The Beginning

The journey of the WGC began with one woman's dream.

WYNETTE HORNE OAM

Founding Musical Director

After qualifying as a State Registered Nurse and Midwife in Sydney in1963, Wynette continued her nursing career until the birth of her first daughter in London in 1969. She came to Newcastle, NSW, Australia with her husband, an Anaesthetist, in 1970. (All three daughters have been active members of the choir)

As a child in Victoria, she studied flute which she continued later during her adult years at the Newcastle Conservatorium when her interest in teaching developed. She graduated from there with a Certificate of Teaching in1983 and spent approx. twenty years teaching music and flute at Waratah Primary School and Newcastle Grammar School.

Whilst teaching at Waratah Primary School, Wynette obtained a Government grant to purchase musical instruments which she used to teach and train up pupils to form a school orchestra. This continued on for approx. ten years and many children went on to join other musical groups whilst many others continued on to tertiary music training.

In 1982, Wynette was inspired to start a Christian girls choir which led her to the beginning of a new, exciting and rewarding period of her life. Stepping out in faith to follow this ‘call’, her enthusiasm, inherent musicality and catalytic ability soon brought to life and vitality, the young voices of the Waratah Girls Choir and in 1985 it emerged as the Australian National Champions which was the beginning of many successes for the choir.

Wynette has become a familiar face at many choral seminars, eisteddfods and workshops over the years. Included in many of her activities have been presenting master classes and lectures at CYTA Music Seminar and Hills Choral Dimensions (Sydney). in 1998, she was invited to conduct a choral workshop at the National Choralfest in Sydney. She again presented two choral workshops at the national Choralfest in Adelaide in September 2004

In 1994, Wynette conducted and recorded Vivaldi’s Gloria for choir and orchestra.

In August 1999 Wynette was co-adjudicator of the Newcastle region National Gospel Eisteddfod and in April 2000 co-adjudicated the All of Queensland State Eisteddfod in Mackay. She has also adjudicated the Mackay Musical Eisteddfod, (2001) Nthn Qld Eisteddfod in Cairns (2002), Central Coast Eisteddfod in 2003 and Innisfail Young Performers Competition in 2004. In 2008 she travelled to the Rockhampton Eisteddfod to adjudicate for 9 days.

In December 1995 Wynette was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Newcastle Rotary International and on Australia Day 1997 was honoured by being awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to the community as founder director of the Waratah Girls Choir and as a music educator.

Her faith, conviction, love of music and concern for young people have given her a passion to pursue what she believes to be her vocation: to encourage, develop and nurture through music and singing, the characters of these young people, developing confidence, leadership, extensive musical awareness, healthy team spirits and an understanding of applied Christian beliefs and values.

She is currently a member of The Australian National Choral Association and has had four articles published in its journal, Sing Out.

At the end of 2007, Wynette retired as Musical Director of Waratah Girls Choir, handing the baton over to her youngest daughter, Lindy Connett