rowville Baptist Church

Off-street parking: Yes



Performance Apparel: Level 1 - "best clothes"; Levels 2 & 3 - black shoes, black choir trousers/skirt, choir polo shirt; Level 3 - youth choir - in addition, a robe, collar and skivvy

Av. No. of Concert Programs/year: 4

Av. No. of Performances/year: 12 - shared amongst Southern Voices' children's choirs and its youth choir; Choristers in Levels 1 and 2 generally do not participate in public performances, but perform in Southern Voices concerts

Sample of the Choir's past Concert Venues: Robert Blackwood Hall, Frankston Cultural Centre, Victoria Police Chapel, Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, Melbourne Park, Crown Entertainment Complex including Palladium Ballroom, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Windsor Hotel, National Gallery of Victoria, Como Park, Melbourne City Square, Southbank, Federation Square, carol boats on the Yarra River

Examples of musical pieces performed: Modern music rehearsed and/or performed in last 6 months (to August 2004): I'm a Believer (Neil Diamond, from the film Shrek), Pure Imagination (Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), You Light Up My Life (Joe Brooks), Best of the Beach Boys (medley), a medley from the musical Les Miserables, River (Morricone, from the film The Mission), medley from the film Forrest Gump, Somewhere (Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, from the musical West Side Story), Disco Fever (medley), Under the Southern Skies (Halloran and Millward, from the 2000 Sydney Olympics);

Classical music rehearsed and/or performed in last 6 months (to August 2004): I Will Sing with the Spirit (Rutter), Ave Maria (Gounard/Bach), Humming Chorus (Puccini's Madame Butterfly), Thanks be to God (Mendelssohn's Elijah), Dies Irae (Verdi's Requiem), Gloria (Vivaldi), Ave Verum (Mozart), Zadok the Priest (Handel), Behold Now Praise the Lord (William H. Harris), Mon Coeur S'ouvre a ta Voix (Saint-Saens' Samson and Delilah), Gloria in Excelsis (Bach's Mass in B Minor), Papageno (Mozart's The Magic Flute), Kyrie Eleison (Faure's Messe Basse), Dies Irae (Mozart's Requiem), Hallelujah Chorus (Handel's Messiah)

Touring: Yes - Melbourne Metro Area/Regional Victoria/Interstate/Overseas; the Choir has completed its first overseas tour - to New Zealand; an interstate tour to Sydney is planned for 2011



Administration / Governance arrangements for the Choir: The Choir is owned and run by Andrew and Sharon Batterham



Own collection of music scores: Yes - Treble and SATB

Available for hire to other groups: Occasionally

Hiring fees apply: Yes



DISCLAIMER : Whilst much care has been taken in compiling the information in this Guide, it is possible that errors may have occurred. So, please email the Editor at with corrections, and they will be made as soon as possible.

Copyright © Karina Gough WARNING: All Site content is owned by the Editor, and is not to be reproduced elsewhere without permission of the Editor.