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Conductors and Directors of Music

MARTIN DOOLAND Inaugural conductor 1977

Dr Martin Dooland, a former member of the Adelaide University Choral Society, was an inaugural member of Graduate Singers, and it was at one of the group’s early rehearsals, before a name had been chosen, that he exclaimed words to the effect, ‘Come on, you can do better than that! You’re all graduates!’ And thus the name Graduate Singers came into being. Martin conducted the fledgling choir twice during its first year: a concert for the Red Cross at Burra Town Hall on 9 July, and a Soiree at the Education Department Building, Barton Terrace, North Adelaide on 27 October in which the choir performed Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia. He became the inaugural President in 1978. Martin had studied Dentistry; he went on to hold executive positions in the Dental Health Services of South Australia and Victoria, and contributed to the development of national oral health services.

ANN HOBAN Conductor 1978 – 1980

Ann Hoban was born in Melbourne, the ninth of twelve children, and found inspiration and deep friendship in Adelaide in the heady days of Don Dunstan’s Premiership. Career highlights include involvement in the University choral society movement (including Graduate Singers, for which she conducted seven performances); teaching arts administration to talented students at National Music Camp; stage managing the world premiere of the opera Voss, conducted by Stuart Challender and directed by Jim Sharman; Sydney Symphony and the Planet of Doom, the first foray into live computer gaming in the Concert Hall; taking the SSO on its first international tour to the US in decades; having a scholarship in her name after bringing the Queensland Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras together; landing a job at the City of Sydney to build a creative, sustainable, prosperous city for everyone; bringing food trucks to Sydney; increasing affordable creative spaces and creative industries; completing an MBA in entrepreneurship; facilitating technologies to build independence for people with disability; building trust with the Aboriginal community; and producing the New Year’s Eve fireworks on Sydney Harbour Bridge. Life highlights: her enormous family, lifelong friends and her patient partner, James Gillespie.

JON DRAPER Guest Conductor December 1978

Jon Draper was born in London in 1950. He studied conducting and in 1971 was appointed Assistant Conductor to Roy Wales and the London Chorale. At the age of 21, he participated in the International Choral Festival in New York and went on to tour the East Coast. Upon his return, he was invited to become the Musical Director to the University of London Choir, and was also Musical Director to the London Camerata Orchestra. In his mid-20s, Jon was appointed to establish a special new music centre at Woodville High School for the South Australian Education Department. In addition he became Musical Director to the University of Adelaide Choral Society (AUCS), conductor to the South Australian Education Department Schools Orchestra and conducted the Combined Australian University Choral Societies. He conducted Graduate Singers in their '20th Century European Music' concert at Pilgrim Church in December 1978. Also in that year, Draper became Chorus Master of the State Opera of South Australia (SOSA), and then its Assistant Conductor. Jon became the inaugural conductor of Adelaide Chorus in 1980. He left SOSA in 1980.

JOANNES ROOSE Guest Conductor November 1979


At the time Joannes Roose, a Churchill Fellowship recipient, conducted Graduate Singers in its November 1979 concert (‘Music from the 16th–20th centuries’), he was active as a flautist, lecturer, conductor and music journalist. He conducted a number of Adelaide ensembles, including the Sinfonia of Adelaide (which he founded), the Elder Conservatorium Orchestra, the Adelaide Liedertafel and the Adelaide and Flinders University Choral Societies. From 1982 to 1993 he conducted the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in a wide range of recordings and subscription concerts. As Dean of the Tasmanian Conservatorium he directed the Conservatorium’s orchestra and conducted numerous opera and oratorio productions. Joannes has been the Musical Director and Principal Conductor of The Melbourne Sinfonia since 1998; he has conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Stonnington, Zelman and other Melbourne orchestras, and in 2016 he was the inaugural conductor of the Geelong Symphony Orchestra.

CARL CROSSIN OAM Guest Conductor April/November 1979;

Director of Music 1981 – 1986; Guest Conductor June 1991

Carl Crossin – conductor, music educator and composer – is one of Australia’s most experienced choral conductors. A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Adelaide, Carl has also undertaken postgraduate study at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, USA. Over the past forty years, he has conducted a wide range of choirs in Adelaide, including, in his younger years, both Flinders and Adelaide University Choral Societies. In 1981 Carl was appointed Graduate Singers’ first Director of Music. He is currently Associate Professor of Music at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, where he has served in several leadership positions including, from 2009, Director of the Elder Conservatorium. Carl stepped down from the Directorship at the end of 2014 to take on a new role as Head of Voice, Opera, Conducting & Ensembles within the Conservatorium. Carl is Founder (1985), Artistic Director and Conductor of Adelaide Chamber Singers, with whom he has toured nationally and internationally, winning several national and international awards including three ‘summa cum laude’ awards at international competitions in Canada (2006), Italy (2013) and Wales (2013). His guest conducting commitments include Sydney Philharmonia, Melbourne Chorale, Sydney Chamber Choir, Brisbane Chamber Choir and Melbourne’s Polyphonic Voices. Carl was Artistic Director and Conductor of the National Youth Choir of Australia from 2008 to 2014 and is currently conductor of the nationally auditioned youth choir Gondwana Chorale. Graduate Singers has sung a number of Carl’s choral compositions, including Jubilate in Musica, commissioned by the choir for its 40th anniversary in 2017. He is also the patron of Graduate Singers. In 2007, Carl was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for ‘services to choral music’.

DR DEAN PATTERSON Guest Conductor August 1983 

When Dean Patterson conducted Graduate Singers for their 1983 performance of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Vaughan Williams’ In Windsor Forest, he was the senior vocal teacher with the South Australian Education Department. A notable baritone, he was a Churchill Fellow in 1979, during which he studied choral technique in Europe and the United States. He became director of Adelaide’s Corinthian Singers in 1975. He subsequently moved to Darwin and was the founder of the Darwin Chorale in 1985. He is now their Conductor Emeritus, along with Nora Lewis AM.

PETER DEANE Guest Conductor August 1985

Peter Deane graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music and subsequently undertook graduate study in Conducting and Voice for two years at the University of Southern California and in Chicago and London. He has been fortunate to enjoy a varied career as a singer, conductor, voice teacher and music educator. In August 1985, Peter conducted the inaugural combined University Choral Societies and Graduate Singers in a concert marking Adelaide University Choral Society’s 25th anniversary. The performance featured the Mozart Vespers and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Flinders Street School of Music Orchestra (TAFE). Peter has conducted five Youth Operas for the Come Out Festival and State Opera of South Australia (SOSA). Peter has sung with Co-Opera and SOSA for many years. In addition to his opera appearances, he variously sings and conducts with vocal ensembles in concert both in Adelaide and in London.

HILARY WEILAND Director of Music January 1987 – May 1990

Hilary Weiland arrived in Adelaide from England in early 1985 and immediately became involved in the city’s musical life as both a singer and a conductor, the latter including the Adelaide University Choral Society. She also taught at Brighton High School Special Interest Music Centre. Hilary had studied music at Girton College, Cambridge, where she organised and ran the chapel choir. She sang, toured with and directed the Cambridge University Chamber Choir. Hilary continued to sing and direct choirs in London, including performances with Sir Neville Marriner, Andrew Parrot and Louis and Simon Halsey. For three and a half years she was Director of Music at Notting Hill and Ealing High School. Returning to the United Kingdom in 1990, she became Director of Music at Norwich High School for Girls.

GRAEME QUINN Guest Conductor November 1990;

December 1990 – Light Pass, Barossa Valley

Graeme Quinn is an Honours Graduate in Music Performance from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide. He was an experienced accompanist and repetiteur with a particular interest in vocal and choral music when he first became involved with Graduate Singers in 1978. In 1981 and 1983, he was the accompanist and piano soloist for Graduate Singers concerts. He conducted Grads in its ‘Contemporary Sounds’ concert in 1990, which included Barber’s Agnus Dei and Rutter’s Requiem. Graeme conducted The Chandos Chorale from 1987 to 1989 and was Music Director for the Australian Girls’ Choir. He has been Director of Music at Seymour College since 1997. 

GRAHAM ABBOTT Director of Music July 1991 – September 1992

Graham Abbott is a graduate in Music Education from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After teaching high school music for five years, he gained the ABC/Willem van Otterloo Conducting Scholarship in 1985 to study with Myer Fredman. Graham moved to Adelaide in 1986 and worked as a full time conductor, holding positions with the University of Adelaide, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chorale as well as many other organisations. On 11 April 1992, Graduate Singers gave the first Australian performance of Georg Friedrich Handel’s Messiah Complete Autograph Score to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first performance of this work (first performed 13 April, 1742) with Graham conducting from the harpsichord. He conducted all Australia’s leading orchestras, choirs and opera companies until 2002 (including work in the UK in 1997–98). In 2003, Graham joined ABC Classic FM as a producer/presenter. His passion for music education is reflected in his long-running and acclaimed series, Keys to Music.

Photograph courtesy ABC FM.

JASON SHUTE Director of Music 1993 – July 1996

Welsh-born Jason Shute studied voice and violin at London’s Royal College of Music. He joined the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, performing at Sadler’s Wells and throughout Great Britain. From the mid-1970s he pursued a freelance career in opera, concert and recital work. In the 1980s, he furthered his interest in conducting, which included being chorus-master for the BBC Welsh Chorus on a number of occasions. In addition to commencing as Director of Music for Graduate Singers in 1993, he conducted the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of South Australia’s production of Pirates of Penzance. During his tenure, the choir premièred two of his compositions: Summer Noels (1993) and Llef (1995). He also conducted the Adelaider Liedertafel for five years, and the Austrian male voice choir, the Glocknerchor. Jason later turned to historical research in the area of South Australia’s copper heritage and its links with South Wales, and authored the first biography of Henry Ayers (Henry Ayers: The man who became a rock), published in 2011.

ANDREW CLOSE Director of Music 1997 – June 2000

Dr Andrew Close was born in England and emigrated to Australia in 1969. Following studies in clarinet both in Adelaide and London, he gained a Masters Degree in Music (performance) in 1991 at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and a Graduate Diploma in Education the following year. Andrew was Solo Clarinettist with the South Australian Police Band from 1988 to 1994. In 1995, he began teaching at Pembroke School, where he conducted the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, school choirs and the Chamber Orchestra, for which he wrote Pembroke Divertimento. After being Director of Music at Wesley College (Melbourne) for three years, Andrew moved to Switzerland, where he is currently Head of Arts at the International School of Geneva. He has continued to work as a freelance composer and conductor, having directed several operas and composed a number of church anthems. He has recently finished Doctoral studies in Education. Andrew’s highlights during his time with Grads – aside from the many friendships – were a program of all South Australian composers (including his own work, Alleluia) and performances of Duruflé’s Requiem and Rachmaninov’s Vespers.

TIMOTHY MARKS Guest Conductor July – December 2000;

Director of Music 2001 – 2011

Tim Marks graduated from the Elder Conservatorium, where he studied under Keith Crellin, with a Graduate Diploma in Music Performance (Viola). He played with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. An interest in early music led Tim to become principal player with Ensemble Esterhaza (Melbourne), New Holland Baroque (Adelaide), and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (Sydney). He pursued vocal studies under Robert Dawe and was a soloist with many Adelaide choirs including the Festival Chorus and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus and Graduate Singers. He sang with Co-Opera for several years, and was a member of the vocal ensemble Syntony. Upon Andrew Close’s final concert in June 2000, Tim became Grads’ ‘Visiting Musical Director’ for the second half of 2000, before being appointed the ongoing Director of Music. Tim was also the State Director of the Australian Youth Choir, whose headquarters in Wayville saw many enjoyable post-concert parties for Grads. He was awarded Life Membership of Graduate Singers at the end of his final year with the choir. He was a member of Adelaide Chamber Singers and Director of In Unitate (Pembroke Old Scholars). 


The South Australian music community was deeply saddened by his sudden and untimely death in January 2016.


PETER KELSALL Guest Conductor August 2012 


Peter Kelsall graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, in 1989 with a Bachelor of Music Degree (piano), and holds a Graduate Diploma in Performance (pipe organ) and a Masters in Music Theory. He has undertaken further studies in choral conducting with Carl Crossin. In 1995 Peter was appointed Organist and Director of Choristers at Pilgrim Uniting Church, a position he still holds. He has lectured in music theory and history at the TAFE School of Music. In 1997 he became the Musical Director of the Adelaide University Choral Society, of which he is now a Life Member. Peter has accompanied many Adelaide choirs on piano and organ (including Graduate Singers), played with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and given numerous recitals. He conducted Graduate Singers for their ‘Deus Ibi Est’ concert in August 2012, which was a celebration of 20th-century sacred music including works by Duruflé, Howells, Stanford, Langlais and Jackson.

KARL GEIGER Guest Conductor May 2012;

Director of Music 2013 – present


Karl Geiger is a pianist, organist, accompanist and conductor. A graduate of both the University of Melbourne and the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, he has been involved in choral music his whole musical life, having sung in and played for many choirs. An active accompanist, Karl was the inaugural winner of the Diana Harris Prize for Accompanying and was the winner of the 2010 Geoffrey Parsons Award for Accompaniment. During his university studies, Karl was organ scholar at St Peter’s Cathedral, during which time he sang regularly in the choir and played for services. Karl has had considerable experience as a vocal accompanist and orchestral continuo player (both on harpsichord and organ), having appeared frequently in recitals and concerts. Karl was the accompanist for First Concert Choir of Young Adelaide Voices from 2010 until 2016, and has been the principal choral accompanist at the Elder Conservatorium of Music since 2010, accompanying the Conservatorium’s chamber choir (Adelaide Voices), women's choir (Bella Voce), and ‘flagship choir’ (Elder Conservatorium Chorale). Karl regularly works with the Adelaide Chamber Singers as both rehearsal pianist and concert associate artist. After being invited to be guest conductor for the choir’s May 2012 concert, Karl was appointed Director of Music of Graduate Singers in September 2012.

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