New Music Director Appointment

The Committee of Star Chorale is pleased to announce that Jayne Turner has been appointed as the Chorale’s new Music Director, with effect from 1 January 2019.

Jayne is well qualified and a widely experienced choral and orchestral conductor. She has had a long and successful career as a music educator and has held Music Director roles in two secondary schools. In addition, she held the role of Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Choral Institute Melbourne (CHIME) for over 20 years. During this time, she led CHIME in a number of notable partnerships and exciting concert opportunities, and took this community choir to a professional level.

Having recently retired from full-time teaching, Jayne is keen to re-engage with a community choir. She is eager to take the role which she sees as an interesting opportunity with Star Chorale, particularly given the Chorale’s classical music reputation and her passion for music.

As most choristers are aware, our recruitment sub-committee undertook a thorough and methodical recruitment process, resulting in a strong field of candidates auditioning for the role. The Committee is confident that the selection of Jayne will have the enthusiastic support of choristers for 2019 and beyond.

In view of Star Chorale’s invitation to perform John Rutter’s Magnificat at Carnegie Hall, New York in March 2019, Jayne is looking forward to meeting the choir and working closely with us to ensure the Chorale’s professional standard and reputation are maintained and enhanced.

We welcome Jayne and wish her enjoyment and fulfillment in her new role with the Star Chorale.

Dianne Vale


Star Chorale Invited to Perform Rutter’s Magnificat at Carnegie Hall

Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) announced today that Dr. Kathleen McGuire and the Star Chorale have been invited to participate a performance of John Rutter’s Magnificat on the DCINY Concert Series in New York City. This performance is planned to take place on Sunday, March 17, 2019 in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall under the baton of DCINY Artistic Director, Dr. Jonathan Griffith.

These outstanding musicians will join with other choristers from around the world to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction. Dr. Griffith will serve as conductor of the performance and clinician for the residency.

Click here for details.
Click here for invitation.

Our performance of “Ein deutsches Requiem” 30 July 2017

As we sang the final “Selig”, and our conductor Dr Kathleen McGuire raised her arms in triumph, the Star Chorale’s performance of “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms on July 30th drew to a successful close. The sustained rapturous applause from our near-capacity audience at the Melbourne Recital Centre indicated that we had ably presented this marvellous, but vocally challenging work, to a high standard which the audience fully appreciated. Happy faces were noted in the audience as presentations were made.

The Brahms Requiem is a beautiful musical work with lovely quiet parts like “How lovely are Thy Dwellings” balanced by powerful sections where choir and orchestra are going full blast as in the fugue in Part 3. It is very demanding for the choir, with subtle changes in tempo and dynamics. It is also tiring for the voice, because the choir is singing for most of the work, and needs to summon up its vocal reserves for the last couple of sections. The soloists and orchestra were a tremendous help for singers. In fact great teamwork was displayed between conductor, orchestra and choir.

Our conductor Kathleen McGuire displayed magnificent masterful leadership. The choir greatly appreciated her friendly, thorough approach in our rehearsals. It was a delight to sing under her tutelage. Kathleen’s detailed notes on how to perform the work, communicated to us verbally or on TeamApp, were faithfully written into our scores so we knew what was required in the concert. Her concert cues were very clear, and of course we were watching her carefully for them!

The choir is most appreciative of the excellent work of our rehearsal pianist Sue Goessling. Sue told us Brahms is her soul-mate, and this was evident from the obvious joy she had in helping us learn this great musical piece.

The Star Chorale was honoured to perform with our two fine soloists Shauntai Batzke (soprano) and Lucas de Jong (baritone). Shauntai’s singing was lovely, touching the deepest emotions of listeners. She is very popular with the choir as she is a beautiful, down-to-earth person. Lucas, who has performed with Opera Australia and other international opera companies, gave us a mature, polished performance. We appreciated his friendly and cheerful approach in our rehearsals.

The orchestra was assembled by Jenny Stengards, and they played beautifully under the leadership of Concertmaster Edwina Kayser. The singers were helped greatly by the players, as there was usually at least one instrument playing each singer’s part.

Singing in German was daunting for many singers to begin with, but the task was made much easier by Hannah Goller’s clear pronunciation notes and helpful comments to the choir.

At an enjoyable after-party our choir President Di Vale thanked the many people who contributed to a successful concert. Of course the Star Chorale thanks Di for her excellent leadership and sterling effort in ensuring that the preparation for the concert was thoroughly organised.

The Star Chorale now looks forward enthusiastically to its Christmas Concert on 3rd December. We will sing John Rutter’s “Magnificat”, together with a collection of carols.

Undoubtedly we can say “ Ja, der Geist spricht.”

— Jeff Castles

Program for 2017

Our intention is to stage three concerts in 2017, as follows:

  • Sunday 2nd April – Our first concert will have an “Australiana” theme, featuring modern arrangements of traditional folk songs, as well as contemporary pieces written by composers and lyricists as diverse as Eddie Perfect, Fay White and Michael Leunig. We’ll provide a full list of proposed items shortly.
  • Sunday 30th July – Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem at the Melbourne Recital Centre
  • Sunday 3rd December – Christmas concert, details still to be finalised.

Please note that this year our regular rehearsals will be held on Tuesday evenings rather than Wednesday. We did not make this change lightly, and realise that this new arrangement will not suit everyone. We do apologise to those choristers who will not be able to sing with us for this reason. Unless otherwise advised, rehearsals will take place at our customary venue, the James Tatoulis Auditorium at MLC, and will commence at 7:30pm.

Announcement of new Music Director

The committee is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Kathleen McGuire as the Star Chorale’s Music Director for 2017. Kathleen has thirty years’ experience conducting and teaching, working with choirs, orchestras, opera and dance companies, in community and professional settings, both in Australia and overseas. Though raised here in Melbourne, Kathleen has spent much of the last twenty years in the United States, where she was officially recognised by both the City of San Francisco and the California Senate for outstanding contributions in music. As well as being a vocalist herself, Kathleen is a well-regarded composer and plays multiple instruments. We are very excited to have her with us for this year.

If you are interested in finding out more about Dr McGuire, go to her website (, where among other things you can watch videos of her in action conducting.