12th World Symposium on Choral Music

Lyn Williams


Country: Australia

Australia’s Aboriginal culture, is the oldest continuing culture on earth, dating back 50 to 60 thousand years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia have been caretakers of the land and sea for thousands of years and their songs reflect this profound relationship.

Of the approximately 250 languages spoken across Australia at the time of colonisation, relatively few survive. Members of the Gondwana indigenous Children’s Choir feel a deep responsibility towards playing their part in the preservation of language and culture.

In this presentation Lyn Williams will provide a historical overview of indigenous Australians, as well as some triumphs and challenges of Indigenous Australians today. The session will explore the richness and complexity of Aboriginal culture and their deep relationship to the land and delve into the creation of the Cairns based Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and the process of developing the repertoire.

Since establishing Gondwana Choirs in 1989, Lyn Williams has completely transformed the choral landscape in Australia by harnessing the incredible musical and expressive power of young voices through her world-renowned children’s choirs. The Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Voices and the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir have all been created and sustained by Lyn. This has grown into the organisation, Gondwana Choirs, which puts the vocal power of young voices at the centre of its impressive and wide-reaching artistic program.

In addition to her ongoing work with the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices, for the past ten years Lyn has been devoted to the creation and evolution of the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir (GICC).  

Recently, Lyn’s work with singer-songwriter Felix Riebl and the singers of Marliya (present and past members of the GICC) has resulted in the critically-acclaimed festival show Spinifex Gum, which premiered at the 2018 Adelaide Festival.

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