Enter

Enter Entries open 01 March - 30 April

Choral Competition dates: Tuesday 03 - Friday 06 September 

Venue: Founders Hall, Caro Convention Centre, Federation University, University Drive, Mt Helen

We have partnered with Stardom eisteddfod management system for entries and event management. Song titles, music files and DLPs can all be uploaded in preparation for the event.

A Stardom account is required to enter.

Choral Contest

Choirs are a beautiful discipline of the Eisteddfod. A choir is defined as a musical ensemble of singers and the Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire.

The Royal South Street Society Ballarat Eisteddfod’s Choral Contest offers a unique chance for personal growth and improvement. Our eisteddfod platform is a transformative journey where performers can take to a stage, refine their skills, boost their confidence, and unlock a love for the performing arts. 

Sections include Junior Novice & Critique Only Primary School, Rural Primary School, Primary School and Secondary School choirs and Open Age. Sections within the competition include show and performance choirs, small choral groups, acappella, community choirs, gospel.

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Stories

Learn more about the Choral discipline from our collection of stories, historical records and media....

Explore

Explore our history timeline

Choral competitions were first introduced into the Royal South Street Eisteddfod in 1897.

1897

The first of the choral contests are introduced to the competitions and won by the Barkly Street Wesleyan Choir.

1907

The Highland Pipe Band contest is introduced as part of the competitions while the Factory Choral competition attracts entries from Ballarat and Geelong as businesses vie for musical honours.

Bernard Heinze wins the under 13 and 15 violin solos and after studying at the Royal College of Music, returns in 1923 as a South Street adjudicator. Knighted in 1949, his career as a conductor, professor of music, music advisor to the ABC, and trustee of the Sydney Opera House saw Heinze rise to become one of the dominant musical figures in Australia.

1909

Amateur boxing and wrestling contests are held at the Coliseum and the President’s wife is ‘relieved of finding entertainment for the ladies of visiting choirs.’

Ballarat High School opens and is one of the first purpose build agricultural high schools and first government secondary schools in the state.

1921

After the war, enthusiasm for Brass Bands and Choral work pushes the South Street Society to greater heights. Six thousand entries are received from every Australian state and for the first time, some have to be rejected, with 20 choirs, 48 bands and 150 calisthenics teams keen to compete.

‘Tides of visitors flow in and out, filling hotel, boarding-house and bed-and-breakfast accommodation, putting smiles on the faces of the proprietors of café and fish-and-chip shops.’ Weston Bate, Life after Gold.

Ballarat West and East Councils finally amalgamate and W D Hill, founder of South Street, becomes the first Mayor of Ballarat Citycr-w-d-hill

John Brownlee wins the gold medal as champion vocalist at the South Street having never had a singing lesson his life and abandons accountancy to sing full time. In 1926 he would sing with Dame Nelle Melba in La Boheme in Covent Garden at her farewell performance.

The first live radio broadcast from South Street takes place and W D Hill dies in office after 42 years of remarkable service to the Eisteddfod and Ballarat community.

1922

The Society receives a letter asking if a competition for Ladies Pipe Bands is in the pipeline and it is decided that choir members in the Shops and Factories Choirs must have at least month’s employment to make them eligible.

1938

As part of Ballarat’s Centenary year, a “Back to South Street Vocal Championship” is held and is open to all former competitors.

The Champion Juvenile Choral Contest is re-named the Choral Contest Under 16 years of age, and Dancing and Calisthenics become separate sections, with the suggestion that Greek Dancing be added to the mix.

Ballarat’s Floral Festival begins and its first floral carpet is displayed.

The Ballarat National Theatre is founded and the first production, ‘The Barretts of Wimple Street, is performed at the Alfred Hall.

1954

The Ballarat Civic Male Choir under the baton of Mr. W. H. Keith Young wins the Male Choir Section.

Changing audience tastes are reflected in  suggestions to introduce an Original Radio Talk, and Novel and Short Story Writing Contests and remove from the prize list recitals of verse by an Australian author. Other new items of interest include Impromptu Dialogue and Speech and One Act Plays.

With 1105 entries for dance, Judges curtail their criticism in the solo items to save time.

1963

The Mackay Junior Choral Society travels 2,000 miles to win the Juvenile Choral Contest and win the hearts of local audiences.

The members endeared themselves to their hosts with their fresh personalities and to the audience of the contest with their melodious singing.”

The Piano Accordion Section is no more and new sections are added including Recorder Bands, a Champion Concerto and Spectacular Exercises in the Senior Novice Section.

1989

South Street moves to the Civic Hall while restoration work is undertaken on the theatre and two new items are introduced to the competitions – the Geoff Smith Memorial Jazz Ensemble and the Choral, Courier Junior Secondary Choirs.

The Australian Elizabethan Trust donates $13,000 to support the Band Contest and help set up Civic Hall in readiness for the Eisteddfod.

1993

Keeping pace with the times, new successful sections are added to the Competition’s program including Contemporary Choral and Modern Vocal Ensembles. A weekend Play Festival is also introduced with adjudicators Julian Oldfield and Peter Tullock.

The Mechanics Institute is used for the Brass Bands’ warm-up.

The Federal Minister for Arts, Senator Bob McMullan visits the Eisteddfod and a civic reception is held for Jason Wasley, Herald Sun Aria Winner.

2015

Girton Grammar’s Junior School Performance Choir wins the 2015 Royal South Street Eisteddfod.

“This year their performance has been lauded by internationally acclaimed opera star, Suzanne Johnston, and Douglas Heywood, OAM, as one of the finest children’s choirs they have heard in a very long time.”

Headmaster, Matthew Maruff.

Her Majesty’s Theatre celebrates 140 years, opening in 1875 as the Academy of Music. After re-modelling in 1898, the theatre was relaunched as her Majesty’s Theatre in recognition of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Graceful Girl Competition and the Herald Sun Aria both mark their 90th birthday.

Planning begins for Royal South Street 125 and Les Holloway and the Historical Committee begin work on 125 Years of South Street History.