Musical Director – Kim Butcher
West Gippsland Chorale welcomes Kim Butcher as Musical Director
Kim relocated to Cloverlea in 2019 having had extensive experience teaching music in Sydney.
She attended the Conservatorium High School in Sydney for 6 years, majoring in Piano and Percussion, although she always sang in Madrigal Groups and Choirs. Following school, she did a Bachelor of Music in Performance on Percussion at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, whilst also singing with the Sydney Philharmonia Choir. This was followed by a Dip Ed in order to teach Secondary students.
Kim worked at the following schools in Sydney – Pymble Ladies College, St Euphemia, The Macdonald College of Performing Arts, PLC Croydon (Choral Director), and Kambala. Whilst at Kambala, besides teaching Music to Year 12 she was the Director of the Madrigal Group, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Year 12 Chorale and Tour Choral Director (4 international performing tours – Western Europe, Eastern Europe, America and Italy).
Over the years she has also had extensive experience with SATB work conducting large works such as Faure’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.
Her musical tastes are varied, whether it be Madrigals from the 1600s, music from different cultures, classical works or contemporary pieces such as works from The Beatles.
West Gippsland Chorale is looking forward to working with Kim and can already attest to the high standards she sets for each member of the choir. Her warmth and enthusiasm are infectious, and she is fostering a love of singing as a group and gently encouraging the chorale to communicate this love to an audience through intonation, phrasing and musicality.
Accompanist – Chris Sim
Musical Director Emeritus – Jan MacLean
Jan has had a lifelong interest in Choral music and during her teacher training she sang with Melbourne University Choral Society, then Yallourn Madrigal Singers under the late Val Pyers, Geelong GAMA Singers and Hamilton Lydian Singers, gaining valuable insights in leading a choir from a variety of skilled conductors. In the early ’70s directed the Southern Mallee Choir in Hopetoun for their first ever Messiah performance. Moving to Horsham , she directed Christmas Choir for several years. She has trained various secondary school choirs and directed many school musicals.
On moving to Warragul in the early ’80s she founded the Warragul Madrigal Singers, which was later renamed the West Gippsland Chorale to acknowledge the wider variety of music in its repertoire. For 26 years Jan directed the Chorale, and has always seen the big picture in preparing the choir for the future. From its earliest years when it began winning eisteddfods, she always strove for perfection and was well known for her ability to encourage the choir to enter into the atmosphere of each piece of music.
Jan made contacts over the years with leading Melbourne conductors such as Jeffrey Crellin, Doug Heywood and Peter Bandy, and thus began a series of cooperative choral ventures with Melbourne choirs and their orchestras. The Chorale under Jan’s direction became part of the musical tradition of Gippsland and beyond.
Her community work was recognised in 1999 when she was awarded an Australia Day Medallion.
Jan stepped down as musical director in June 2010, she has remained involved with the Chorale. Music lovers hold her in deep affection and love and will continue to extend to her their profound gratitude for years to come.