Compose Queer

Our friend Ciara Hadley. Photographs by @audreymichael_photography

What is Compose Queer?

Compose Queer is an initiative to empower young queer composers. We will source four composers and provide them with a paid opportunity to compose for Divisi Chamber Singers and Sally Whitwell. At the heart of this project are the composers themselves. We want to give them the opportunity to write a new piece in a professional context, working with one of Australia’s leading musicians and a live ensemble. The concert and workshops will take place over a weekend in the middle of 2020 with composers selected by January 1st.

Although there is a thriving amateur queer music scene of community organizations and hobby musicians, there is limited opportunity for composers to express their queerness at a professional level. With this in mind, our project has two goals. Firstly, to do just that, empower four composers with an opportunity to be as queer as they desire and express it without the restrictions that come with amateur performers. Secondly, raise awareness of queer issues in classical music to the broader community. If we want this to be a professional standard project Divisi needs to pay these composers in a meaningful way for the professional standard work they give us.

The fantastic Sally Whitwell

To achieve this we need to provide a $600 fee to each of the four composers and organise a comprehensive 3-day workshop. This will culminate in a concert at the Ian Potter Southbank Centre’s Hanson Dyer Hall. From this campaign, we need to raise $6000. This will pay for Sally Whitwell’s time and all other associated expenses. All remaining funds and proceeds will go towards the charity Minus 18, a youth-driven network for the LGBTIQ+ community. This will be an invaluable career building experience for these young artists and will contribute four new works to Australia’s music scene.

What can I do?

If you missed out on the ACF and still want to make a financial contribution you can donate but this will not be tax deductible.

Compose Queer Donation

A one dollar donation to Compose Queer, enter the amount desired. Thank you for your donation!


If you have any ideas of ways you can contribute in other ways to the campaign send us an email at

Applications are now closed

We have received our applications and are currently choosing our composers! This is a super exciting stage of the project.