Michelle Leonard has a passion to commission new Australian choral music, driving a vision for the community-based choir Leichhardt Espresso Chorus. It’s a unique direction for community singers, who are usually comfortable with repertoire that is easier to learn. While many community music organisations travel safely with their music, Michelle is unafraid to support an Australian voice and sound.
“All the singers in this choir find something so uplifting about singing and presenting a work that has never ever been performed before. They are all so brave – I love the way this choir is made up of people from every walk of life – from lawyers, to parents, to teachers and artists.”
“Our latest commission, the new work PANTA KREMAMENA is written by emerging composer and Sydney University student Josephine Gibson. A singer herself, Josephine has written some works already in the choral repertoire, performed by Sydney Chamber Choir amongst others. We’re excited to present this new work at St James in the City. It’s a fitting piece to present in that amazing golden space.”
Over the past 20 years Michelle has commissioned over 100 new Australian works and arrangements with the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus something of which the entire group is also proud. “Each week we are shaping a new work and watching in unfold in real time, which is quite an extraordinary experience to get inside an artist’s head and breathing life into a new work – it’s equally scary and exhilarating, you never know what each week will bring!”
While Michelle’s own contribution to the performing arts has been acknowledged in her award of an OAM, particularly for her work in music education and the Moorambilla Voices program, the choir’s commitment to new composers has been acknowledged in several award nominations by APRA AMCOS for composers Alice Chance and Dan Walker, and this year the choir Michelle has put in a nomination for Organisation of the Year.
PANTA KREMAMENA (ALL THINGS SUSPENDED) is to be performed on June 9 at 4pm at the St James Church, King Street, City.
Sydney Arts Guide has one double pass to give away to this concert. Email the editor email@example.com. The winner will be advised by email.
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