Adjudicators

Kate Albury

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Kate has a reputation as a dynamic and exciting choral conductor. Along with her degrees in Music and Masters in Choral Conducting, she counts her years as Choral Director at Brisbane Grammar School as invaluable in fostering her passion for conducting choirs. In addition to her school choirs, Kate has conducted for the renowned Voices of Birralee, the Celtic Connection Chorus and the Con Chorus at the Qld Conservatorium of Music. She is regularly invited to join the elite conductors from around Australia in the Artistic Team of the National Gondwana Choral School. In 2019 Kate is conducting the Middle School Vocal Ensembles for the State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP) in Cairns, Rockhampton and Brisbane. Since July 2016, she has been the Head of Faculty for the Creative and Performing Arts Department at St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe.

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Emily Cox

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One of Australia’s most experienced and versatile choral conductors, Emily is Music Director of Brisbane Chorale, and founding Music Director of Canticum Chamber Choir. Through these acclaimed choirs and her work with other ensembles, she has explored a broad repertoire, spanning virtuoso chamber choir repertoire and the choral symphonic repertoire.  Emily also enjoys working with primary and secondary-aged children, to inspire them to love high-quality choral music. Recent major projects include her role as Chorusmaster for the 2018 Queensland Conservatorium production of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 “Symphony of a Thousand”. American born, Emily is a graduate of Dartmouth College (U.S.A.) and of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. She has enjoyed further training in Europe, working with numerous renowned conductors. Her reputation as a creative musical collaborator, conductor, chorusmaster, and educator places her in demand by arts companies and festivals.

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Julie Christiansen OAM

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Julie is well known for her compelling work with children's and youth choirs both in Australia and overseas, with her ensembles recognised for their joyful vitality and quality of tone. Following studies in choral conducting at Queensland Conservatorium, Julie began Voices of Birralee in 1995 and continues to work with young people at all levels of experience in both school and community ensembles. Julie has toured extensively nationally and internationally with Brisbane Birralee Voices, with recent tours representing Australia in Korea, England, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, as well as tours to Tasmania, Canberra, North Queensland and Adelaide. A highlight of her career has included fulfilling a five year commitment with the Department of Veterans' Affairs to sing at World War One centenary services in France and Belgium. Julie’s commitment to her work is driven by the vital role music plays, as a channel for developing responsible and caring young people. In 2006 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s honours list.

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Craig Davidson

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Craig is a native of Brisbane and graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with a Diploma of Music Performance majoring in trumpet. He worked for Education Queensland on and around the Gold Coast area for twenty three years. As a music educator, Craig has been instrumental in building large successful band programs in many Brisbane and Gold Coast State Primary and Secondary School and was heavily involved in the New Horizons Adult Starter band program.  Craig is active as a guest conductor and adjudicator throughout Queensland, New South Wales, and New Zealand and is a sort after clinician in School Honours Band programs throughout Queensland. As a professional musician Mr. Davidson has toured and recorded with the Chancellor Big Band on the Gold Coast and has worked as a Free-Lance trumpet player in Queensland. Craig was also a founding member of the 4ZZZ showband The Fabulous Dingo Family, played bass guitar in the covers band Point Blank, and Trombone in the German beer hall brass band Hofbrau Haus. As a composer, Craig has had many of his works performed by professional groups, and recorded as part of a nationwide education release. He performs with the covers band Pre Production Samples, on Bass Guitar and Trumpet, and also writes and arranges charts for the band. He is currently a guest clinician for the Queensland Symphony Orchestras education program.
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Paul Holley OAM

Paul  Holley 2015

Paul is a choral conductor, educator and motivator. A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, he has more than 25 years’ teaching experience in secondary schools and adult community choirs. Presently Paul is the Associate Director of Voices of Birralee and conducts two of the organisation’s signature choirs, the Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee which have both achieved high acclaim in Australia and abroad. In 2006 Paul conducted the Birralee Blokes to win ABC Choir of the Year and in 2012, the choir won Choir of the World in Kathaumiwx, Canada. A recent highlight for the young adult ensemble, Resonance of Birralee, has been performing at the First World War Centenary Commemorations on the Western Front in France and Belgium, along with regularly performing at home with Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Pops Orchestra. Paul is also the co-conductor of the national youth choir Gondwana Chorale that in January 2019 toured the UK and the Baltics. Dedicated to excellence in choral education, Paul regularly features as guest conductor/clinician at festivals, conferences and music competitions. In January 2016, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to choral music.

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Alisa Jones

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Alisa has a Bachelor of Arts Music and Post Graduate Diploma of Education and has been employed by Education Queensland for the past 20 years, developing a reputation as a conductor. She has been a director of the Griffith University Young Conservatorium – Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the associate director of the Queensland State Youth Wind Orchestra, and guest conductor of the Percy Grainger Orchestra at the Queensland Conservatorium State Honours Ensemble Program, both in North Queensland and in Brisbane. Adding to her extensive experience, Alisa was a guest conductor at the Musical Outstanding Student Program (MOST) and has lectured in orchestral conducting at Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium and is kept busy as a guest conductor travelling all over Queensland rehearsing ensembles and workshops with students and teachers. Alisa has also been heavily involved in the world of community music making and has been the musical director of two community concert bands. She is the musical director of one of Australia’s leading wind ensembles: Queensland Wind and Brass.

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Kylie Los

Headshot Kylie Los

Kylie graduated in 2002 from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Music (Distinction). She was later a member of Opera Queensland’s Developing and Young Artist Programs (Repetiteur). In 2010 Kylie commenced a Master of Music (Repetiteur) at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. She acted as assistant conductor and chorus master for the Guildhall School's production of Le nozze di Figaro, and subsequently worked as a repetiteur for Grange Park Opera in the UK before returning to Australia. Kylie has worked extensively as an accompanist, piano teacher, conductor and adjudicator. In 2018 and 2019 she was a conductor for Education Queensland’s Metropolitan Region Honours Choral Program. Kylie is currently the conductor of the adult SATB community choir, the Hillbrook Chorale.

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Andrea Messenger

Andrea  Messenger

Andrea holds a Graduate Diploma in Performance from the University of Tasmania and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Queensland. She studied with many teachers including Jan Sedivka, Tor Fromhyr and Elizabeth Morgan. Andrea has been the Director of the Western Suburbs String Orchestras since 1989. WSSO currently has five String Orchestras with 240 string players. Andrea has auditioned violins for the Queensland Youth orchestra for the past 30 years and has adjudicated many eisteddfods and music competitions throughout QLD. She has extensive experience teaching Violin and Viola from beginners to Tertiary level and she has taught in a number of private schools in Brisbane. Many of her students have played in the Qld Youth Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra and professionally in the Qld Symphony and other Australian orchestras. Andrea has been the State president of the Australian String Association and she takes a keen interest in mentoring many young teachers at the start of their careers. She is passionate about music education.

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Jonny Ng

After juggling work life as a pharmacist and musician, Jonny happily hung up his lab coat seven years ago to solely follow his passion: music. He is Principal Second Violin and Education Officer of Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra (since 2008), pianist in Entourage for Musica Viva In Schools (since 2011), and has performed/conducted/toured nationally and abroad with Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, Expressions Dance Company, Bruce Springsteen, The Cat Empire, Katie Noonan, Kate Miller-Heidke, Neil Finn, Michael Bolton, Lior, The Whitlams, Naomi Price, Luke Kennedy, Wizard of Oz, My Fair Lady directed by Julie Andrews, The Lion King, Anglican Schools Music Festival, Collusion, Australian Youth Orchestra, and Queensland Youth Symphony (concertmaster). A regular feature at festivals, he has performed as soloist and chamber musician at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, 4MBS Festival of Classics, Festival of Tibet, Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Blues and Roots Festival, Bangalow Music Festival, Mullum Music Festival, Restrung Festival, and Crossbows Festival. As a passionate educator, Jonny joined the St Margaret’s Music Department team in 2009 and is Strings Co-ordinator (conductor of 4 string ensembles, Year 3 and 4 Strings Program director, upper strings teacher), piano/theory teacher, accompanist for choirs and recitals, he runs a private home studio (since 2000), facilitates string workshops through regional Queensland, is an AMEB Strings Examiner, and tutors for Queensland Youth Orchestras.

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Claire Preston

Claire  Preston

Claire has worked extensively in Australia and North America specialising in developing young singers.  She has been Assistant Conductor of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, accompanist for Canada’s foremost professional choir, Elmer Iseler Singers and is Co-Founder of the award winning, Exaudi Youth Choir. Claire specialised in Australian music during her time as Head of Choral Studies at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School; a specialist program for the training of young musicians where she regularly commissioned and recorded Australian music and collaborated with the VCA Orchestra. Claire maintains an active career as a choral conductor and is in demand as an adjudicator for choral festivals and eisteddfods including NZ Choral Federation Big Sing. She has been guest conductor at Gondwana National Choral School, State Honours Ensemble Program and Festival of Voices. Claire has worked with Dr. Doreen Rao, Sir David Wilcocks and Helmuth Rilling, been featured at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Minneapolis, Joy of Singing International Choral Festival, and recorded the world premiere of Harry Somers’ children’s opera A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream for CBC Records (nominated for a Juno Award). Since moving to Brisbane, Claire has joined the Artistic Staff of Voices of Birralee and is Director of Choral Music at Somerville House. 

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