In 1884, an appeal was made to interested gentlemen to attend a meeting for the purpose of forming a male choir in the city of Brisbane .
As a result of this meeting, sixteen gentlemen indicated their interest in supporting this project , and on 16th July, the Brisbane Liedertafel was formed. Rehearsals were commenced under the direction of Mr. H.J. Pollard, with Mr. W. A. Calfisch as accompanist, and proceeded at regular intervals. The first practice of the newly-formed Brisbane Liedertafel was held in Messrs Pollard and Co’s warehouse, 120 Queen Street. There were about twenty members present and a number of pieces were successfully performed, Mr. HJ Pollard conducting.
The first public concert of the choir was presented on 16th. July, 1885, in the Brisbane Town Hall (then situated in Queen Street, approximately where the Lennons Hotel is now situated). The title “Liedertafel”, initially given to the choir, was of German origin, and translated into English meant “song table” , indicative of the custom in Germany of men gathering around a table with theirbeer steins and rendering songs in harmony. During World War I, patriotic feeling was at a highlevel, so a decision to change the name of the choir to Brisbane Apollo Club was adopted early in1916. In Greek legend , Apollo was the leader of the Muses, the God of music, song and poetry, of agriculture and the pastoral life. The Choir retained this name until October, 1993, when officialapproval was given to register as a Body Corporate with the title Brisbane Apollo Male Choir Inc.
Since its formation, the choir has presented numerous performances, initially within the precincts of the city of Brisbane , and announcements of impending concerts aroused considerable interestamong the community generally in anticipation of a feast of good male choral singing. Press reports bore testimony of the choral excellence of the choir, particularly under the leadership of LeonardFrancis, (pictured) from 1913 to 1936, and Percy Brier, from 1936 to 1939.
The first performance by the reformed Choir was held on 17 July, 1885, and on the same date in 1985 The Brisbane Apollo Club MaleChoir celebrated its centenary by presenting “A Special Centenary Commemorative Concert” in the Brisbane City Hall. The proceeds of this concert went to the St Vincent’s Hostel, South Brisbane.
The present day Apollo Choir, after meeting at the Shaftsbury Centre in Spring Hill for many years, moved to St. James Anglican Church Hall at Enoggera Road, Newmarket at the beginning of 2008. Rehearsals are held every Tuesday from 1.30 pm.
The Musical Director is Michelle Albert . She was accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and studied music/singing full-time until 1982. Michelle completed a degree in Music at the now University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba , majoring in both performance and teaching. She is contributing in a positive way to the fine legacy that has been handed to her .
Brisbane Apollo Male Choir - List of Conductors [Our History recorded]
1884 - 1891 H.A. Pollard
1891 - 1908 W.A. Caflisch
1908 - 1913 R. Kaye
1913 - 1936 L. Francis
1936 - 1939 P. Brier
1939 - 1952 L. Edye
1954 - 1968 T. Gilmour
1969 - 1973 L. Morris
1974 - 1983 A. Loving
1984 - 1988 J. Hopsick
1988 – 1996 E. Mathewson
1996 - 2006 H.A. Howell
2007- present M. Albert