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Music Staff

The ACC employ high calibre music staff to give choristers a quality music and choral education. Each training group is supported by a team of professional accompanists who also provide the dedication and love of teaching music to children of all ages.

Choir Instructor
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Daniel Brinsmead

Artistic Director

Daniel graduated from the Australian National University, where he was awarded the Degree of Bachelor of Music with Honours for performance studies in Classical Voice. In 2016, he was awarded the Degree of Master of Music by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, majoring in choral conducting. Upon graduating he received the Fukisawa Male Voice Choir award for the highest grade for his final Masters conducting recital. 


Daniel has to date been the master of several choirs in Canberra, a voice and piano tutor, a baritone soloist, an accompanist, and a published composer, as well as an arranger and orchestrator. Relocating to Melbourne in 2016, Daniel is currently the Artistic Director of Choristry, an auditioned adult choir in Melbourne. At the ACC, during the last three and a half years, Daniel has been the tutor of the Trebles Choir, and during 2017, he was instrumental in the re-establishment of the Harmony Choir, which he tutored for several months.


Daniel’s choral compositions and arrangements have been performed by school, university, community and professional choirs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and in Australia. He was selected as one of only 8 winners from 918 worldwide entries to record his composition Come Sleep, for the Abbey Road Anthem Competition in 2011, to celebrate the internationally famous studio’s 80th anniversary. This recording was conducted and performed by Eric Whitacre and his choir. 


In addition, the ACC itself has to date commissioned Daniel on several occasions to compose music on its behalf. He composed the music and lyrics for Moon Flight (soon to be published by a leading American choral publisher in 2021) and An Australian Christmas (which the ACC co-commissioned with two other parties). In 2020 he was commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs to compose a work to commemorate their 100th anniversary. This too will be published in 2021/2022. He has also published treble repertoire with Hal Leonard including, A Red Robin, and his popular arrangement of Colin Towns's, Perfect Day. 

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Dean Sky-Lucas

Principal Accompanist and Tutor of The Melody Choir

The Australian pianist, harpsichordist, counter-tenor and lecturer, Dean Sky-Lucas, graduated from the University of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, NSW.

Since graduation Dean Sky-Lucas has been the accompanist to the wind and opera departments of the VCA at the University of Melbourne, teacher and lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium, and for four years was an associate artist with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). He departed ANAM to pursue further studies in speech pathology at Latrobe University, placing him at the forefront of vocal performance from a biomedical perspective.

Dean Sky-Lucas has performed harpsichord, celeste, piano and organ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), Orchestra Victoria (OV) and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), and regularly tours New Zealand, Australia and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician on keyboard and voice. He is widely known to Australian audiences through numerous national broadcasts, both live and pre-recorded with ABC FM, Sunday Live and Radio National, Radio New Zealand and the BBC. He became known in high prominence as a repetiteur and vocal coach at the Victorian Opera and with Australia's most lauded opera singers.

Notable festival engagement with 8 appearances in 10 months during 2003, include the Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane International Festivals. During 2004, Dean performed the role of the singing pianist in ChamberMade Opera's Recital in the USA, the Melbourne Season and the Victorian tour. He was also the alto soloist in the Australian Ballet's season of La Bella Figura with Orchestra Victoria.

In 2005 Dean Sky-Lucas performed the lead role in George Frideric Handel's Orlando, the title role in the 2006, Australian premiere of Antonio Vivaldi's Guistino, La Peinture in Charpentier's Les Arts Florissantes and the World premiere of a work written for viola da gamba consort for the Royal British Music Society by Australian composer Natalie Williams, in the same year. During 2005, he recorded a CD of Italian Baroque music with Louisa Hunter-Bradley and David MacFarlane which was received with critical acclaim.

Dean Sky-Lucas has continued to perform in this combination in regular guest appearances in the concert series presented by Past Echoes both in Melbourne and Sydney. For several years Dean has toured across the nation as a pianist with ensembles including Ensemble Troika, AnnaLisa Kerrigan's "Ireland" and the Kurrawong ensemble. He performs widely with early music ensembles in Australia and his repertoire is vast, encompassing the 13th through 21st centuries. He combines the versatility demanded in early music performance practice with the fastidiousness that new music requires and as such is respected by peer and patron for the illumination brought forward in new and old scores.

Dean Sky-Lucas was an artist-in-residence at the University of Auckland in 2008 with the string, collaborative piano, voice and early music departments, featuring 3 recitals in as many weeks with master-classes and individual lessons. Following 15 years in Melbourne, he accepted the position of Lecturer and Coordinator of Collaborative Piano at the School of Music, University of Auckland, New Zealand and fulfilled this position from 2010-2015.  During this placement Dean won University research grants that allowed him to make CD recordings of New Zealand music for violin and piano and a recording for bassoon and piano of Australasian music written in the last 20 years, which garnered a 5 star review from New Zealand's classical music critic, William Dart.

Dean regularly appeared on Radio NZ as their Opera critic and he was a much sought after accompanist in the NZ choral organisation, Choirs Aoteoroa, with whom he accompanied Voices New Zealand - the professional ensemble, and toured often with the National Youth Choir throughout the North and South Islands and internationally throughout Czechia, North France, England and Singapore to critical acclaim including a live broadcast on the BBC from St John's Smith Square, London. Every concert in that European tour of 2016 was met with standing ovations for the National Youth Choir with Dean as accompanist and Deputy Music Director.

 

Dean performed and recorded as a counter-tenor and pianist in new works during these years for esteemed Kiwi composers.

 

Dean returned to Melbourne at the close of 2016.  He has regularly tutored and lectured at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University since returning from New Zealand. His contribution to the School's Classical Music program in 2020 as accompanist, voice teacher and vocal ensemble tutor earned him a Dean's Sessional Staff teaching award for contributions to the teaching environment.

Dean is the conductor of The Melody Choir, and the Principal Accompanist to the Senior Choir at the Australian Children's Choir. He has also accompanied the Box Hill Chorale and the Melbourne University Choral Society (MUCS) as well as The National Boys Choir. 

Dean has been the Director of Music and head repetiteur for several of the productions launched by ACoCo Opera (formerly known as Gertrude Opera) including their award winning season of "The Handmaid's Tale" in 2018 directed by the outstanding, Artistic Director, Linda Thompson for the Yarra Valley Festival.

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Beth Ylvisaker

Treble Choir Tutor

Beth was born and raised in the US but has lived nearly half of her life in Australia. She received her bachelor’s degree in music and French from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Luther College has one of the largest undergraduate liberal arts music programs in the US and has an especially rich choral tradition.  Beth participated in many ensembles as singer, flautist and pianist.  She was the Presser Scholar of her music class, an honour given to the top student as voted by the teaching faculty, based on academic excellence and musical achievement.  She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, America’s oldest honour society recognising academic achievement across a broad range of subjects.  Beth received her Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied with Howard Karp and was an undergraduate teaching assistant.

 

Beth is equally passionate about teaching and performing.  She has presented “Tracing My Musical Family Tree”, a lecture-recital considering the notion of vocation as teacher and performer and reflecting on her teaching lineage which extends back to Beethoven and Liszt.   Beth has a special affinity for accompanying.  As accompanist she has performed with distinguished tenor Thomas Edmonds AM and has played live on ABC Classic.

 

Beth’s experience is wide-ranging but is all driven by advocacy for the power of live music-making.  Her work has included accompanying a Gilbert and Sullivan troupe, directing a children’s music school, being musical director for community theatre, conducting church choirs, conducting community choirs, adjudicating at eisteddfods and singing with the Melbourne Symphony Chorus.

 

Beth is currently a piano teacher and accompanist at Presbyterian Ladies' College and conducts the Hummingsong women's choir in Hawthorn.O -Observers to

Senior Choir

  

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Eleanor Hardie

Intermediate Choir Tutor

Eleanor Hardie is currently a primary classroom music teacher at Glen Iris Primary School and a mentor in the Victorian Music in Schools Mentor Program, The Song Room. In 2023 she completed a Certification in Specialist Kodály Pedagogy at Holy Names University, California, USA, holds an Australian Kodály Certificate in Early Childhood and Primary Music, and has attained a Level 4 Certificate of Accreditation: Australian National Council of Orff Schulwerk. Eleanor serves as editor of the 'The Voice' publication for the Victorian Branch of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia.

She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Sydney, Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy, an AMusA on clarinet and has pursued short course professional development in choral pedagogy with James Jordan, Westminster Choir, Rider University, NY, 2021 and Gondwana Choirs, Conducting Academy 2020. Eleanor is a core member of Melbourne based choir, Warrandyte Voices, directed by Lisa Young. She has led school and community choirs for over 20 years, celebrates her extensive time at the Australian School of Performing Arts as conductor and tutor, and continues her own study in voice with Susan Breen-Clarke.

 

Eleanor is passionate about quality music education for every child and is excited to have joined the Australian Children’s Choir.

 

 

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Sarah Chang

Accompanist Treble & Harmony Choirs

Sarah was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She moved to Australia to pursue her university studies and graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music at Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Music in classical piano under the guidance of Lucinda Collins and Stefan Ammer. She went on to do a Graduate Diploma in Music Education.

Upon completion of her university studies, she began teaching classroom music in various notable independent schools in Adelaide, before becoming an instrumental teacher and accompanist for choirs and soloists. She was the Musical Director for St Peter's Girls' involvement at the Adelaide Fringe, performing "The Wiz." Sarah was also the resident pianist for the Gideon's National Convention in 2007 and 2008. She moved to Melbourne in 2011, teaching piano and accompanying at schools, as well as teaching in her busy private studio.

Sarah has been involved in several church mission projects from 2014-2016, travelling to Fiji and New Zealand to teach keyboard in rural areas and perform at worship rallies. She also toured Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 2015 to play keyboard as part of a colleague's album launch. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys gardening, travelling and spending time in nature with her husband and three young children.

   

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Gen Barclay

Lyrebird Tutor

Gen’s involvement with music was inevitable. From a family of musicians, she joined the Australian Children’s Choir as a chorister at the age of 7. In 2009 she entered the Senior choir and enjoyed 9 years of incredible music experiences including tours, CD recordings and performances. Throughout her time in the Senior Choir, she had opportunities to work with musicians both in Australia and around the world. Some highlights include meeting some of the finest choirs and conductors as part of the 2011 International Children’s Choir Festival in the United Kingdom, touring through Austria and Germany, travelling up the East Coast of Australia, performing at National sporting events and working with artists such as Missy Higgins, Normie Rowe, Casey Donovan and more. Gen finished performing with the Senior Choir in 2017, and joined the staff as music support, then began to teach in 2021.

Currently, Gen is studying for her Bachelor of Education (Early Year and Primary), and is very excited about the opportunities provided by the Australian Children’s Choir for her future teaching years.

Throughout her schooling, Gen has been a member of several ensembles including; Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Percussion ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Gen has also achieved AMEB qualifications in classical singing and percussion.

Following in her parents footsteps, Gen has also been in many musical productions. Some credits are; Queen Stephanie in Sleeping Beauty, a Sharpette in High School Musical 2, Pops in Kiss Me Kate, Pearl in Cabaret, Sylvie in Oklahoma, Poppy in Noises Off and ensemble in Spamalot.

Having been part of the ACC for over 17 years has made Gen very passionate about continuing the incredible tuition she received during her years of service, and she is proud to be part of a talented team who work to support their choristers in every aspect of their musical education.

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Catrina Seiffert

Accompanist - Melody & Intermediate Choirs

Catrina is an engaging singer, pianist and recording artist who performs regularly throughout Melbourne in a wide variety of musical ensembles.  These include five-star hotel and corporate performances with her Jazz Trio and solo concerts. Catrina’s performances have taken her overseas to the UK, USA, Canada and Asia.  In 1999 she was invited to be musician in residence at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul, Korea, which included performances at the Ambassador’s Ball and for Queen Elizabeth the 2nd’s first official visit to Korea. 

Catrina performs as a soprano soloist with Astra Chamber Music as well as TV and concert appearances.  The Catrina Seiffert Jazz Trio was chosen as the featured band at the opening night after party for the musicals, Miss Saigon and Wicked in Melbourne.

Catrina currently lectures in music at Melbourne Polytechnic and teaches singing and piano and is a freelance accompanist.  She directs choirs and also delivers Keynote conferences as a featured speaker.

Over the last 15 years Catrina has been honing her songwriting skills.  She is available to create custom songs for special ocassions.  Her debut solo album, “Ocean In” featured many of her original songs.  She has been refining her lyric writing though study with Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA)’s Professor Pat Pattison and writes regularly with a small group of Melbourne’s top songwriters as well as with ASC in Sydney. Since 2020 Catrina started composing for film, tv and advertising.  In November 2022 she travelled to the Taxi Road Rally (songwriting/ production music conference) in Los Angeles.  Catrina loves working with the Australian Children’s Choir and loves hearing the singers grow in musicality and confidence each week.

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