From the comfort of your own home and in small one hour interactive zoom classes, you can prepare to return to your ensembles with an arsenal of new resources, techniques, and musical traditions to draw from, and it’s all NESA accredited!

Gondwana Choirs’ invites choral educators of all ages and levels of experience to step behind the rehearsal room door and get to know our artists, their expertise and their passion for their area of specialty.

Share the journey – around the world as an Artist in Residence

* NEW DATE * Wednesday 2 September
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Paul Jarman

What happens when you invite a composer into your school? Paul Jarman is in high demand all over Australia and internationally as a composer in residence. This session is a guide for anyone who’s ever thought about engaging with composers, or is interested in learning about the benefits for your choir, ensembles, students, fellow teachers and the wider community – and the journey of commissioning new works and school anthems.

We will discuss:
How you can commission your first piece
What can be achieved by having a composer in residence
What does the composer do when they come to your school (do they live in your classroom?!)
How the composers understanding of, and engagement with your community throughout the whole process of the new commission makes it even more exciting and rewarding!
The long term benefits of artist in residence programs for society.

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Paul Jarman is a composer, performer, conductor and educator. He has written over 200 commissioned works, school and town anthems, and he publishes his music worldwide. Paul works throughout Australia, Europe, Asia, America and the Pacific with choirs, theatre and dance ensembles, and was a member of Australia’s pioneering world music group Sirocco, since 1996. He has performed on a variety of Australian films and composed the music for award winning adventure films including ‘Ocean to Sky’, about Sir Edmund Hillary. Paul has composed music for the Rugby World Cup, Australia Day, Q150 Songbridge, the Centenary of Federations, and he was the only composer in the Southern Hemisphere commissioned by Oxford University Press for the 400th Anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, 2016. Paul’s piece for the 40th Anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr in 2008 was performed for President Barack Obama in the White House.

Empowering young singers to choral artistry

Wednesday 10 June
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Lyn Williams AM and Amandine Petit

Amandine Petit and Lyn Williams will discuss the musical evolution of our singers from age 6 to 16. Using the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Indigenous Choir models as a base they will discuss the choral and musical skills which can be developed at different age levels. Beyond the purely musical skills, what do we need to offer our choristers so that they may become strong and independent young musicians capable of performance at a professional level?

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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.

As a conductor, Lyn could have easily chosen to pursue a career working exclusively with the nation’s symphony orchestras. Instead, she forged her path to create the instrument of a children’s choir in Australia like no one had done before. Her approach was, and remains, premised on treating young people with complete respect as musicians. This is reciprocated by her singers being willing and able, through her choral training, to charter previously unknown artistic territory.

Lyn is in constant pursuit of the new and the exciting and draws interesting and meaningful connections between artists. In addition to her ongoing work with the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices, for the past ten years Lyn has 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. Lyn has developed strong relationships with Indigenous elders and cultural custodians across Australia and has brought together these cultural custodians with composers to create new works for the choir. This work would not be possible without Lyn’s artistic vision, cultural respect and integrity and this remarkable ensemble makes a unique contribution to Australia’s cultural life.

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, which has featured at almost every Australian arts festival, since its premiere at the Adelaide Festival in 2018. 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 continues to maintain connections with professional orchestras as Music Director of several significant national events and as a trusted chorus master. She is frequently engaged to speak and lead workshops at international events such as Europa Cantat (2018) and Africa Cantat (2020).

Lyn’s choirs have shaped the course of thousands of lives, with alumni now performing in opera houses and concert halls across the world, completing ground-breaking medical research or as skilled and passionate leaders of non-profit organisations.

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.

Amandine Petit completed a Masters degree in Musicology at the Université Marc Bloch and a Bachelor of Performance in Voice at the Conservatoire of Strasbourg (France) before moving to Australia in 2007. In France, she was a regular member of the Strasbourg Chamber Choir, the Choir of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the all-female vocal quartet, Sotto Voce. Since relocating to Sydney, Amandine has been in demand as a singing teacher and choral conductor. She is currently the Head of Training Choirs at Sydney Children’s Choir, choir conductor at Lycée Condorcet and International Grammar School where she also teaches voice. In 2017, she was Children’s Chorus Master for Opera Australia’s productions of King Roger (Szymanowski) and Tosca (Puccini).  She has conducted Junior Gondwana in 2018 and 2019. As a singer, Amandine sings regularly with the Sydney Chamber Choir and as a freelance soprano.

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The world of jazz singing

Wednesday 24 June
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Naomi Crellin
Musical Director, The Idea of North

Jazz singing is an intoxicating mix of freedom and stylistic convention. Singers transitioning to jazz can sometimes be uncomfortable with the amount of flexibility inherent in the style. This course will lead you through ways to jazz up your singing without becoming overwhelmed with freedom or new information. Learn some stylistic tricks of the trade, try your hand at improvisation, and immerse yourself in a new style to set your voice (and your mind) free. Covering practical, theoretical and aural techniques, this session will give you a well-rounded introduction to jazz singing in an enjoyable, non-threatening environment.

Naomi graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice from the Elder Conservatorium (University of Adelaide) and has been a member of many choirs, orchestras and ensembles throughout her career. In addition, Naomi has played a wide range of musical instruments including piano, cello and oboe. Beginning her vocal journey first in the Australian Girls’ Choir and then the Adelaide Girls Choir (now Young Adelaide Voices), she was a founding member of two vocal groups, wrote and arranged material for and produced albums for both groups and toured widely both within Australia and throughout Europe. She won the Young Australian Composer of the Year Award (1996) and Best Undergraduate Vocalist Award (2001) from the Elder Conservatorium. Naomi has also studied classical and jazz voice, conducting and jazz ballet, and has taught individual piano and vocal students, as well as directed many choirs and vocal ensembles. She is a much-sought after adjudicator and choral coach, both in Australia and internationally. After joining The Idea Of North in early 2002, Naomi quickly became a significant contributor to the group’s repertoire through her writing and arranging, and has been their Musical Director for many years. Her arranging skills are now renowned the world over, and she is regularly commissioned to arrange for other vocal groups both locally and internationally.

Gondwana World Choral Festival - rehearsals & workshops at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Photo by Robert Catto, on Wednesday 17 July, 2019. Please credit & tag the photographer when images are used - @robertcatto on Instagram & Twitter, @robertcattophotographer on Facebook.

An introduction to Acehnese sitting dances and songs

*NEW DATE*  Thursday 23 July
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Murtala and Alfira O’Sullivan
Suara Indonesia Dance

This introductory course on Acehnese seated body percussion (Ratoh Duek) will be a hands-on practical workshop looking at movement and vocals in patterns traditionally passed down orally through generations. Movements are communal, fun and rhythmically satisfying. Rhythms are made through clapping, hitting the upper body, legs and voice. There are many forms of Acehnese seated body percussion unique to the province of Aceh, North Sumatra, Indonesia. We will look at three songs and movements of coastal men’s and women’s dances.

This introductory course on Acehnese seated body percussion (Ratoh Duek) will be part lecture part hands-on practical workshop, looking at movement and vocals in patterns traditionally passed down orally through generations. Movements are communal, fun and rhythmically satisfying. Rhythms are made through clapping, hitting the upper body, legs and voice. Used as a medium to spread knowledge in Aceh, the dances have eased their transmission into the cities and urban society throughout Indonesia’s modern history, resulting in their wide-spread usage and popularity nationally and internationally. We look briefly at the historical and cultural significance of the dances and their shifts from rural to urban spaces. There are many forms of Acehnese seated body percussion unique to the province of Aceh, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. We will look at three songs and movements of coastal men’s and women’s dances.

Beatbox Education

Monday 3 August
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Connor Malanos

The human vocal apparatus is an incredibly versatile instrument, able to create and combine millions of unique sounds.
The most efficient way to communicate a musical concept is through the sound of the music itself.
Many of the world’s best producers, pop stars, performers, and pedagogues, use their voice to sketch and communicate musical ideas in real-time.
More importantly, beatboxing is completely free, always with you, and accessible to learners of any age.
In this PD session, you will learn how to bring beatboxing into the classroom for you and your students to communicate musical concepts, and to unleash creativity.

Connor Malanos

A life-long vocalist and strong advocate for developing a wholistic approach to musicianship, Connor Malanos has been delivering beatboxing workshops for several years in Australia, for primary, secondary and tertiary students as well as accredited PDF workshops for teachers. Malanos finds beatboxing a fantastic tool to communicate complex musical concepts efficiently. It is a readily accessible way of demonstrating and performing a wide variety of sounds and the incredible diversity of tonal possibilities means that beatboxing can fit into a huge range of musical performance styles. A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Connor Malanos has competed in the Sydney Championships, worked on production in other major beatboxing events, and is currently developing a documentary on ‘Beatbox Education’. In 2018, he recorded and produced an award-winning feature length documentary exploring the topic, and presented at the DAYTiME conference series in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane. In 2019 he beatboxed as a part of VIVID Sydney and in Chatswood, and at the beginning of 2020, he undertook a beatboxing tour in New Zealand to explore and help develop their local community scene, and to continue filming his documentary ‘Beatbox Education’.

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The changing male voice

Monday 17 August
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Sam Allchurch, Associate Artistic Director
Andrew O’Connor, Guest

Sam leads a session focussed on how to support and navigate the changing male voice, an area of particular expertise as the conductor of the Sydney Children’s Choir’s Young Men’s Choir. As each voice changes in a different way, we take particular care to guide choristers through this process. As the boys learn to use their new instruments, repertoire and performance opportunities are carefully matched to the ensemble. We’ll discuss choosing appropriate repertoire, rehearsal techniques, and different ways to support these emerging voices.

Recognised as a leading conductor of choirs in Australia, Sam Allchurch is Associate Artistic Director at Gondwana Choirs, where he works closely with Lyn Williams AM. He directs the Young Men’s Choir and works with Gondwana’s treble ensembles, having prepared them for performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia. Sam played a key role in presenting the Gondwana World Choral Festival in July 2019. In 2019, Sam Allchurch succeeded the late Richard Gill AO as Music Director of the Sydney Chamber Choir, and leads the ensemble in three subscription concerts incorporating music from the fifteenth century to today. In September 2018, Sam was appointed Director of Music of Christ Church St Laurence, where he conducts the choir which dates back to 1845. This choir sings music of the Anglican choral tradition within the services offered each week within the historic church, including high mass and choral evensong every Sunday and for festivals of the church’s year. Recent guest appearances include City Recital Hall’s Flash Mob Choir, Festival of Voices (2019) and the Combined Schools Music Festival (2017), Sam holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Melbourne and a Master in Music (Choral Studies) from the University of Cambridge. His studies in Cambridge with Geoffrey Webber and Stephen Layton were supported by a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Composing for choirs: teaching practical processes of choral creativity

Wednesday 26 August
7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST
$30 + booking fees

Sally Whitwell

Do you have students who are choral composers? Do they want to compose for this wonderful instrument but don’t know where to start? This course run by composer, pianist and educator Sally Whitwell demystifies the processes of composition through a range of practical techniques that will help your students get those ideas out of their heads, onto the page and out through the mouths of a collective of voices.

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Award-winning musician Sally Whitwell maintains a busy freelance career as pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. As a solo recording artist, Sally has four albums to her name. As a performer, she has recently appeared at the Perth International Arts Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, and in Los Angeles and New York City, performing the music of Phillip Glass with the composer present. Groups such as Gondwana Choirs, VOX, Moorambilla Voices, Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, Luminescence Children’s Choir, Hunter Singers and Woden Valley Youth Choir have performed Sally’s compositions.

Each online workshop counts as 60min of NESA accredited professional development for Proficient Teachers. If you wish to claim the time, please remember to supply your NESA Accreditation Number when purchasing.

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