Staff Directory

Professor Timothy McKenry Name: Professor Timothy McKenry
Chair of Academic Board
+613 9953 3211
Organisational Area
Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President
Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President
Building(Bldg.460 - 250 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002)-Level 5-Room5.43A
Biographical Information


General Information

Qualifications: PhD, MMus, BMus(Hons), AMusA

Professor Tim McKenry is a music researcher, composer and pedagogue. His research interests include the evolution of art music in Western culture, issues of ethics in music, Australian art music, music pedagogy and music theory. Recent research projects include studies of the pedagogical inheritance that informs the teaching of composition in Australian secondary and tertiary institutions, a major survey of contemporary Australian opera and a study of the ethical practices that inform music practice in Australia. 

He is a nationally-recognised expert in the area of music language study and composer training and has written syllabi for state and national examining bodies. He helped embed composition in the Victorian Certificate of Education and has undertaken a leadership role in fostering best-practice pedagogy in the study of music language study across Australia through research, teacher training, publication and advocacy of the discipline.

As a composer, Timothy McKenry receives regular commissions, the latest being a piece for Soprano and mixed ensemble for the Bridges Collective, Sunday, a work that has toured internationally. Other recent commissions include a choral setting of the Dylan Thomas poem 'Do Not Go Gentle' for SATB (commissioned by the Da Capo Singers) and a major work for organ and 'cello titled 'Relentless' (commissioned by the City of Melbourne).


In 2014 he won an OLT citation for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, as well as the Vice Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award.


Represented associate artist with the Australian Music Centre

Writer Full Member - APRA/AMCOS



Academic Outputs

McKenry, Timothy. 2013. A Forgiveness Song: The Emergence of an Ethical Framework Informing Australian Composers&rsquo Interactions with the Music of Indigenous Peoples.  Forgiveness: Philosophy, Psychology and the Arts, edited by Timothy McKenry and Charlotte Bruun Thingholm. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. 153-163.

McKenry, Timothy. 2013. Overcoming Challenges to Teaching Composition to Large Cohorts in the University Sector in Redefining the musical landscape: Inspired learning and innovation in music education XIX National Conference Proceedings, edited by Bradley Merrick and David Forrest. Parkville: Australian Society for Music Education. 132-137.

McKenry, Timothy. 2011. Perceptions of Australian art music and their effect on the mandated study of Australian music in senior-secondary settings&rsquo. Music Education Research and Innovation 14.1. 39-43.

McKenry, Timothy. 2011. Fever When You Kiss Me: An Examination of the Ethical Issues Surrounding the Inclusion of Sexualised Music Repertoire in Australian Contemporary Singing Syllabi.Victorian Journal of Music Education. 1: 3-12.

McKenry, Timothy. 2011. Rationale, repertoire and resources: the study of music language and pre-compositional craft in contemporary tertiary settings. Proceedings of the Australian Society for Music Education XVIII National Conference.

McKenry, Timothy. 2010. Revenge as cultural catharsis in Moya Henderson's opera Lindy. Best Served Cold: Studies on Revenge. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press.

McKenry, Timothy. 2010. Stylistic Convergence and Cultural Exchange: Authority and Identity in Recently-Composed Australian Art Music. Proceedings of the First Asian Conference on the Arts and Humanities.

McKenry, Timothy. 2009. Music Theory Pedagogy: Towards an Inclusive Functional Understanding of Recently-Composed Tonal Music. Proceedings of the Australian Society for Music Education XVII National Conference.

Creative Outputs

Sunday Song Cycle for Soprano, Flute, Cello and Piano (Bridges Collective Commission) (2014)

Do Not Go Gentle - SATB setting of the Dylan Thomas poem (commissioned and performed by the Da Capo Singers) (2013)

Relentless for Organ and 'Cello (Commissioned by the City of Melbourne and performed by Josephine Vains and David Macfarlane) (2012)

Soundtrack to the Bedroom - for Violin, Piano and Digital Processing (Sound instillation collaboration with visual artist Elvis Richardson) (2012)

Epitaph for Soprano and Piano &ndash performed at the Paris Cat by soprano Alison Rae Jones and pianist Len Vorster (2011)

I am the Living Bread (Psalm Setting) for SATB Choir performed by the Australian Catholic University Choir (2010)

Variation of Lawes Psalm, in The Southern Cross Collection: Organ Music by Australian Composers (2009) (Winner of a liturgical prize in the Society of Organists 2009 New Organ Music Awards)

Maskil and Fugue for Organ, in The Southern Cross Collection: Organ Music by Australian Composers (2007, rev. 2009) (Performed multiple times winner of second prize in the Society of Organists 2009 New Organ Music Awards)

The Storm Cone for SATB Choir &ndash Performed in 2008 by the Da Capo Singers

Four Kipling Songs (for SATB Choir) (2006)

String Theory  for String Quartet (2006)

Lament for Tenor, Soprano Saxophone, Marimba and Piano (2004) &ndash Winner of the 2004 Lyrebird Commission.

Shiggaion  for Orchestra (2004) Winner of the APRA prize in the 2004 3MBS National Composer Awards.

Cynosure  for Orchestra Performed by Orchestra Victoria, conducted by Richard Mills (2003)

The Rock A Cantata for Tenor, SATB Choir, String Orchestra and Timpani (Based on T.S. Eliot's Choruses from The Rock) (2000)

Firesong  For Solo Harp (1999)

What You Leave Behind  For String Quartet (1999)

Determined Seasons  For Orchestra (1999)

Text Books

McKenry, Timothy. 2009. Music Craft: Essential Exercises Grade 5. All Melbourne: Music Publishing and Distribution.

McKenry, Timothy. 2009. Music Craft: Essential Exercises Grade 6. Melbourne: Music Publishing and Distribution.




  • Music Composition
  • Musicianship and Music Theory
  • Pedagogy of Composition and Music Theory
  • Musicology: The Classical Canon Contemporary Classical Music
  • Film Music
  • Music Theatre
  • Music and Ethics


Other Information

Timothy McKenry has undertaken a range of Government and non-Government consultancy including

  • providing expert opinions on music copyright issues
  • providing a major report for the Australian Music Examinations Board around the development on Music Theory Online
  • Developing and writing music syllabi for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Australian Music Examinations Board and
  • working with Rising Software to develop algorithms to generate melodies for transcription drilling in the Auralia software.



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