The Rockhampton Musical Union Junior Choir was originally formed in 1951 as The Rockhampton Teenage Choral Society with conductor Mr A R Ethell. In 1954 Marjorie Nugent took over as conductor and the choir was renamed the Rockhampton Musial Union Intermediate Choir in 1956 and the Rockhampton Musical Union Junior Choir in 1962. They continued with notable successes especially at State Eisteddfod for 23 years. Marj was awarded a life membership in 1984. Yvonne Raynor followed as the next conductress and continued until 1982.
In 1986, Nita Whyte, the choir accompanist since 1967, was appointed as conductress and the choir has flourished under her leadership. Trips away each year to the Queensland State Eisteddfod are a highlight of the year for the choir members. The years have seen many changes for the Junior Choir, notably a name change in 1995 to The Rockhampton Musical Union Youth Choir. In 1994, the choir embarked on the presentation of their first musical production, Alice, in the Pilbeam Theatre and have continued with many successful shows including Cinderella, Aladdin and The Adventures of Mr Toad, The Wizard of Oz (in conjunction with our Senior Choir), Peter Pan, 13 A New Musical, Mulan and Jack and the Beanstalk. Public appearances have been many and varied including performances with Karen Knowles, The Brisbane Boys Choir, The Australian Girls Choir, Capricornia Silver Band, Queensland Opera, the World Beef Forum Opening and Carols By Candlelight.
Under the very capable direction of Nita Whyte as Conductor, Queensland Eisteddfod accolades continued to grow with successes at both Junior and Intermediate level a constant highlight. In 2009, with Nita's resignation, the conductor's baton was taken up jointly by Daena Scheuber, Joy Philippi and then by Jacqui Baker In 2012, we welcomed Mrs Bernadette Mitchell as our Conductor, achieving much continued success, having been named Champion Youth Choir at the Queensland Eisteddfod, twice in her four years leading the choir. Bernadette remained in this role until 2017 and we are very grateful to have worked under her leadership. The choir is extremely grateful to our accompanists over the years, Tink Boyd, Sonya Whitehead, David Schirmer, Andrew Hogan, Deana Scheuber, Christina Bond, Anne Gralow and Danielle Boto, for sharing their immense talents with our choir.
In 2018, we welcomed Julie Layt and Jodie Hiron as our Conductors. Julie and Jodie work as a team and love to play good cop, bad cop. They share the conducting role and are assisted in rehearsal by Tink Boyd and Kate Ellis which eases the pressure on all concerned. They continue in this role in 2019 and we are very happy to have them on board, sharing their expertise with our young people! The choir currently caters for young people aged between 8 and 18 years of age and continues to combine strong Choral work with Musical Production work each year. As always, a strong parent committee continues to work tirelessly to support the choir and offer wonderful opportunities for the young people of our community to foster a love of all that is Music and Performance.