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Brett McKern

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Brett McKern

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PhD, DCA, BMus, BTh, BEd, FTCL, FGCM, LMusA, ARCO, AMusA, ACertCM, CertRS, HonGCM
Examiner 1128

Brett McKern is a composer, conductor, organist and academic. He holds degrees in music, education and theology, including two doctorates in musical composition, as well as diplomas in organ, composition, theory and musicianship. He has furthered his education with private composition lessons in Australia and France and has worked under some of the great choral conductors of England.

Dr McKern is an award-winning composer of church and organ music. His music has been performed in Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France and the United States. His organ solos have been performed at prestigious venues including Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral in London and the Washington National Cathedral. His choral compositions have been performed at Westminster Abbey and York Minster. Dr McKern has published over 60 compositions and his music has been broadcast on radio in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. As an academic, he has worked at the Universities of Sydney, Wollongong and Western Sydney. He was Adjunct Associate Professor of Music at Central Queensland University and an SS Wesley and Herbert Howells scholar.

Although he specialises in teaching tertiary students, Dr McKern also teaches primary and secondary students. He has taught organ, composition and music theory privately and has contributed to a number of AMEB syllabuses. He is often called on as an examiner of university theses, compositions and performances and as an adjudicator of composition competitions.

For many years, Dr McKern has been involved with community and church choirs as a director and accompanist. He is often consulted on organ restorations and rebuilds in halls and churches.

Positions held
  • Director of Studies in Australia and New Zealand for the Guild of Church Musicians
  • Former national chairperson of the Guild of Church Musicians
  • Former committee member of the Royal School of Church Music NSW
  • Former committee member of the Organ Music Society of Sydney