Dr Nicholas Bannan
Started at UWA: 2006
Vocal master exploring the evolutionary origins of the human capacity for music
I enjoy making a difference to students that sets them on a pathway to distinctive and fulfilling careers. I also enjoy interacting with my colleagues at UWA on the phenomenon of musicality and creativity.Dr Nicholas Bannan
Dr Nicholas Bannan is an accomplished international composer, conductor, music researcher and Associate Professor at the UWA Conservatorium of Music. His research focuses on the evolutionary origins of the human capacity for music; vocalisation in song and language; music in child development; and musical communication and pedagogy. His teaching specialises in vocal studies and composition.
Dr Bannan was a Canterbury Cathedral chorister and choral exhibitioner at Clare College, Cambridge. He joined UWA from the University of Reading in 2006. He won several competitions as a composer, including the Fribourg Prize for Sacred Music in 1986, and has completed commissions for the Allegri and Grieg Quartets, the Guildhall String Ensemble, Cantemus Novum of Antwerp, and the Gentlemen of St Paul's Cathedral.
Awarded his doctorate in 2002 for a study of the evolutionary origins of the human singing voice, Dr Bannan’s research has extended to work with Alzheimer’s patients on the UK project Singing for the Brain, examining the potential of singing for retaining social communication between carers and people with dementia.
BA (Hons) University of Cambridge
MA (Cantab) University of Cambridge
PhD (Reading University)
- Assistant Choir Director, St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth
- Chair, WA branch of the Australian National Choral Association
- Deputy Chair, WA branch of the Musicological Society of Australia
Director, The Winthrop Singers, 2007-2018
Churchill Fellow, researching choral singing in the US, 1992
Every Child a Composer (Peter Lang Publishing, Oxford)
The Winthrop Singers
After starting at UWA in 2006, Dr Bannan set up The Winthrop Singers, an élite chamber choir for UWA students, staff and community. The group performs choral evensong every Thursday during term-time in the Chapel of St George's College. The group has toured to Albany, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton and Beijing. Continuing to compose while teaching, Dr Bannan believes the purpose of engaging with the music of the past is to develop the confidence and fluency to enable original self-expression. A highlight for Dr Bannan’s time at UWA was the 10th anniversary concert of The Winthrop Singers, bringing together a choir of 66 current and alumni performers.
Sacred and Profane Music: ABC Podcast
'Luther was in no way afraid of the idea of dancing in church' says UWA’s Nicholas Bannan, which is how the preordained notions of sacred decorum were opened up to include rousing music in sacred settings.Read more
Winthrop Singers Choir celebrates 10 years
Dr Nicholas Bannan is proud to have provided a piece of Perth culture with his Winthrop Singers choir. He founded the group at UWA 10 years ago.Read more
Nicholas Bannan on The Conversation
Nicholas Bannan's earliest musical experience was as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral. He went on to study Music at Cambridge University, where he specialised in vocal studies and composition. He has taught in several schools, including Eton College and the Yehudi Menuhin School.Read more
Musical Participation in the Care of Patients with Alzheimers
This research project from The University of Western Australia is a clinical investigation of the effectiveness of group singing for people with Alzheimer’s.Read more
Contact Dr Nicholas Bannan
Get in touch+61 8 6488 2058
Send an firstname.lastname@example.org