MICHELLE LEONARD OAM
Michelle is the founder, Artistic director and conductor of Moorambilla Voices. This nationally awarded program seeks at its core to connect us all to country by giving children and artists of the highest calibre an opportunity to co-create cross artform works that speak directly to our rich cultural heritage. Using the model of cultural artistic immersion each year integrated performances embed language, dance, visual art, chamber orchestra and choristers within an Australian art music framework to standing ovations. Her work has been featured in two documentaries - Wide open sky, and Outback Choir, she was speaker at Ted X 2018, and 2020 and recently launched the “Moorambilla Magic modules” project. Michelle is also the founder of the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus - a non auditioned choir of 100 singers in Sydney's inner west who not only perform traditional major works with orchestra but have to date commissioned 150 works for the choir.
Michelle was awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to the community and the performing Arts in 2017, in 2018 she received the Sydney University Alumni of the year Award for services to the arts, and in 2019 was named in the Financial review’s top 100 most influential women in Australia. She has four magnificent young children who keep her very busy and very happy.
In this conversation Michelle will share her perspectives on how and why we are to work towards creating music and interdisciplinary work from our experiences “on country”. How to do that with integrity and purpose at this time in our country’s history, and why it is so important for those we mentor to be an active part of this process.
Drawing on her experience of16 years with Moorambilla Voices and a childhood spent growing up in a fractured rural community, Michelle will share great personal and professional insight into playing this long game of cultural competency to create works and a worldview of joy and abundance. Questions from the floor will be warmly welcomed!