Melbourne-born Kathleen McGuire is a music educator, composer and conductor who has worked in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom. She also spent almost two decades living in the United States where she earned a doctorate in conducting at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her conducting credits include the Boulder Philharmonic, The Women’s Philharmonic, Community Women’s Orchestra (California), Empyrean Ensemble, University of Colorado Orchestra, Opera By the Bay (San Francisco), and a decade at the helm of San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. She has conducted at some of the world’s finest venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Centre, Place des Arts (Montréal) and Sydney Opera House.
McGuire earned a BMus in composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where she studied with Peter Tahourdin and Barry Conyngham. She has been recognised multiple times in the Professional Choral Composer division of The American Prize, including two Special Judges Citations. Her compositional interests, and recent commissions, focus upon social justice issues and affecting positive change through music, including collaborative works Street Requiem and No Excuses! which have received multiple, international performances and recognition.
Now based in Melbourne, McGuire is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Arts at Australian Catholic University and Music Director of the Tudor Choristers. She serves on the board of the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy (USA), is a member of the American Society of Composer, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Music Arrangers Guild of Australia (MAGA), and Pi Kappa Lambda – the National Music Honors Society (USA).
As a Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellow in the mid-‘90s, McGuire completed a Master of Music with Distinction at the University of Surrey (UK). Subsequently, in 2017, she was selected as an inaugural recipient of the University of Surrey Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Achievement Award for her major choral works and her international reputation in social justice and human rights advocacy.