The Cyrenes is an inclusive and energetic a cappella choir of women who sing ‘for the love of it’. Founded in 1989, the Cyrenes aim to create a safe, supportive and fun community where women connect with each other through music. The Cyrenes sing songs about women’s issues, social justice, human rights, environmental concerns, songs from many cultures, and some just for fun!
The choir welcomes new members. There are no auditions, and no previous singing or performance experience is necessary.
The choir has recorded a cassette, On the Rocks, and two CDs, For the Love of It and Diving for Pearls. We are thrilled to now bring you all our songshere on our website. Enjoy!
Our singing philosophy
Whilst the choir strives for excellence in performance, our underlying philosophy is that singing is part of the joy and wellbeing of life, that everyone can sing and has something to contribute. The choir enables women to build confidence, improve existing skills and gain new ones in choral voice and solo performance. Members are encouraged to develop and perform at their own pace and to actively participate in the choir's development and advancement. This support and participation are key elements in the continued strength and success of the choir.
Our 30th anniversary in 2019
The Cyrenes celebrated our 30th anniversary in 2019 with a gala reunion concert on 23 November. We were delighted to welcome so many former Cyrenes members and our combined singalong at the concert was a joyous and heartwarming highlight! Read all about it on our special event and memories page.
The choir, which began in 1989, was the brainchild of Lynne O'Brien, a Canberra woman involved in community music and women's support services. Lynne saw a need for a safe environment in which women could sing together and which could provide them with opportunities to perform in the Canberra community. She established the choir with these ideals in mind. The current choir carries on that tradition.
As part of our 30th anniversary in 2019, we wanted to make more of our history available online. One of our former members, Julie Rickwood, wrote a thesis in 1997 about women's community choirs. Here is an excerpt about the Cyrenes with valuable details about our early history.