Artistic Team

Julie Christiansen OAM

Julie

Founder and Artistic Director
Conductor - Brisbane Birralee Voices & Birralee Singers

Julie Christiansen is well known for her compelling work with young voices throughout Australia. In 2006 Julie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s honours list for her service to the Australian community through music, particularly the development of children’s and youth choirs at state and national level.

 

Her choirs appear regularly at regional, state, national and international festivals and are acclaimed for their joyful vitality and quality of tone.  Following studies in choral conducting at Queensland Conservatorium Julie continues to work with young people at all levels of experience in school and community ensembles. 

She is a popular guest clinician regarding vocal /choral techniques and literature for children’s choirs and is regularly invited to conduct and present at choral festivals and educational workshops throughout Australia. In 2004 Julie joined the conducting team of Gondwana Choirs National Choral School - now in their 16th season in 2013. 

Julie has toured extensively nationally and internationally with 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. 

Julie’s commitment to her work is driven by the vital role music plays, as a channel for developing responsible and caring young people. The appointment of Voices of Birralee to provide choral services at commemorations during the five year World War 1 Centenary period in France and Belgium, is the pinnacle of her twenty year music career. 

top

Paul Holley OAM

Paul  Holley 2015

Voices of Birralee Associate Director
Conductor - Birralee Blokes & Resonance 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 and achieve personal fulfilment as choral musicians.

Presently Paul conducts two ensembles for Voices of Birralee:

The Birralee Blokes - the current ABC Classic FM Choir of the Year and also "Choir of the World" as judged at the 2012 International Kathaumixw in Canada; Resonance of Birralee - Gold medal winners at the 2008 World Choir Games.

In 2007 the Blokes performed to acclaim at the 3rd International Male Voice Festival in Cornwall, UK. The choir has toured in the United States, Canada and New Zealand and been invited multiple times to perform at ANCA national conferences. The Birralee Blokes also featured in the Battle of the Choirs TV show.

Paul’s desire to see young people continue to grow as choral musicians led him to become the Director of Resonance of Birralee, a youth choir for 18 - 30 year olds. The choir has toured nationally and internationally and in 2008, were gold medallists at the World Choir Games in Graz, Austria. This desire also led to Paul accepting the position of principal conductor of Gondwana Chorale, the national youth choir of the Gondwana Choirs association.

Paul is also a secondary school music teacher at Brisbane Girls Grammar School where he conducts three choirs and teaches group voice lessons.

As a choral educator Paul is dedicated to excellence in choral education and regularly features as guest conductor/clinician at festivals, conferences and music competitions throughout Australia.

In 2016, Paul was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for his services to choral music.

top

Jennifer Moon

Jenny  Moon  Headshot[ 2]

Assistant Conductor - Brisbane Birralee Voices

A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music majoring in piano, Jenny has been a Primary and Secondary Classroom Music specialist for over 20 years. As Head of Choral and Vocal Studies at Hillcrest Christian College, on the Gold Coast, she directs 9 of the 12 College choirs and is the artistic director of the Hillcrest Children’s Choir who, in 2013, were invited to represent Australia at the 5th International World Vision Children’s Choir Festival.

Jenny's successful participation at state, national and international events such as Q150 Songbridge, ANCA Choralfest, Next Generation Sings and various competitions, such as the Australian National Eisteddfod and the Concorso Corale Internazionale, support her emergence as a highly regarded children's choir conductor, adjudicator and choral workshop clinician.

 She has been a guest conductor at a wide range of events including the acclaimed Gondwana National Choral School, State Honours Education Programs at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and various choral festivals in Queensland and New South Wales.

 

top

Peter Ingram

Peter  Ingram

Conductor - Birralee Recycled

Peter Ingram is a noted conductor of school, university and community choirs throughout Australia. He is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Florida State University (U.S.A.) where he gained his Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting under the guidance of Rodney Eichenberger.

 Peter is Head of Music at Brisbane Grammar School where, amongst other ensembles, he directs the acclaimed vocal ensemble The Grammarphones which was awarded the City of Vienna Prize for most outstanding choir at the 2010 Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival. He has a long-standing commitment to the activities of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) where he has served for over 20 years on the Queensland chapter of this association. He is also currently the ANCA National Vice-President. He is also actively involved in the music ministry of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Coorparoo. Peter is in demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician and workshop leader at various choral events throughout the country.

 Peter passionately believes in the many positive and life-changing benefits that flow from involvement in choral music both as a conductor and a singer. This is why he has devoted much of his professional life as a music educator and choral administrator to promoting the cause of choral music in this state and supporting choral musicians in their endeavours.

top

Kate Thompson

image

Conductor - Birralee Kids

Assistant Conductor - Birralee Blokes

Kate Thompson has a passion for music education and for community singing. She has sung with and conducted numerous choirs both in Australia and Canada and in 2004 the University of Queensland awarded her the Hugh Brandon Prize for Conducting.  

Kate holds a Masters in Music Studies and has been invited to be a guest lecturer and clinician at various conferences and workshops both locally and interstate.  Kate has worked for Education Queensland, was Head of Preparatory Music (P-6) and the Head of Choral Music at Anglican Church Grammar School and is now the Primary Music Teacher and a choral director at Ambrose Treacy College.  

Kate is also the Immediate Past President of the Queensland Chapter of the Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA).  Having worked primarily with school aged singers for the past seven years, Kate is excited to now be working with the Kids and Blokes, and is thrilled to be a part of the Birralee Family. 

 

top

Katherine Ruhle

kath head shot

Conductor - Birralee Piccolos

Katherine Ruhle is a children’s choral conductor, choral composer and an early childhood music specialist. She is widely known for her original ideas and creativity, both within the choir rehearsals and music lessons that she leads, and also with the choral pieces that she composes.  Katherine has presented at a number of choral and early childhood music workshops and has enjoyed being the guest conductor for a number of massed children’s choirs.  Her choral compositions have been sung by many children’s choirs both nationally and internationally.   

Katherine has completed a Bachelor of Music degree (piano performance) at the University of Queensland where she studied with Dr James Cuskelly (Kodaly musicianship) and Dr Edward Bolkovak (choral conducting and musicianship) and has also completed a Post Graduate Diploma of Education in Early Childhood studies and is a qualified teacher.  She is looking forward to joining the Birralee team and being able to share her passion, creativity and experience with the Piccolos.

top

Clare Finlayson

Clare  Finlayson

Assistant Conductor – Birralee Singers

Clare has an eclectic background having worked as a classroom music and singing teacher, choral conductor, vocalist, actor, lighting designer and stage manager around south east Queensland for the past decade. 

 

Graduating from QUT in 2008 with a double degree in Music and Education, Clare has taught for Education Queensland and is currently employed with Brisbane Girls Grammar School as a Choral Director.

 

Clare has also completed a two year theatre internship with the Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre, where she had the opportunity to perform in numerous productions, including Jesus Christ Super Star and Grease at QPAC. She is also a founding member of The Blacklight Collective, which has premiered original works at the Anywhere Theatre Festival and the 2high Festival at the Powerhouse.

 

Clare has been involved with Birralee as a chorister since she was 11yrs. During this time she has been given the opportunity to sing in France, Austria, New Zealand, America, Canada and South Korea. Clare is incredibly excited to be working with the Birralee Singers and is thrilled to be apart of the team.

top

Justine Favell

image

Principal Accompanist - Birralee Blokes & Brisbane Birralee Voices
Justine is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with the awards Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma in Piano Performance.

Since 1995, Justine has pursued her interest in the specialized area of accompanying choral music. She is principal accompanist for Voices of Birralee, Brisbane Chorale and freelances with The Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Justine also enjoys conducting various school choirs and is on staff at the Qld Conservatorium of Music as a vocal and choral accompanist. Justine's wide experience as an accompanist and conductor make her role an integral part of the Birralee program.

top

Brendan Murtagh

image

Accompanist - Resonance of Birralee, Birralee Singers (Thursday) & Birralee Recycled

Brendan Murtagh completed a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Piano at The University of Queensland, graduating with Honours in 2008. He studied with renowned concert pianist, Max Olding. Brendan is a sought-after accompanist throughout South East Queensland and has performed extensively with Voices of Birralee, both nationally and internationally. 

Brendan's experience in musical theatre includes performing in the Brisbane seasons of Chicago, Cats, Avenue Q, Wicked (2011 and 2015), Annie, Jersey Boys, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The King & I, The Lion King, Anything Goes, and Strictly Ballroom at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. In 2011 Brendan toured regional Queensland and Brisbane as Music Director for Opera Queensland's education programs Moving Opera! and Space Encounters. 

Brendan is on staff at the Queensland Conservatorium, piano teacher at All Hallows' School and organist at Holy Family Parish Indooroopilly. Brendan is continually inspired by the wonderful community music-making in Brisbane and beyond.

top

Claire Preston

image

Accompanist - Birralee Singers (Saturday) 

Claire Preston 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 specialized 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. 

top

Kate Littlewood

Kate  Littlewood

Accompanist - Birralee Kids

Kate Littlewood (BMusHons, LMusA, AMusA) is a performer, teacher and accompanist based in inner-city Brisbane. She runs a busy piano teaching studio based in Paddington, and also teaches at St Laurence’s College and Mt St Michael’s College. 

Kate enjoys working with fellow musicians, and regularly provides her accompaniment services to solo and group performance of all ages and abilities. 

She is the accompanist for the Queensland Conservatorium’s Con Chorus and Mt St Michael’s College Choir, and also works with community choirs such as Scomodo Voce and Pro Musica Singers.

top
Subscribe to Friends of BirraleeUpcoming
Cupcake and Cushion Concert

Who: Birralee Piccolos, Birralee Kids and Brisbane Birralee Voices

Where: Old Museum Building, Bowen Hills

When: Sunday, 14 May - 3pm
more...
Celtic Spectacular with QLD Pops - Brisbane

Who: Resonance of Birralee

Where: QPAC

When: Saturday 20 May, 2:30pm and 7:30pm concerts
more...
Celtic Spectacular with QLD Pops Orchestra - Toowoomba

Who: Resonance of Birralee

Where: Empire Theatre, Toowoomba

When: Sunday, 21 May - 2:30pm
more...
Voices From The Trenches
Concert Two

Who: Brisbane Birralee Voices, Birralee Blokes

Where: Empire Theatre, Toowoomba

When: Sunday, 28 May - 3pm
Pemulwuy! National Male Voices Festival

Who: Birralee Blokes

When: 29 June - 2 July
more...
Entire Calendar...Associate Sponsors
Queensland Youth Music Awards
Brisbane City Council
John Barnes Locksmith
What's new?
wordpress
Visit our YouTube Channel!