Back to choir: positive and practical next steps

We’re pleased to bring you our next free webinar, aimed at providing practical information which will assist conductors to be prepared for stepping back into rehearsals and supporting your choristers.

Panellists
Lyn Williams AM, Artistic Director, Gondwana Choirs
Paul Holley OAM, Associate Director, Voices of Birralee
Brett Weymark, Artistic & Music Director, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
Dr Megan Kalucy, Senior Lecturer, Psychiatry Education, UNSW
Dr Wei Jiang, Doctor and musician

Facilitator
Sam Allchurch, Gondwana Choirs & Sydney Chamber Choir

Watch a recording of the full webinar below

Lyn Williams AM

Founder and Artistic Director, Gondwana Choirs

Since establishing the Sydney Children’s Choir in 1989, Lyn has completely transformed the choral landscape in Australia by harnessing the incredible musical and expressive power of young voices through her world-renowned children’s choirs: The Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Voices and the Gondwana Indigenous Choir. This has grown into the organisation, Gondwana Choirs, which puts the vocal power of young voices at the centre of its impressive and wide-reaching artistic program.

In addition, for the past ten years Lyn has also been devoted to the creation and evolution of the Gondwana Indigenous Choir (GIC). Through Lyn’s support, the singers see choral music as an ideal vehicle for the preservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island languages and cultures.

Recently, Lyn’s work with singer-songwriter Felix Riebl and the singers of Marliya (present and past members of the GIC) has resulted in the critically-acclaimed festival show Spinifex Gum. This work is political, challenging, and uplifting and evinces that our young Australians should be at the centre of our national discourse. Lyn conducts Marliya on their two albums – Spinifex Gum (2017) and Sisters (2019).

Lyn’s dedication and contribution to the Arts has been acknowledged on multiple occasions: with the Excellence by an Individual at the 2019 Art Music Awards; the Australia Council for the Arts’ prestigious Don Banks Music Award in 2017 for outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia in recognition of her lifework as founder and director of Gondwana Choirs; the Medal of the Order of Australia (2004); Member of the Order of Australia (2019). She is also a composer, winning the 2009 APRA-Australian Music Centre Vocal/Choral Work of the Year for her work A Flock of Stars.

Lyn Williams AM
Paul Holley 2015

Paul Holley OAM

Associate Director, Voices of Birralee

Paul Holley is a choral conductor, educator and motivator. His personal warmth and passion for choral music have inspired many singers to discover and develop their skills as choral musicians. Presently, Paul is the Associate Director of Voices of Birralee and conducts two ensembles within this organisation, the Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee. Both of these ensembles have toured nationally and internationally, made numerous recordings and supported community events. He is also the Principal Conductor of the national youth choir Gondwana Chorale. In addition to these roles, Paul is a choral director and teacher at Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

Brett Weymark

Artistic & Music Director, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

Brett Weymark is one of the foremost choral conductors in Australia. Since becoming Music Director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs in 2003, he has conducted the Choirs in performances around Australia and the world. He has led all of the state orchestra’s as well as the Orchestra of the Antipodes, Sydney Youth Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Brett studied conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Mats Nilsson, John Hopkins, Henryk Pisarek and Patrick Thomas. He furthered his conducting studies in England, Europe and America with Simon Halsey, Vance George, Daniel Barenboim and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, amongst others. During his time as Music Director, Brett has conducted the choirs in many and varied genres, including works from the classical repertoire such as JS Bach’s Passions and Christmas Oratorio, the Requiems of Mozart, Verdi, Durué and Fauré, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has premiered and championed works by Elena Kats Chernin, Matthew Hindson, John Peterson, Daniel Walker, Rosalind Page, Peter Sculthorpe, Andrew Schultz and Ross Edwards amongst others. He has also led contemporary programs, such as And the days featuring new works from Australia and abroad. In 2011 he premiered his own work Brighton to Bondi as part of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs season.

He has prepared choruses for such noted international conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Edo de Waart, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit and Sir Simon Rattle.

In 2001 Brett was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal, for service to Australian society and the advancement of music. Under his direction, the choir was awarded an 2010 Helpmann Award for its part in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms directed by Peter Sellars and was nominated for a 2010 Limelight Award for his production of Purcell’s King Arthur. Most recently he was Chorus Master for the Adelaide Festival 2017 production of Saul and the 2018 production of Hamlet. He has recorded widely for the ABC with artists such as Cantillation, Sara Macliver and Teddy Tahu Rodes. He has also conducted a wide range of film scores from Happy Feet to Australia and Mad Max Fury Road.

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Dr Megan Kalucy

Senior Lecturer, Psychiatry Education, UNSW

Dr Kalucy is a general adult Psychiatrist. She studied medicine at the Flinders University of South Australia, graduating with honours and the University Medal. Since completing postgraduate training in psychiatry at Prince of Wales Hospital she has worked in a variety of clinical and research roles in Sydney and the UK. She has a strong interest in epidemiology research and is currently completing a PhD in population mental health. Other clinical interests include early psychotic illness and the interactions between physical and mental illness.

Dr Wei Jiang

Doctor and musician.

Dr Wei Jiang is a haematologist and haematopathologist who has worked in NSW Health for over a decade caring for patients.  She also is a classically-trained singer and pianist who has been performing with various ensembles in Sydney and beyond for most of her working life, and a soprano in Sydney Chamber Choir.  In her academic life, she holds a Master of Clinical Medicine with Distinction and is currently completing a PhD in viral immunotherapies at the University of Sydney as the recipient of the prestigious HSANZ/Leukaemia Foundation PhD scholarship.

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