Melbourne Youth Chorale (formerly Berwick Children’s Choir and Berwick Youth Choir) is the City of Casey’s longest established choir, founded in 1986 by Jean Heriot (OAM). Jean had travelled to Hungary as the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study the Kodály method of music education.
While working to develop the music department at St Margaret’s School, Jean’s vision for the Berwick Children’s Choir was to provide all children in the community with access to high quality music education. She worked for many years to bring music to the young people of the area and was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1998 and an Order of Australia Medal in 2006 for her contribution to music education.
Jean Heriot’s legacy of providing quality music education to children lives on. At Melbourne Youth Chorale we believe that everyone deserves the gift of music. In 2018 Melbourne Youth Chorale began operating on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis and now offers the gift of music to children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Melbourne Youth Chorale (Berwick Youth Choir) CDs have received repeated airplay on many radio stations, including ABC Radio. The choir has performed at concerts for charities including Very Special Kids, The Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children, the Juvenile Diabetes Association, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and OzChild.
The choir has performed in Melbourne at Government House, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Iwaki Auditorium and the Melbourne Town Hall. The choir has toured to Britain and Europe, performing at Durham Cathedral, the Tower of Pisa, and the Duomo in Florence.
Melbourne Youth Chorale is supported by the City of Casey and performs regularly at local events such as Citizenship Ceremonies and Berwick Rotary Carols by Candlelight and various aged care homes.