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The Oriana Artistic Team

Since its inception in 2005, Oriana and their associated Youth Choir have been led by a group of talented and dedicated conductors and accompanists. Together, they have shared the vision of creating and developing choirs capable of presenting fine choral music to the very highest standard of performance excellence.

 

Founding Director of Oriana, Daniel Calder, was an inspiring conductor with high expectations of commitment from choristers at all times. His passion for choral music brought many acclaimed, professional classical works to the Sunshine Coast. When he departed after ten years, his legacy was a highly-acclaimed choir that had won a host of awards, not only here at home but also overseas.

Today, our current artistic team, led by Fay Baker, imparts to us a wealth of musical knowledge and education, drives performance excellence and continues to provide life-changing musical experiences to Oriana members. Our valued Artistic Team is adding to the heritage that has been handed down to them, and are creating an enduring legacy for future generations.

A few years ago Oriana adopted a new operational model in the management of Music Direction for the choir. Seasonal Music Directors are appointed for each of the three major performance seasons in the calendar year.

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Fay Baker OAM

Artistic Director

Fay studied piano and cello at the Royal Academy of Music in London, obtaining the qualifications of LRAM and ARCM.
 
She and her family moved to Australia in 1978 and, after an initial career as a string teacher in Brisbane, joined the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and the University of Queensland as a vocal and choral accompanist. She accompanied the University Chamber Singers, the Conservatorium Singers, the Conservatorium Chorus and the Brisbane Chorale for several years. Fay was Senior Repetiteur for Opera Queensland for seven years before moving up to the Sunshine Coast.
 
Fay was the official accompanist and assistant conductor of the Sunshine Coast Choral Society for about 5 years. She retired briefly from choral accompanying before joining the award-winning Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir, firstly as a singer and then as the official accompanist and assistant conductor. She was also the founding accompanist of the University of the Sunshine Coast Singers. She retired from this position recently.
 
In December, 2016, Fay was honoured to be the first person awarded Life Membership of the Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir. She was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to choral music in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Seasonal Directors for 2024
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Elisabeth Wallis Gaedtke

Season One

Elisabeth Wallis Gaedtke is a choral conductor, performer and educator.  She is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she studied classical voice.  Her love for the stage blossomed when she performed in her first professional opera at age 16 as the First Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

 

As a performer, her professional experience embraces opera, concerts, musical theatre, contemporary and jazz.  As a concert soprano soloist Elisabeth has performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Mass in C and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Bach’s Coffee Cantata and Handel’s Messiah.  Her favourite roles on the Musical theatre stage have included Lily in The Secret Garden, Cosette in Les Miserables, Anna in The King and I and Yum Yum in The Mikado.  Elisabeth’s performance highlight with Oriana was touring Europe where she performed as a soloist and chorister in St. Madeleine, Paris, St. Martin in the Fields, London and also in Westminster Palace, for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

 

As a conductor, Elisabeth has conducted the Oriana choir in preparation for concerts including Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” in Brisbane City Hall, “Fascinating Rhythm” and various guest performances on stage and on air.  Elisabeth was the founding conductor of the Sunshine Coast Oriana Youth Choir from 2009 to 2014.  She is regularly invited as the guest choral conductor for primary and secondary school music camps and workshops on the Sunshine Coast.  Elisabeth is also the vocal coach at BYTE (Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence) where she and her husband have been the musical directors since 2004.  Elisabeth has co-musically directed over 40 musicals and productions of both professional and amateur standards.

Elisabeth is a secondary classroom music teacher with nearly 20 years experience. Anyone who knows Elisabeth, has witnessed her passion for teaching and inspiring all generations of singers and musicians as her love for music continues to shine with exuberance.

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Kim Kirkman

Seasons Two and Three

After originally training as a violist (B Mus), Kim moved to voice (Post Grad Dip) and became co-owner, musical director and member of The Ten Tenors. He has sung solos in oratorio in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Brisbane as well as solo and chorus for Opera Queensland and the Victorian State Opera.

 

Having a very varied career, he has conducted many choirs (Blackstone Ipswich Cambrian Choir, Mackay Choral Society, Bach Society of Queensland etc), orchestras (Gold Coast Philharmonic etc) and mixed ensembles in Australia and overseas; as well as working as a script-writer, administrator, composer and teacher.

 

Kim taught strings, composition, conducting, music technology and voice at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, CQUniversity, Mackay from 2004 to 2012. He also gained a Masters of Learning Management.

 

In 2016 he recorded eight harp CDs and gave over 110 public performances. Kim conducts the Inspiration Choir, Inspiration Project Choir (which has performed classical music at the Woodford Folk Festival to standing ovations, twice), Caloundra Community Choir, and the Caloundra Chorale and is in high demand as an adjudicator and vocal workshop leader.

 

Kim has written the accompanying scripts for two Purcell semi-operas as well as The Messiah and the Man. He also arranges music to sell online and has over 300 works published on sheetmusicplus.com.

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Annie Wilson

Conductor

Annie Wilson has been singing longer than she has been speaking. Growing up in a house with a father who sang in the opera company laid the foundation for her love for singing.

Beyond childhood, Annie’s singing experience is almost completely through choral singing. With only a handful of private singing lessons in her life, most of her technique has been taught by inspiring choral conductors. 

 

Beyond her personal experience being in a choir, Annie has also studied Choral Conducting at various levels. Her most rewarding experience was completing her Master of Music with a course conducting within the Gondwana National Choral School - a two week intensive choral program for young adults and children based in Sydney. 

 

If Annie isn’t singing in a choir, she is singing in her classroom. Currently teaching Music from Prep to Year 6, Annie’s teaching experience stretches from 6 months old to 18 year olds - with singing being at the forefront of her method for every age! She's also been the music director for several musicals within her school community and has conducted school choirs of all ages.

 

Annie has been a member of the Oriana Choir since 2010 and is very honoured to be the current conductor of the Sunshine Coast Youth Choir, and hopes to inspire these young singers to follow their love of singing throughout their life. 

Sarah Laws

Accompanist

Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Music Education in 2001, Sarah worked as a music teacher at various primary and secondary schools across the Sunshine Coast until 2013. During this time she also conducted the Sunshine Coast Australian Youth Choir from 2004 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2015. Sarah currently teaches singing, piano and violin at her own private studio.

 

She has been a very proud member of the soprano section of the Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir since 2014 and took up the role of accompanist with the Sunshine Coast Oriana Youth Choir in 2016, beginning a new partnership with David White as choral director.

Sarah is a most accomplished singer, having been awarded her AMusA in Singing from the Australian Music Examintations Board (AMEB) in 2014. She has also been a very successful competitor at the Queensland Eisteddfod where was the Champion Mezzo-Soprano in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Sunshine Coast Youth Choir Artistic Team
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