Noel Ancell OAM is well known throughout Australia as a conductor, composer and teacher. Highly regarded as clinician and adjudicator, he has over forty years experience in helping musicians to achieve excellence. In addition to two seasons as Guest Conductor of NYCA (National Youth Choir of Australia) he has twice conducted the Victorian Honour Choir, and in 2004 he again conducted the combined choirs of the World Alliance Festival of Singing for men and boys in Prague.
As Artistic Director of the Australian Boys Choral Institute, Noel conducts the Australian Boys Choir, the Kelly Gang and The Vocal Consort, with whom he has toured internationally eleven times. His private voice studio has produced a number of successful professional singers. Noel is an honours graduate in Music, and holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Arts and Education, a Master’s degree in Musicology, Fellowship of Trinity College, London, and Membership of the Australian College of Education and the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing. He was founding conductor of the Monash University Orchestra, and has been responsible for the formation of choirs in three states. His involvement with church music began as a boy, and has continued in such posts as Organist and Director of Music at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, and Consultant to the National Liturgical Commission.
As an educator he has held positions as Director of Music at The Friends’ School, Hobart, and Lecturer in Music Education at Christ Campus of the Australian Catholic University, where he was also Head of Creative Arts. Noel was President of the Australian National Choral Association from 1998-2002. He has a strong commitment to contemporary music and, in addition to his own compositions and arrangements, has been responsible for commissioning several new works by Australian composers. His compositions have mainly addressed the needs of the performing groups with which he has worked. Noel is strongly represented in the Catholic Worship Book (Collins, 1985) and in other hymnals in Australia and the USA, and his secular compositions and arrangements are widely performed and appreciated. He has published several academic papers and is a contributor in the Oxford Companion to Australian Music.
In 2009, Noel was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to choral music and in 2013, celebrated 30 years as Artistic Director of the Australian Boys Choir.