Artistic Team

Julie Christiansen OAM

Vo B -  Julie  Christiansen

Founder and Artistic Director 

Conductor - Birralee Singers


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 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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Paul Holley OAM

Paul  Holley 2(photo credit  Maxine  Mc Cabe)

Voices of Birralee Associate Director
Conductor - Birralee Blokes & Resonance of Birralee

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. 

Presently Paul is the Associate Director of Voices of Birralee and conducts two ensembles, The Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee. The Blokes have been bringing young men together to sing since 2003. In addition to enjoying their music making and inspiring audiences they have been successful in the ABC Choir of the Year Competition in 2006 winning the overall and People's Choice awards and were also Choir of the World at Kathaumiwx in 2012. 

Resonance of Birralee, a choir for young adults has toured nationally and internationally most recently to perform at Anzac Centenary Commemorations in France and Belgium. They have also enjoyed making several recordings and perform regularly with the 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, 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

Jenny  Moon  Headshot 2019[ 1]

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.

 

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Peter Ingram

Peter  IngramConductor - 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 currently the National President of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) and was a long-serving president of the Queensland Chapter of ANCA. He is in demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician and workshop leader at various choral events throughout the country.

 

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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Kate Littlewood

Photo 2018Conductor - 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. Kate directs the St Laurence’s College Keyboard Ensemble, accompanies for Choral Connection and the Mt St Michael’s College Choir, and also works regularly with community choirs Scomodo Voce and Pro Musica.


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Debbie Daley

Deb DaleyConductor - 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, is a member of the Music Teachers Association of Qld and assists with the MTAQ vocal competition each year. 

 

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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 primary school 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

Clare  Finlayson

Assistant Conductor – Resonance of Birralee


Clare is the Acting Coordinator of Choirs at Brisbane Girls Grammar School and loves helping people connect with their community and improve their music skills. She has had an eclectic career having worked as a classroom music teacher, private singing, violin and piano tutor, session musician, vocalist, actor, dancer, stage manager and just once, a puppeteer.  

 

Clare holds a double Bachelors degree in Music (Vocal Performance) and Education (Secondary) and has completed a two year theatre internship with the Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre. 


Clare has been involved with Birralee as a chorister for 15 years. During this time she has been given the opportunity to sing in Belgium, France, Austria, New Zealand, America, Canada and South Korea. 

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Louise Wall

Lou Wall
Assistant Conductor - Birralee Singers 

Louise is a vibrant Singing Teacher, Choral Conductor and Performer who strives to inspire her students and choristers to sing with confidence and commitment. She prides herself on being able to 
connect with young performers so they feel comfortable to be themselves, and make the most of the gifts they have.

 

Louise has performed professionally in original productions at QPAC, The Powerhouse and Princess Theatre, as well as gigging regularly and touring with bands. She has also taken principal roles in many amateur musicals throughout Queensland.

 

Currently, Louise teaches voice at her studio ‘Melodic Minors’ in Ferny Hills. She also directs ‘Tessitura Chorus’ and `Tessitura A Cappella’ ensembles at The Gap. 

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Brendan Murtagh

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Assistant Conductor & Accompanist - Resonance of Birralee

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
Accompanist - Birralee Kids (Saturdays)

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.

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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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Claire Preston

Claire  Preston NEW

Accompanist - Birralee Singers (Saturdays)


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. 

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Connie Lien

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Accompanist - Birralee Kids (Wednesdays)


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 Kodály teaching techniques, as well as the development of excellence in music education and children’s choirs. Connie has special interests in Kodály teaching techniques, as well as the development of excellence in music education and children’s choirs. 

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