Sunday 20 March, 2011

michelleleonard96x144Michelle Leonard, is the founding Artistic Director and conductor of the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, the Moorambilla Voices Regional Children’s Choirs and Festival Director of the Moorambilla Festival. This is the third installment of her blog!

Since i last wrote the stars seem to have aligned! The festival postcard looks great. The LEC rehearsals are going VERY well. Concert program is at the printers. Orchestra manouvers (often in the dark) accounted for. Music is in Australia and being copied and sent to those who have requested it. Post-concert catering in hand. And finally, Moorambilla festival presenters locked-in with flyer well on the way to meeting deadline. PHEW!

Now all I need to do is look at my own scores, stay calm and happy in rehearsals, and focus on the reason we are all doing this - THE MUSIC!

Believe it or not the wheels are already in motion for the next LEC concert Sonnets and Sax (25th, 26th June). As I will be giving birth the weekend of this one, Dan Walker will conduct it (I cannot multitask that well!).


Given he is also writing the major commission for it, I am confident it will all be fabulous. However in my role as artistic director I still have things to do. I have this week confirmed and booked the fabulous Continum Sax quartet to play in the concert. I've worked with Dan on selecting the Kahil Gibran text (ok, well pushed him in in the right direction!) and I am just pulling together the rest of the repertoire that was not programed into the mix (and ordered in from overseas) earlier this year - a  tricky little job to do as I think four of the works will fit with the commission. But as it is all still in Dan's head - I am not sure yet! However the look and feel of what he is doing i understand, and his writing is so great for voice (think fabulous Persian influence this time!).

I have sorted the artwork for the program and must admit I am actually very pleased with how the whole thing is coming together. At the same time I'm  jealous I will not be in front of this one. The more 'artistic' programs I like more. But I do have a great reason for not conducting on this occassion! Of course the venue is booked and the rehearsal etc. are in the schedule.

I think I mentioned before how wonderful having a weekly newletter is. Here we sneak peek upcoming events and let the choir know of other great concerts going on so they can support others as well. And of course keep them informed IN ADVANCE about LEC activities - it's a real godsend. It goes out on the email and a monthly version to our friends list as well. As I have mentioned the group of committee members I have is extraordinary. We are very lucky and it looks like POST AGM all will stay too ;-)

Back in 'Moorambilla land' all the schools are locked-and-loaded for the Moorambilla workshop audition schedule. No mean feat I assure you! Can't wait to get back onto the road. As I said in previous blogs it's a real highlight of the year for me. Before I go I will be working with MLC on their wonderful, inspiring and downright AMAZING Opera House concert (made famous recently in the doco Mrs Careys concert). Then I head for some choral workshops in Toowoomba. Toowoomba have a fabulous choral scene up there, and its so inspiring working with these young girls. Over the years I have seen them turn into young women - such a delight! It's also great to work with other conductors, chew the fat about repertoire and the idiosyncrasies that are choirs, with people who are as passionate as you are.

So the next time I blog I will be on the road (somewhere where there is a good Telstra connection i hope!). Please let me know if you want me to address something in more detail in these blogs - i will try my best! Until then.

If you have a question for Michelle, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line "MiCN Mentor's Question".