Our Conductor

Introduction to our Musical Director (by the Committee of the Brisbane Combined Unions Choir)

 Marina Aboody Thacker began conducting the Brisbane Combined Unions Choir in 1997.  The Choir had been singing in and around Brisbane for  9 years.

Marina took the choir from a “social group of singers with a passion for a “fair go for all” to a group of real performers, yet still retaining the principles and passion.

Since that time Marina has led the choir through many significant events and projects commencing with production of our songbook of traditional and original political songs.

Marina instilled confidence in the choir and directed us through our CD productions of “Striking Chords and the 888 CD Compilation of Union songs. She also directed us through our own very successful production of the The Fair Play Cabaret

Marina has provided the choir with the ability, confidence and professionalism to present to any audience.

No choir could be more proud of their conductor than the Brisbane Combined Unions Choir is of Marina Thacker.


Marina – by Marina

I studied choral leadership at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and have taken workshops with the Kodaly Summer School, Emily Cox and Richard Gill. 

I’ve done vocal training, worked in Community Arts as an administrator and now teach music in primary schools in Brisbane.  This is in addition to my involvement with my community choirs, so yes, it is a busy life

I have a strong commitment to community building and using singing as a tool to communicate about working lives and workers health and safety.

The Union Choir has always got an interesting project up their collective sleeves.  During my 15 years of conducting the Choir there is an event every year created by the choir to not only to sing, but to create performances and theatre pieces with a current union, peace or social justice message.

I have travelled with the Brisbane Combined Unions Choir to Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay and Woodford to enjoy singing and collaborating with our colleagues from other Union Choirs in Australia.  We don’t always agree on the lyrics of songs but we agree with the messages they communicate with our audiences.  I conducted the Victorian Trade Union Choir in 1993 and we readily share music and songs between the two Choirs whenever possible.

In 2009, the Brisbane Combined Unions Choir travelled to Cuba to sing at the International Choral Festival of Santiago de Cuba.  I led the idea of this major event as I had connected with the Sheffield Socialist choir on a previous trip to England.  The English Choir paved the way and helped Brisbane Union singers and singers from Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney make the most extraordinary musical journey of our lives.  I travelled to Sydney and Melbourne to rehearse common songs before the trip.  Singers from the southern states travelled to Brisbane to rehearse with us.  We proudly polished Waltzing Matilda, Lingmara, an indigenous song, original Brisbane songs, Eureka and The Prawning Song and Australian union songs ready to perform by heart in front of an auditorium of professional choristers.  The performances all over Santiago de Cuba were a huge success and joyfully received by Cuban audiences.