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Why Do Choirs Matter?

Impact Study: Evolving Choral Participation in 21st Century Australia

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs is undertaking an impact study that will address the role of choral participation in 21st century Australia. As we celebrate our 100th birthday, the time is right to consider how participation and engagement with choirs and community singing has evolved. The last two decades have seen rapid change in terms of how Australians engage with music, socialise, their leisure activities and how they use technology. Do choirs need to change too?

We want to explore how participation in choirs impacts individuals and communities. To do this we are working with a research agency called Patternmakers, based in Sydney, that have experience helping creative organisations gather and evaluate data. This study aims to take stock of international research and hear from a wide range of perspectives. The framework of this study is comprised of:

  • Fieldwork – qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews, focus groups and a large scale anonymous online survey (May 2019 – January 2020)
  • Analysis – interpreting the data and the publication of a high quality written report. (February – March 2020)
  • Knowledge sharing – commitment to sharing the findings of the study with choral sector stakeholders and researchers. (March 2020 onwards)

To ensure the impact study provides the most meaningful results, we will not only invite the 1,500 members of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs to participate, but will invite members of other choirs to share their experiences. Working with the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) we are inviting their member organisations to participate in a large scale online survey. The goal is to invite over 3,000 singers based in NSW to participate.

Patternmakers is a research agency specialising in culture, creativity and community. Established by Tandi Palmer Williams in 2016, Patternmakers has worked with Australia Council, Sydney Opera House, Australian Theatre for Young People, Sydney Observatory and City Recital Hall amongst many others. Tandi is accredited as a Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR) and is an Associate of the UTS Institute of Public Policy.

Contact Fleur Griffiths fleur@sydneyphilharmonia.com.au for further information.