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Curphey, Judith (1929 - )

OAM

Born
17 September 1929
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Artistic director, Music teacher and Musician
Alternative Names
  • Oliver, Judith (birth name)

Summary

Judith Curphey OAM is the founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Girls Choir. Judith enjoyed a successful career as a classroom music teacher before starting the Choir upon her retirement in 1984.

Judith wanted to challenge the accepted convention that boys sing 'better' than girls, and create a female choir with a uniquely Australian sound and high artistic standards, a group of girls and young women which could dance as well as sing, and was renowned for its quality of presentation.

The Choir has grown from just 150 choristers in Melbourne, to now over 3,500 choristers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. In 2011, Judith Curphey continues in the role as Artistic Director.

Details

Events

1929
Born in Melbourne, Victoria
1935
Moved with Family to Perth, Western Australia
1938
Schooled as a boarder at Loreto Convent, Perth, Western Australia (Now John XXIII College)
1943
at Presbyterian Ladies College, Perth, Western Australia
1948
Retruns to Melbourne, enters Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and completes Performers' Diploma
1953
Marries Rex Curphey, moves to London. Works as a piano accompanist at a ballet school.
1955
Son Simon Curphey is born
1956
Returns to Melbourne
1957
Daughter Jane Curphey is born
1963 - 1965
Commences career as classroom music teacher at The MacRobertson Girls' High School
1966 - 1974
Moves to Kew High School as a music teacher, becomes Head of Music
1975 - 1983
Moves to Ringwood High School (now Ringwood Secondary College) as Director of Music
1984 -
Founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Girls Choir (AGC). Auditions girls around schools in Melbourne and selects 150 girls who attended the first rehearsal on 7 March 1984 at Burwood State College (now Deakin University).
2004
Awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to music, particularly through the Australian Girls Choir.

Sources used to compile this entry: Information provided by Sara-Jane Rice, Australian School of Performing Arts, based on a 2011 interview with Judith Curphey.

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