Luminescence Chamber Singers

Luminescence Children’s Choir

"This group of young people were nothing short of brilliant".
Clinton White, Canberra CityNews
Wynton NPG

0401 770 130

The Luminescence Children's Choir is an auditioned treble choir for singers aged 10 - 17. Conducted by AJ America, Luminescence Children's Choir is dedicated to excellence in performance and offers young singers holistic and high quality musical experiences and education. The choir offers a safe and creative space for young people to express themselves through singing, make like-minded friends, and fosters a life-long love of music and the arts.

The Luminescence Children's Choir came together for performances in September and December 2015, and became a permanent ensemble in July 2016. Since then, the Luminescence Children's Choir have performed at national institutions and world-class concert venues, including Parliament House, the National Portrait Gallery, the High Court, the Sydney Opera House, Hobart Town Hall, and Federation Concert Hall.  In addition to regular performances in Canberra, the choir has toured to Hobart, Melbourne, and Sydney, and appeared in the Canberra International Music Festival, the Festival of Voices, and the Gondwana World Choral Festival. Luminescence performs a wide range of music, from the Renaissance to new works commissioned by Luminescence. Choristers learn to sing in many languages across a range of genres, and regularly collaborate with professional artists and composers. In 2020, the choir embarked on a virtual composition and recording project in collaboration with acclaimed composer Dan Walker, to compose and record Satellites, a new work inspired by their experiences during lockdown, and performed Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols, alongside harpist Alice Giles. In 2021, Luminescence Children's Children's Choir will perform in a number of major Canberra events, including the launch of Skywhale: Every Heart Sings with the National Gallery of Australia, and the Vietnam Requiem (Flowers of War). 

 "Luminescence has been, and continues to be, the most remarkable experience for our girls.  It has tested their self-discipline, taught them to listen and to hear things they didn’t before, broadened their cultural bearings, and cemented new friendships, both at home and on tour - all while showering them with the singular gifts that music brings.  We have also been beneficiaries as devoted groupies at countless concerts, constantly in awe of the range and diversity of their repertoire!"
LCC Parent


Tuesday 28 September
Ainslie Arts Centre

Applications are open now to join one of Canberra's most exciting programs for young musicians.

The Luminescence Children's Choir is an auditioned treble choir for singers aged 10 - 17.  In addition to a comprehensive music education program, the choir performs and tours widely, appearing regularly alongside professional musicians and at some of Canberra's largest public events. Recent highlights have included performances of Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols alongside acclaimed harpist Alice Giles, world premiere performances of 'We Are the Skywhales', in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia and singer/songwriter Jess Green, and appearances in Chris Latham's Vietnam Requiem. Luminescence Children's Choir is conducted by director and founder, AJ America.

Singers who audition successfully in September will have the option of commencing with the choir in Term 4 for our Christmas season, or at the beginning of 2022. Our artistic staff will recommend the most appropriate start time in discussion with each family. 

Applications close 20 September.

If you would like to apply but cannot attend the audition day on 28 September, please submit an application form and we will arrange an alternative audition time. 


Luminescence Children's Choir choristers also have the opportunity to participate in Sight-Singing School, a three-tiered program designed to develop choristers' music literacy, theory and aural skills. Sight-Singing classes are offered to choristers at no additional cost.

Musicians aged 10-11 can apply to participate in Sight-Singing 1 without joining the Concert Choir. This can prepare young singers to audition for the Choir in coming years, or aid the musicianship, theory and aural skills of young instrumentalists.

Sight-Singing 1
Saturdays,  1pm - 2pm
Tutor: Leanne McKean

In Sight-Singing 1, students build confidence sight-singing more complex melodies in major and minor keys as well as whole tone and chromatic tonalities, and a wider range of time signatures.

Sight-Singing 2
Saturdays, 2pm - 3pm
Tutor: Elsa Huber

In Sight-Singing 2, students are introduced to functional harmony, complex chords and intervals, and learn to sight-sing increasingly complex melodies including modal tonalities. They begin to explore more complicated syncopation and mixed metre.

Sight-Singing 3
Saturdays, 3 -4pm
Tutor: Patrick Baker

Sight-Singing 3 offers a real challenge for advanced young musicians. In this class, students learn to sight-sing in all modal tonalities, and grapple with complex chords as well as atonal melodies and pitch patterns, polyrhythms and complex syncopations.

Financial hardship should never be a barrier to music education. In order to ensure that all choristers with a passion for singing are able to participate in our programs, Luminescence offers a comprehensive bursary scheme. Donate to the Luminescence Children's Choir Bursary fund, and help foster self-confidence in young people, a love for music and life-long friendships by enabling young musicians experiencing financial hardship to sing with Luminescence.

Photo: Peter Hislop



What do I have to do in my audition?

Choristers will be asked to sing one song or an excerpt of a song lasting up to two minutes from memory. You may sing with or without live accompaniment (if required, applicants must provide their own accompanist).

Recorded accompaniment is not permitted.

You will also be asked to take a short aural test including melodic memory and sight-singing.


Where and when does the Luminescence Children's Choir rehearse?

The Luminescence Children's Choir rehearses from 4.30 - 6.45pm on Tuesday afternoons, at Ainslie Arts Centre. Choristers are expected to arrive at rehearsals between 4pm and 4.20pm.  Luminescence Children's Choir members are also strongly encouraged to participate in Sight-Singing School (no additional cost).

How often does the Luminescence Children's Choir perform?

The choir is involved in at least one major performance each term, but sometimes much more! Often, we give repeat performances of the same repertoire during a term, and on tour, we perform nearly every day. During 2019, the choir performed a total of 14 concerts.

Are there costs associated with enrolment in the choir?

Luminescence is a not-for-profit arts organisation that relies on chorister and student participation fees to operate, and to provide high quality music education to choristers. 

We understand that providing opportunities can be a strain on a family's budget, and are constantly striving to make the Luminescence Children's Choir accessible for all singers who have the necessary talent and passion. For that reason, we have a number of schemes in place to offer financial assistance to families, including payment plans, significant fee discounts for second (or more) siblings from the same family, and a limited number of bursaries. Bursaries are significantly reduced fees, awarded to exceptionally talented choristers who would otherwise be unable to participate in the program.

International Children's Day at the National Portrait Gallery.
International Children's Day at the National Portrait Gallery.
Luminescence Children's Choir at Carols In the Court 2016, Photo: Peter Hislop
Luminescence Children's Choir at Carols In the Court 2016, Photo: Peter Hislop