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Michelle Leonard is the founding artistic director and conductor of the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, the Moorambilla Voices Regional Children’s Choirs and Festival Director and founder of the Moorambilla Festival.
Michelle is widely sought after as a choral clinician particularly on Australian repertoire and she facilitates choral skills and compositional workshops for special projects. She is regularly an adjudicator for the International music festival – choral section and the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonalds Performing Arts Challenge choral section.
As a board member of the Music Council of Australia and new national choral mentor for the Music in Communities Network, she is actively involved in advocating for choirs through articles, presentations and workshops. In 2008 the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus was the inaugural winner of the National Music in Communities outreach award in recognition of their contribution to their community and communities in western NSW through touring, their extensive commissioning program of new Australian works, and commitment to working with leading professionals in performance.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Music (Education) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a Masters in Communication from UTS. She has recently completed the 2010 summer school at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, particularly to look at new innovations in body percussion, movement and pedagogical approaches to choral rehearsals.
Michelle is a past assistant conductor of Sydney Children’s Choir and was conductor in residence for Junior Gondwana choir at the 2008 National Choral School. Michelle was recently Choir Master for the Festival of Sydney’s Lost and Found Orchestra and also for the 2010 Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Michelle conducted the inaugural Moorambilla Voices touring choir in their performance at the Sydney Opera House for the international audience at the Sydney Peace Prize lecture by Patrick Dodson in November 2008.
She was recently featured in the movie “ Mrs Carey’s Concert” preparing and conducting 1800 girls for their biennial Opera house concert.
Michelle is originally from Coonamble and has three beautiful children Sofia, Maximillian and Ignatius.