Artistic Team

Julie Christiansen OAM

Vo B -  Julie  Christiansen

Founder & Conductor Laureate


Julie Christiansen 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 is a popular guest clinician regarding vocal/choral techniques and literature for children's choirs. She is regularly invited to conduct and present at choral festivals and educational workshops throughout Australia, including with Gondwana Choirs National Choral School. 


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 careers 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 Birthday honours list. 

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Paul Holley OAM

Paul  Holley 2(photo credit  Maxine  Mc Cabe)

Artistic Director
Conductor - Birralee Blokes, Resonance of Birralee & Birralee Singers

 

Paul Holley is a choral conductor and educator. 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. With over 25 years of teaching experience in secondary schools and many years of working with adult community choirs, Paul knows how to connect with singers of all ages and enjoys collaborating with them in the music making process. 

Paul is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where he studied choral conducting with Dr John Nickson. 


In addition to his role at Voices of Birralee, Paul is the co-conductor of the national youth choir Gondwana Chorale that in January 2019 toured the UK and the Baltics, and have previously toured the UK, USA and NZ. 


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 at home and abroad. He also contributed a chapter to the book Male Voices: Stories of boys learning through making music (S D Harrison, Ed, 2009, ACER). 


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

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Jennifer Moon

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Conductor - Brisbane Birralee Voices


Jenny Moon is a highly regarded choral conductor specialising in childrens’ and youth choirs.  A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Jenny is a passionate educator and advocate for choral music and is a highly sought after conductor, choral workshop presenter and adjudicator.  


She currently holds positions as Conductor of Brisbane Birralee Voices (BBV) and Head of Choral and Vocal Studies at Hillcrest Christian College. During her tenure with both of these organisations, Jenny has led international choral tours and achieved awards at international choral competitions including 2 Gold Medals for BBV at the Internationale Concorso Chorale Competition in 2014 in addition to numerous national awards.  She leads Hillcrest’s acclaimed choral program that encompasses twelve college choirs including three Choirs of Excellence. 


Jenny has been guest conductor at Queensland Conservatorium Choral State Honours Programs, Gondwana National Choral School and at various choral festivals across Australia, as well as presenting regularly at workshops and professional development programs.

 

Jenny has a passion for promoting Australian music to choirs and communities and regularly commissions choral works from Australian composers.  She excels at engaging children in music across extensive styles in order to further develop their understanding of the world through the lens of text and music.

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Peter Ingram

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Conductor - Resonance of Birralee & Birralee Recycled 

Peter 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 and directs the acclaimed Grammarphones which, in 2010, was awarded the City of Vienna Prize as champion choir at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival. 


He is the Immediate Past President of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) and was a long-serving president of the Queensland Chapter of ANCA. 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.

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Debbie Daley

Deb Daley

Conductor - Birralee Piccolos 

 

 

Debbie is a passionate music educator who loves conducting treble voice choirs, teaching classroom music and running a private music studio that includes teaching pre-school music to children for over 30 years. 

 

Debbie has taught in various schools for Education Queensland and is currently Director of Music, classroom music teacher and conductor of two choirs at Ascot State School. 

 

Debbie holds a Masters of Music, has served on the Qld committee for the Australian National Choral Association, and is a member of the Music Teachers Association of Qld. 

 

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Kate Littlewood

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Conductor - Birralee Kids 

Accompanist - Birralee Singers (Thursdays)

Kate (BMusHons, LMusA, AMusA) is a conductor, teacher and accompanist based in inner-city Brisbane. She completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the Queensland Conservatorium, studying under Oleg Stepanov and Natasha Vlassenko. 


Kate now teaches at St Laurence’s College and Mt St Michael’s College and also runs a busy home studio. She enjoys working with fellow musicians and regularly provides her accompaniment services to solo and group performers of all ages and abilities.

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Will Brown

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Assistant Conductor - Birralee Blokes 


Will Brown is a Brisbane-based composer, conductor, pianist and educator. He received his BMus from the Queensland Conservatorium where he studied with Stephen Leek, and his GradDip Education through Griffith University. 

 

As well as teaching piano and classroom music, he directs the choral program at St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane and is in demand as a composer, arranger, accompanist and conductor. 

 

Will’s compositions are popular choices for ensembles and conductors who enjoy new Australian works. They have been performed widely ​in Australia and as far afield as York Minster and Southwark Cathedral in the United Kingdom and at large choral events such as Boyz Bizz, Mackay Choral Festival, Pemulwuy! Male Voice Festival and KMEIA National Conference. 

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Clare Finlayson

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Assistant Conductor – Resonance of Birralee

 

Clare Finlayson is a music director, conductor, teacher and vocalist. Her joyful energy and passion in rehearsal creates an inclusive, collaborative environment that supports her chorister’s education and wellbeing. Clare holds a double Bachelors degree in Music and Education and is currently the Coordinator of Choirs at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, President of the ANCA Qld/NT Chapter and Assistant Conductor of Resonance of Birralee. 

 

Clare has 15 years experience working with choirs as both a conductor and chorister. During this time she has worked with singers of all ages in school and community settings as a director, guest conductor, workshop facilitator and adjudicator. Clare has also been fortunate enough to have toured to France and Belgium as a part of the ANZAC Centenary Commemorative Services with the Department of Veteran Affairs, Austria, New Zealand, America, Canada and South Korea.

 

Performance highlights include the Australian production of "He’s Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naught Boy)" with Eric Idle, “You’re the Voice” Massed Choral Concert as a part of the Queensland Music Festival featuring John Farnham, the world premier of “Encounters of the Third Kind in Concert” as a part of the World Science Festival and the ANZAC 100 year Commemorative services in Fromelles, Pozières, Allonville and Polygon Wood.

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Lou Wall

Lou  Wall

Assistant Conductor - Birralee Singers


Lou is a vibrant singing teacher, choral conductor and performer who strives to inspire her students to sing with confidence, commitment and joy. Choral music has been a passion of Lou’s ever since she was young, and she hopes to pass on this enthusiasm to all the young singers she teaches. 


Lou is Choral Director and Voice Teacher at St Rita's College, Clayfield. She also directs the Patricks Road State School choir, and performs locally with her A Capella ensemble.

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Brendan Murtagh

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Assistant Conductor & Accompanist - Resonance of Birralee

Accompanist - 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.

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Justine Favell

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Principal Accompanist - Birralee Blokes, Brisbane Birralee Voices & Birralee Kids (Saturdays)

 

Justine is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with the awards Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Piano Performance, with teachers Stephen Savage and Oleg Stepanov.

 

Since it began in 1995, Justine has had the honour of being the Principal Accompanist for the Voices of Birralee, enjoying many experiences through the vision of Julie Christiansen. For the same length of time, Justine has also been the accompanist for the Brisbane Chorale, allowing her the opportunity of playing for many national and international orchestral and choral conductors.

 

Currently, Justine also directs choirs and teaches piano and voice at both Hillbrook School and Padua College, along with conducting and accompanying several Primary school choirs. She is regularly asked to conduct massed school events for the Department of Education.

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Cara Tran

Cara  Tran  Headshot

Accompanist - Resonance of Birralee 

 

Cara completed a Bachelor in Music Performance with First Class Honours under the tutelage of Dr Max Olding at the University of Queensland in 2014. Whilst completing her undergraduate studies, Cara was the recipient of the Donald Tugby Prize in Music Performance (2012).

 

As an orchestral pianist, Cara has worked with the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler and regularly performs with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with whom she toured internationally to China in 2017. With a keen interest in contemporary music, she is a member of new music septet Nonsemble and a regular performer in the Dots+Loops concert series. She is also a member of tango ensemble, Mendoza Tango Quartet and contemporary tango trio, Tango Enigmático.

 

Based in Brisbane, Cara teaches piano at Brisbane Girls Grammar School and also holds a sessional accompanist position at the Queensland Conservatorium. 

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Brett Sturdy

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Accompanist - Birralee Singers (Saturday) 



Brett Sturdy is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where he studied Classical Piano with Natasha Vlassenko, Organ with Christopher Wrench, Orchestral Conducting with Dr Peter Morris, and Choral Conducting with Emily Cox.  He works as a Company Pianist at the Queensland Ballet, and is the Music Director of Chordiality, a seventy-voice community choir based in Indooroopilly.

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Connie Lien

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Accompanist - Birralee Kids (Wednesday)

 

Connie has completed a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Music Education at The University of Queensland. For the past six years she has held the positions of Music Coordinator and classroom music teacher at Education Queensland primary and secondary schools. Connie has special interests in Kodaly teaching techniques, as well as the development of excellence in music education and children's choirs.

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