After twelve years at the artistic helm of the ‘choir that inspired the nation’ on the ground breaking award winning ABC TV series, Choir of Hard Knocks, Founding Artistic Director Dr Jonathon Welch AM has released a statement announcing his retirement at the end of December 2018.
“It has been the journey of a lifetime and an honour to work with, lead, and call the Choir of Hard Knocks my friends” said Dr Welch. “From day one, the choir members and I have had a very special bond, and I could never have imagined the impact the choir has had on so many people’s lives around the world.”
“We have spent thousands of hours together in rehearsals and in hundreds of concerts around the Nation. I know how much the choir means to the members and all the volunteers, as well as to the public that have supported their journey and watched their amazing development.”
“But now it’s time for me to focus on my beautiful family and look to the future as I also turn 60 years old in a few weeks. I’m also celebrating 40 years professionally in the music industry, so this year is full of milestones and exciting new beginnings for me and for the choir as they also celebrate their 12th birthday next week.”
“The Choir of Hard Knocks will always remain etched in my heart and will probably be seen as my ‘footprint in the sand’. It has been my greatest honour to serve them as their artistic leader for all these years.”
“I will remain involved in the background in the coming months to ensure the choir’s future and to assist them with the appointment of a new conductor in 2019, but in the meantime we are going to share some more special times together until I finish in December with a big farewell concert that we are planning.”
“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in this journey supporting me and the Choir for the past 12 years, in particular my wonderful husband Matt, who has been by my side through thick and thin. I know that you will all continue to support the choir as they move into an exciting new and different phase of their development now,”
“I still have so much more work that I want to do in the arts inclusion space in Australia, and look forward to sharing that news shortly also” said Dr Welch excitedly.
Details of the farewell concert with Choir of Hard Knocks and Dr Welch will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, visit: www.choirofhardknocks.org.au for details.
Image: Dr Jonathon Welch AM (right) with Members of the Choir of Hard Knocks