Vaughan McAlley briefly studied flute at the University of Melbourne with Prudence Davis before specialising in Composition under Brenton Broadstock. Since joining the chamber choir Ensemble Gombert in 1999 he has composed primarily choral music, exploring the potential of the relatively strict rules of renaissance counterpoint combined with just intonation, a typically choral method of tuning. Major works include the 3rd Sinfonietta for orchestra (2003), Missa Cælestis for choir (2003), Veritas de terra orta est for choir (2005-2009), Four Chorale Preludes in Mass Form for piano (2008), written for Michael Kieran Harvey, Chaconne for double string orchestra (2009), and Lamentations for choir (2012). Ensemble Gombert has performed Missa Cælestis in 2007, and Veritas de terra orta est in 2009, both recorded by ABC Classic-FM. For his fortieth birthday party in 2010, Vaughan organised a performance of Tallis’ Spem in alium, and presented the first section of his own forty-part motet, Omnes angeli. Omnes angeli was completed late in 2012, and a performance is being planned for 2013.
Vaughan is the principal tenor at Scots Church in Melbourne, was happily married in 2007, and enjoys swimming and computer programming.