Artistic Team

Moorambilla Voices in 2020 is about unearthing the stories of our region. We’re immersing ourselves at Macquarie Marshes and Sandy Camp, in May, to discover, uncover and bring to life the stories and landscape of that region in music, dance and visual art.

The journey begins with the Artistic and Cultural Immersion, develops through the Baradine Residency Camps and finishes with a flourish at the stunning Gala Concerts in Dubbo Regional Theatre on Friday September 25 and Saturday September 26.

Our Artists & Partners 

 

Michelle Leonard OAM is the Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor of Moorambilla Voices Ltd. This nationally awarded program seeks at its core to give country kids a rare opportunity to sing, dance, record, tour and create incredible performances with artists of the highest calibre. It has been featured in two documentaries – Wide Open Sky – and Outback Choir (ABC) and recently in the 2019 ABC Christmas Special and at TEDXSydney in 2018. Michelle is also the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Leichhardt Espresso Chorus which celebrates 22 years in 2020. This adult chorus annually performs traditional “major works” with full orchestra and also actively commissions new Australian work – currently 140 new Australian choral works have been created for this ensemble. Michelle is widely sought after as a choral clinician on Australian repertoire and appears regularly as a guest speaker, adjudicator and workshop facilitator. Michelle was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for Services to the Community and Performing Arts in 2017, 2018 the Sydney University Alumni of the year Award for services to the arts and in 2019 was named in the Financial Reviews top 100 most Influential Women in Australia. She has four magnificent young children who keep her very busy and very happy.

Jacob Williams is a graduate of Queensland University of Technology (QUT). in 2011 with an honours thesis on the Brisbane contemporary dance sector and has a post graduate in Education. Jacob represented QUT at 2011 Guangdong Modern Dance festival in China and the 2009 Brisbane Festival. From 2014-2017,
Jacob was employed as Queensland Ballet’s Education Executive, developing and implementing a range of programs which provided accessible and authentic arts experiences to teachers and students across Queensland.
In 2018, Jacob joined Sydney Dance Company as their Education Coordinator, responsible for designing a suite of digital learning resources and managing a national program of contemporary dance experiences. Currently Jacob is employed by Bangarra Dance Theatre, working with sponsors and donors to support the company in sharing and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories around Australia. Since 2014, Jacob has been the Resident Choreographer for Moorambilla Voices. In 2018, his Moorambilla work ‘Gundabooka’ was a finalist for the Australian Dance Award: Most Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance.

Noni Carroll:  is a Sydney and Riverina based photographer specialising in theatre, commercial and family portraiture, landscape artworks and documentary photography. A finalist in the 2018 HEAD ON Landscape prize, semi-finalist in the 2014 and 2015 Moran Photographic Prize, Noni was runner up in the 2015 Art Gallery of NSW Instagram Australian Landscape competition. Noni’s involvement with Moorambilla started in 2012 as a promotional and documentary photographer. In 2016/2017 she mentored regional youth whilst photographing landscapes and people of the 17 communities involved with Moorambilla. She continued documenting these communties in 2018 as well as conducting regional town photographic workshops. Noni has also been involved with Moorambilla’s Narran Lakes, Mt Grenfell, Mt Gundabooka, Brewarrina Fish Traps and Byrock waterholes artistic cultural immersions where visual works and musical compositions are created. Noni lives and breathes photography. She relishes the opportunity to be able tocapture Australia’s beautiful, diverse landscapes and people – showcasing them to a broader audience.

Amy Flannery:  is an Aboriginal woman of the Wiradjuri Nation. She trained in classical ballet and contemporary at The McDonald College of Performing Arts before pursuing full-time dance training at NAISDA Dance College. At NAISDA Amy was able to study both Yolngu and Moa Island songs and dances. Amy is a multidisciplinary artist working across many art platforms and aspires to work within the arts industry while also sharing her knowledge.

In 2019, Amy worked with Moorambilla alongside Jacob Williams with both Primary Boys and Primary Girls Ensembles, we welcome Amy back in 2020.

NEVILLE WILLIAMS-BONEY  is a proud Wiradjuri man from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Neville has pursued his love of performing since the age of 15, starting as a ballroom dancer then finding his passion in contemporary dance. He is a recent Graduate of NAISDA Dance College and has rekindled a love for his culture and teaching others. Neville Is an Independent First Nations Artist based in Sydney. Neville’s main dancing styles are Contemporary Dance, Contemporary Indigenous Dance and Musical Theatre. In the future he desires to create his own works and showcase them. In 2019, Neville worked with Moorambilla alongside Jacob Williams with MAXed OUT Company, we welcome him back in 2020.

ARTISTIC PARTNERS

Anton Lock attended the Sydney Conservatorium High School and was the first student to perform on taiko for the HSC. He received top honours for his recital and was subsequently selected to open the proceedings at the Premier’s Awards and to present an item at the Opera House Encore performance – a concert given by the outstanding HSC musicians of 2003. Anton became a full-time member of TaikOz in 2006. Personal highlights include performances with TaikOz and Eitetsu Hayashi Fuun no Kai at Japan’s National Theatre as part of Eitetsu Hayashi’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, intensive workshops with Miyake Daiko teacher Akio Tsumura, and the 2009 Kodo and TaikOz “In Concert” Australian tour. In 2007 and 2008 Anton traveled to Sado Island and was taught Onikenbai, a traditional performing art of Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture by Yoshikazu Fujimoto of Kodo. Anton is passionate about Onikenbai and is continung his study with Yoshikazu Fujimoto and the original Iwasaki Onikenbai masters. In 2015 traveled to Colombia where he has been living and working as both a recording artist, producer, model and performer. Primarily working with electronic sounds (heavily influenced by genres such as dub step, trap, moombahton and dance, as well as being heavily influenced by latin music) Anton has been performing a DJ style drumming show which involves recording, looping, mixing, drumming, synthesisers, vocals, dancers, lighting, all done live.

Sophie Unsen is a Sydney-based performer, composer and educator with a broad and deep background in a variety of contemporary and traditional music forms. A Sydney Conservatorium of Music graduate, Sophie specialises in traditional Japanese instruments including taiko (drums) and shinobue (bamboo flute). She joined the world-renowned ensemble Taikoz as a full member in 2017, after successfully completing Taikoz’s Individual Development Program in 2013 and becoming an Associate Player in 2014. In 2016 Sophie was awarded an Individual Development Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to undertake a three-month Training Fellowship with ex-KODO member Kaoru Watanabe in New York City. In 2015 she travelled to Japan to undertake intensive study with Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai, Akio Tsumura & Sons, Kyosuke Suzuki and Mochizuki Saburo. Sophie performs regularly with Taikoz and travels to Japan each year to continue her studies. She is passionate about music education and thoroughly enjoys instilling a love for taiko in all of her students, both young and old. This is her fourth year with Moorambilla Voices, and she is thrilled to be working with the MAXed OUT company once again.

COMPOSERS

Alice Chance is our composer in residence for the Moorambilla Voices Regional Boys Choir. Alice Chance is a sought-after composer with a flare for the human voice. Holding a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she was awarded the 2012 Ignaz Friedman prize, Chance writes across several genres but her music retains a distinct character of its own. Alice has been composer in residence with our multi-APRA-Award-winning Moorambilla Voices program from 2013-15, featuring in the film Wide Open Sky.
Australian school children are finding that Alice Chance’s music is becoming a staple in their choir’s repertoire. Alice calculates that at least five thousand children have publicly performed her music since 2012. We welcome Alice back in 2018.

Josephine Gibson is our composer in residence for the Moorambilla Voices Regional Girls Choir, her second year with us. Josephine is an emerging composer, having completed her honours in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2016, under the tutelage of Paul Stanhope.

She has composed and acted as Music Director for eight productions at the University of Sydney, including the 2017 and 2016 Women’s Revue, and the Sydney University Dramatic Society’s 125th Anniversary production of Agamemnon. She has had works commissioned and performed by Gondwana Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir and the Sydney Youth Orchestra. She is currently finishing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

Kevin Barker is a Sydney-born composer who has written in a wide range of genres from contemporary classical through jazz and popular music. An affinity with landscape and the natural world permeates his music, alongside a striving to understand and place the human soul within it. In recent years this has translated to a love of writing for voices, and has been fuelled by working with ensembles such as Moorambilla Voices, the Song Company, the SOQ, and the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus. He has also written for the Sydney Sinfonia, the Contemporary Singers, Occidental Strings, Three’s Company Opera, and the Australian Jazz Orchestra.

Clive Birch has been a singer all his life but started singing in earnest whilst studying for a music degree at Huddersfield Polytechnic after which he concentrated on pure singing at the Guildhall School of Music in London where he won the Gold Medal in 1977. In 1979 he joined the renowned D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and when the company folded in 1982 he went on to study at the National Opera Studio and thence to Glyndebourne where he remained for the next four years. He came to Australia in 1987 and joined the Song Company in 1989 where he remained until his retirement in 2014. Since then he has worked as writer and speaker for the Moorambilla Festival and with the renowned sculptor and artist Ken Unsworth. Apart from appearances at the Canberra International Music Festival with the Song Company he has also appeared as the Devil in 2015 and in the mute role of Vespone in 2016, making further appearances as soloist at CIMF in 2017. In 2018 he appeared in video and sound installations in Sydney and Melbourne and in live performances for the Sydney Biennale working with British artist Oliver Beer.

As a performer and educator ANDREW O’CONNOR is versed in a wide variety of styles and genres. Born in Perth, he studied at the University of Western Australia before establishing a successful career in both teaching and performance. Since 2015 he has been a core member of The Song Company singing year-round in subscription, festival, recital, recording, and education projects. Andrew appears frequently with Sydney’s leading early and contemporary music ensembles including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Bach Akademie Australia, Cantillation, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, Sydney Antiphony, the Choir of St James’, and Hourglass Ensemble. He balances these ensemble commitments with an emerging career as a soloist. His 2019 engagements include the Australian Premiere of Telemann’s Thunder Ode with Pinchgut Opera, various national touring projects with The Song Company, Christus in Arvo Pärt’s Passio, regional education work with the award-winning Moorambilla Voices program, Carmina Burana with Canberra Youth Orchestra, Mozart’s Coronation Mass with Collegium Musicum, and two solo recitals for Hourglass Ensemble and The Song Company. In 2019 Andrew also joins Pacific Opera as an Associate Artist.

ANNA FRASER has gained a reputation as a versatile soprano specialising predominantly in the interpretation of early and contemporary repertoire performing in a myriad of traditional and exploratory programming expertly demonstrating the versatility and virtuosity of a cappella singing. Equally at home as a dramatist on the stage, Anna is also a strong exponent of music education. She performs extensively with a number of Sydney’s professional ensembles including Pinchgut Opera and Cantillation; Sydney Chamber Opera; Sydney Philharmonia Choirs; the SSO; Ironwood; The Acacia Quartet, Ensemble Offspring; Halcyon; Taikoz; Bach Akadamie Australia, Australian Haydn Ensemble, Salut! Baroque, to name a few. Anna performed with The Song Company for over a decade and has collaborated with international ensembles such as The Wallfisch Band (UK) and the New Zealand String Quartet.

MARK DONNELLY is an exceptionally versatile vocalist, Mark was a permanent member of The Song Company from 1997 to 2019 and during that time performed music spanning 11 Centuries for National and International audiences. Placing a high importance on education and access to music, in his 22 years with the Song Company Mark performed and participated in workshops for well over 200,000 primary and secondary school children and is increasingly in demand as a conductor, educator and adjudicator. Mark has been fortunate to work with many organisations including; Pinchgut Opera, Sydney Chamber Opera, Moorambilla Voices, Gondwana Choirs, Opera Queensland, ACO, Cantillation, Halcyon, Australian String Quartet, Ironwood, Sydney Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, Sydney Chamber Choir, SUMS and the Newcastle University Choir.

AMY MOORE moved to Australia from the UK in 2015. An accomplished soloist and ensemble singer, Amy has performed as a soloist with many prominent orchestras, including the Gabrieli Consort, OAE and Hanover Band. As a member of EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble Amy premiered countless new works with contemporary orchestras. She worked with virtually all the leading UK vocal ensembles and was a member of Norway’s Edvard Grieg Kor. In Australia Amy has performed solo concerts with MSO, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Bach Akademie Australia, St James King Street, Victoria Chorale, Trinity College, The Australian Bach Society, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, and Australian Baroque Brass. Amy recently performed in the Canberra International Music Festival, receiving warm reviews for her performances in Bach’s St John Passion and Schultz’s opera The Children’s Bach.

MUSICIANS IN RESIDENCE

Benjamin Burton is our accompanist for 2020.
Ben is a talented young pianist with a passion for accompanying vocal and instrumental performances. In 2014, Ben did an internship with Opera Australia, and traveled on full scholarship to Munich, Germany was a repetiteur for the Bel Canto Summer Program. In his role as accompanist, Ben has performed all over the country, and in 2015 will be continuing to perform with Voci Stupende and various ensembles. This is his third year as accompanist in residence for Moorambilla Voices. Ben studied Piano Performance with an accompaniment focus at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with David Miller and Bernadette Harvey, and has also studied with David Howie and Stephen Mould. In 2012 and 2013 he won won the Mollie Neale award for highest marks in accompaniment. Ben works with various choirs and schools in Sydney.

VISUAL ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

This year’s program will be captured  by our incredible photographer in residence Noni Carroll.

Jyllie Jackson returns to Moorambilla in 2020, Jyllie has had over 40 years experience in the creative industries, from international fashion designer to now CEO and Artistic Director of LightnUp Inc, an independent community arts enterprise and producers of the renowned Lismore Lantern Parade. She is in the unique position of being an arts administrator, entrepreneur and practicing artist and manages projects ranging from 3 artists to 3,000 participants. Fundamental to Jyllie’s philosophy is a commitment to fostering the creative spirit and ability in individuals and their communities. This includes the principles of excellence, respect and authenticity, which allow projects to be accessible with a strong sense of ownership by the participants involved. Jyllie is working with lantern artist Sara Tinning.
Sara Tinning enjoys texture and light, making a lantern brings both to life. Sara’s favourite stage of the lantern making process is covering the cane work with muslin. Sara loves working with fabrics and sewed as a child, she studied patternmaking as a teen. Uninspired by the early 80’s rag-trade, Sara joined the costume department at the Australian Opera and set out on a journey through the wardrobes of theatre, film, circus, dance, weddings and more to find herself working with LightnUp and Moorambilla Voices.

Omila Bir returns to Moorambilla in 2020, Omila is an incredible shibori artist and a natural dyer with expertise in ecoprinting. She has been perfecting these techniques for 10 years and has exhibited in Australia and overseas. The fabric created using ecoprints is uses flora from nature’s environment and captures the colours, fragrance and essence of mother earth. No man made chemical toxins are used in this process. Omila’s expertise is in creating long pieces up to 10 meters – and is one of the few in Australia able to do so. She is passionate about working with children and educating them about natural dyes and the gifts mother nature brings to those who seek it – even in drought!

Phil Relf returns to Moorambilla in 2020, Phil is the Artistic Director of IKARA Celebratory Events, a site-specific theatre company that specialise in transforming space, and celebrating what is important to society as a whole – most notably with fire, one of the four elements of life. Phil studied community celebration at Charles Sturt University
(Theatre/Media) specialising in site-specific theatre, large-scale street puppetry and lantern construction. He has worked both here and overseas on major festivals and with theatre companies such as Welfare State International (UK) and Bread & Puppet (USA). In 2007 he formed IKARA Celebratory Events, and in 2018 established a studio/workshop in Northern Rivers of NSW. IKARA now has a presence in Sydney and Bangalow, working with communities in both coastal and regional NSW.

 

Explore our various programs and learn about our Skills Development Workshop 2020.