Why Girls?

Why Girls?
September 30, 2022 AGC

‘Why Girls?’

38 years ago the AGC began as a place to celebrate the unique female voice. In a landscape that had traditionally revered the voices of young boys, AGC Founder Judith Curphey OAM was a pioneer in putting females and their distinct sound at the focus. Whilst society and the traditional choral world have gradually evolved, we continue to share a passion to empower girls to turn up the volume on their own voice.

Read on to learn more about ‘why the female sound?’, ‘why girls thrive with other girls’ and ultimately, ‘why girls?’ at the AGC.

Watch your daughter’s confidence blossom with like-minded girls. Discover the AGC difference and try a free class at our November Open Day! 


Celebrating the unique female voice

In 1984 when the AGC was established, society wasn’t asking the question ‘Why Girls?’ but Judith was certainly wondering why there were no girls-only choirs. Maintaining tradition can be seen as one of the reasons, after all, two of the world’s oldest and most renowned choirs, The Vienna Boys Choir and the Kings College Choir, Cambridge, still advocate for their boys-only choirs for reasons regarding the preservation of a pure choral sound. The sound of the female voice has a unique choral sound of its own though, and yet no choir in the 1980s was brave enough to showcase it, that is of course until Judith founded the AGC. The AGC has always been interested in the variety and potential of the female vocal instrument, and passionate about providing a platform for these female voices to shine. AGC Artistic Coordinator, Laura Knowling, says

Of course it’s a different sound because we’re working with different instruments. But we’re still able to get that pure blended choral sound with females of all ages because the girls learn to control their sound in very different ways.

If we’re singing a song that requires that pure sound, then we’re teaching them how to make that sound. And if we’re singing a Beyoncé classic, then we’re teaching them how to make that different sound too.” – Laura Knowling

Celebrating the female voice isn’t just about sound – it is also about celebrating the female perspective. In a society where gender discrimination still exists, the AGC provides a safe and encouraging environment for girls and non-binary choristers to use their voices unapologetically. ASPA CEO Nicole Muir AM is a proud feminist who firmly believes in the equality of genders. In her role, Nicole has seen how “girls flourish in an all-girls environment”. Nicole is driven to ensure that AGC is

“A space where girls can be fully themselves.” – Nicole Muir AM

“Within the performing arts, we have real scope to encourage personal growth and set aspirational targets ” – Nicole. Our training models focuses on developing the leadership skills and resilience of the choristers so that the can grow into strong and ambitious young women.

Building confidence in girls

AGC team members have observed thousands of choristers over the past 38 years develop their confidence and self-esteem through regular class participation. Research has found that girls display lower confidence and self-esteem compared to boys from early adolescence, however an Australian study has found that girls at single-sex schools actually match the confidence levels of boys. At AGC, we support this finding that girls thrive when surrounded by other like-minded girls and female role models in an educational setting.

“There is much less fear about being teased, much more inclination to try new things and a stronger likelihood of feeling proud and performing with confidence.” Nicole Muir AM

As an AGC Tutor, Laura notices that in an all-girls environment the choristers are more likely to push each other to bring out the best in each other.

“We’re all here to achieve the common goal and we’re all here to experience a similar thing, and that can set the track for some really productive and effective learning.

It’s comparing like-with-like. We’re all immediately equal. We all come together, we’re all there for the same reason. And that allows a lot of walls to come down for a lot of our choristers.” – Laura Knowling

The power of sisterhood

AGC Alumni members fondly reflect on the strong friendships they found at the AGC – many of which they still hold today.

“My closest friends in my life are people that I went through choir with.” – Laura Knowling

One of the keys to these special bonds is forging an environment where girls are encouraged to uplift one another, as opposed to being in competition of one another. Through working in a group environment with peers who also share the same passion for singing and the performing arts, our choristers develop their team work skills and learn to support each other as young women.

“Every single week you’re working together and you rely on each other as a team. So that idea of team work, comradery and sisterhood always exists in the choir.” – Laura Knowling

Creating a space for girls to thrive and express themselves through song is still as relevant as it was in 1984. Allow us to help your daughter flourish both musically and socially and join us for a free trial class at our November Open Day! Bookings are free but registration is essential.