music at st john’s

St John’s has had a long and distinguished history of offering high quality music as part of its main worship services. This tradition is assisted by its large pipe organ, installed shortly after the present St John’s Church was built in the 1950s. A regular choir of parishioners leads the singing at the Sung Eucharist each Sunday. It is augmented by additional choristers for major services, such as at Christmas and Easter. More choristers are always welcome; speak to the Director of Music, if you are interested.

st john's choral foundation

The parish's Choral Foundation assists young singers with bursaries ($1500 for a year), vocal education, choral experience and ongoing choral opportunities. Seven young men and women are currently singing with the St John’s choir under this program, and more are welcome. If you are interested in applying for a bursary, or would like to donate either a full bursary (perhaps in memory of a loved one) or part-bursary, please contact St John's Director of Music, Mr David Byrne, on All donations are tax-deductible through the Melbourne Anglican Cultural Organisation.



Mr David Byrne

David Byrne is a graduate in Arts and Music from The University of Melbourne. He studied organ with Sergio de Pieri and Douglas Lawrence and was appointed to his first church music post at the age of 16. He has been Organist and Choirmaster in several churches around Melbourne, most recently at St Paul's, Canterbury where he served for 13 years, building a cross-generational choir which earned a reputation for fine singing enriching parish worship and ministry.

For nine years, David was Director of Music and Chapel Organist at St Peter's College, Adelaide and prior to that he spent 13 years as Director of Music at Grimwade House, Melbourne Grammar School.

In 1996 David returned to Melbourne to take up his current post as Assistant Director of Music at Camberwell Grammar School.

David's expertise in education, organ and choral music has been enriched by periods of study in Europe and the UK, including post-graduate studies in education at York University and observing cathedral choirs and playing many grand organs such as Winchester and Salisbury cathedrals, King's College, Cambridge, the Frari Church in Venice and in the Dusseldorf prison!

David's wife Penelope is Coordinator of Music at Strathcona and their daughter Sally is a cellist currently studying Nursing.

St John's Camberwell Pipe Organ Restoration


St John’s has had a long and distinguished history of offering high quality music as part of its main worship services. This tradition is assisted by its pipe organ built by the Australian subsidiary of the well known English organ building firm of Hill, Norman and Beard. The church organ was completed early in 1958 shortly after the opening of the present St John’s church building, (November 1957), just two years after the fire which destroyed the earlier building in 1955.

After more than 60 years of continuous service to the parish, the instrument is now in need of significant work as it is failing in many areas and may not be able to continue for much longer. A major refurbishment about to be undertaken is a key element in the strategy to enhance the music of the parish, and signals the parish is committed to maintaining the highest standards of Anglican music and worship into the future.

The refurbishment program has now been launched and all donations are welcome. If you would like to donate please see the organ donation card below.

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