Artistic Team

Moorambilla Voices in 2018 is about unearthing the stories of our region with18 Message Sticks: 18 Communities”. We’re also immersing ourselves at Byrock Waterholes & Brewarrina Fish Traps, in July, 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 28 and Saturday September 29.

Our Artists & Partners 

 

Michelle Leonard OAM is the founder, Artistic Director and Conductor of Moorambilla Voices. This nationally awarded program seeks at its core to give country kids a rare opportunity to sing, dance and create incredible performances with artists of the highest calibre. The friendships, performances and opportunities the children make are life-changing. Under Michelle’s direction, the choirs and annual program has flourished, receiving numerous national and state awards.
Michelle’s work was featured in Wide Open Sky (directed by Lisa Nicol and winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at 2015 Sydney Film Festival) and Outback Choir (Heiress Films/ABC Australia), both documentaries about the Moorambilla Voices program released to wide acclaim.
Michelle is also the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Leichhardt Espresso Chorus since 1998.
This adult chorus annually performs traditional “major works” with orchestra and also actively commissions new Australian work – currently 100 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.

Jacob Williams is a graduate of Queensland University of Technology (QUT). During his studies, Jacob represented QUT at several festivals including the 2011 Guangdong Modern Dance festival in China and the 2009 Brisbane Festival. Graduating from his Bachelor degree in 2011, Jacob completed an Honours thesis providing insight into the development of Brisbane’s independent contemporary dance sector and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education.

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 tailored to various school and community groups.

Since 2014, Jacob has been the Resident Choreographer for Moorambilla Voices. Each year he has collaborated with composers, musicians and visual artists to create multisdiciplinary performances which connect with the Indigenous heart and heritage of the Northwest New South Wales region. In 2018, his Moorambilla work Gundabooka made the longlist for the Australian Dance Award: Most Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance.

Courtney Scheu:  is an independent performer, choreographer and teacher working between London and Brisbane. She completed a BFA Dance Performance (Honours) and Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary Dance) through at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Drawing from literature, improvisation and varying disciplines, Scheu explores the physical potential of the human body and how she might disrupt familiar patterns of moving.

In 2014, Scheu toured primary and secondary schools in Queensland (QLD), performing dance theatre works choreographed by Liesel Zink and commissioned by Artslink QLD. Scheu choreographed on the first year students for the QUT 2016 mid year performance season, Essentially Dance. She also performed in the QLD tour of Flaunt by Claire Marshall, The Stance by Lisesel Zink, angel-monster by Nerida Matthaei, Vincent: The Show by Melissa Lanham and GIF of Dance by Matt Cornell. Scheu performed as Rainbow in Nick Cave’s The Heard Brisbane 2016 GOMA 10.

In 2017, Scheu was a guest artist in collaboration with visual artist Itamar Freed in residency at the Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives (BigCi) within the UNESCO World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains. In London, Scheu presented work in the Emerge Festival 2017 by C-12 Dance Theatre and Resolution 2018 at The Place.

Noni Carroll: is a Sydney and Riverina based photographer specialising in musical theatre, commercial and family portraiture, landscape artworks and documentary photography. A 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.

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 continuing 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, moombhaton 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. Anton is our International Taiko artist. Anton has worked with Moorambilla Voices in 2013 and 2014 so we are very excited to have him back working with MAXed OUT Company in 2018.

Sophie Unsen has over twelve years experience working as a musician and educator, with a broad and deep background in a variety of contemporary and traditional music forms. She became a Taikoz member in 2017, after being a Taikoz Associate Player in 2014 and successfully completing Taikoz’s Individual Development Program in 2013.

A Sydney Conservatorium of Music graduate, Sophie specialises in traditional Japanese instruments including taiko (drums) and shinobue (bamboo flute). In 2016 she 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, and in 2015 travelled to Japan to undertake intensive study with Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai, Akio Tsumura & Sons, Kyosuke Suzuki and Mochizuki Saburo.

Sophie last worked with Moorambilla in 2014 and is really excited to be back this year.

ARTISTIC PARTNERS

is one of Australia’s most versatile music percussion ensembles with a strong commitment to education. Taikoz has collaborated with John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company, Eitetsu Hayashi and Eitetsu Fuun no Kai, Meryl Tankard, Regis Lansac and Kodo, the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, as well as European ensembles.

 

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 our composer in residence for the Moorambilla MAXed OUT Company. Kevin is a Sydney-born composer who’s had a diverse career in music as both composer and performer. He writes in a wide range of idioms from contemporary classical through jazz and popular music, and has written for such artists as the Sydney Sinfonia, Cantillation, Occidental Strings, Three’s Company Opera, the SOQ, Australian Jazz Orchestra, Don Burrows and James Morrison.
Kevin has recently returned to post-graduate study at the Sydney Conservatorium, and his current projects are a suite of “jazz lieder” for singer, saxophone, and string quartet, and an opera scheduled for performance in late 2018.

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 has appeared in video and sound installations in Sydney and Melbourne and in live performances for the Sydney Biennale working with British artist Oliver Beer.

Chloe Lankshear is a Canberran Soprano who is currently finishing her Bachelor of Music Performance specialising in Classical Voice at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the direction of Rowena Cowley. In 2016 Chloe was selected as a young artist of the Canberra International Music Festival as part of Luminescence Chamber Singers. Since then, Chloe has been performing with The Song Company in various projects including the world premiere of Alice Chance’s song cycle, Fiat Lux, and the Australian premier of Brett Dean’s opera ‘Hamlet’ with ‘The State of South Australia Opera’ company. Chloe also regularly performs with ‘Luminescence Chamber Singers’ and ‘St James Choir, King Street’. As well as performing, Chloe has directed vocal health and choral workshops and conducted choirs in both Canberra and Sydney.
She is currently working towards specialising in Chamber Music and Contemporary Opera.
2018 will be the second year that Chloe has worked with Moorambilla Voices.

MUSICIANS IN RESIDENCE

Ben Burton is our accompanist for 2018.
Benjamin Burton 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. In October, Ben is excited to be performing a new chamber opera, Fancy Me Dead, in collaboration with Blush Opera and the New Music Network.
This is Ben’s sixth year in residence.

VISUAL ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

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

Jyllie Jackson is the CEO and Artistic Director of LightnUp and it’s feature event Lismore Lantern Parade. She is recognised as an innovator of international standing in her field. We are very excited to welcome her and her team back again to Moorambilla in 2018. Jyllie is working with lantern artist Sara Tinning once more this year.

 

Explore our various programs and learn about our Skills Development Workshop 2018.

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