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.
Oriana has recently 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.
Oriana Artistic Director
Fay Baker OAM
Fay studied piano and cello at the Royal Academy of Music in London, obtaining the qualifications of LRAM (teacher) and ARCM (performer).
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 Oriana Choir.
Along with her role as Artistic Director for Oriana Fay continues her work as a freelance accompanist and vocal coach.
Fay was honoured in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours by being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to choral music.
Seasonal Music Directors for 2020
Please note that our programme for the year was severely curtailed however, Kim Kirkman has directed Season Three.
Youth Choir Artistic Team
Paul Holley is a choral conductor and educator. His personal warmth and passion for choral music have inspired many singers to discover and develop their skills and achieve personal fulfilment as choral musicians. With over 25 years of teaching experience in secondary schools and many years of working with adult community choirs, Paul knows how to connect with singers of all ages and enjoys collaborating with them in the music making process.
Paul is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where he studied choral conducting with Dr John Nickson.
Presently Paul is the Associate Director of Voices of Birralee and conducts two ensembles, The Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee. The Blokes have been bringing young men together to sing since 2003. In addition to enjoying their music making and inspiring audiences they have been successful in the ABC Choir of the Year Competition in 2006 winning the overall and People's Choice awards and were also Choir of the World at Kathaumiwx in 2012.
Resonance of Birralee, a choir for young adults has toured nationally and internationally most recently to perform at Anzac Centenary Commemorations in France and Belgium. They have also enjoyed making several recordings and perform regularly with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Pops Orchestra.
Paul is also the co-conductor of the national youth choir Gondwana Chorale that in January 2019 toured the UK and the Baltics, and have previously toured the UK, USA and NZ.
As a choral educator, Paul is dedicated to excellence in choral education and regularly features as guest conductor/clinician at festivals, conferences and music competitions at home and abroad. He also contributed a chapter to the book Male Voices: Stories of boys learning through making music (S D Harrison, Ed, 2009, ACER).
In January 2016, Paul was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to choral music.
While studying classical voice at the Qld Conservatorium of Music Elisabeth received a scholarship as Soprano Soloist for the Australian Catholic University Choir and she was also a finalist for the Margaret Nixon Prize competition.
As a school student Elisabeth studied voice with Delith Brooke and at 16 performed in her first professional opera as the First Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
Her professional experience embraces opera, concerts, musical theatre, contemporary and jazz. As a concert soloist Elisabeth has performed Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Mass in C and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Bach’s Coffee Cantata and Handel’s Messiah.
She is a regular guest soloist for The Welsh Society of the Sunshine Coast and The Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir, of which she has been a choral member for 8 years. 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. Off the stage, Elisabeth has co-musically directed over 30 musicals and productions of both professional and amateur standards.
A Weekend With...
Graham Abbott has been Conductor-in-Residence at the Elder Conservatorium of Music Adelaide, Musical Director of Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Musical Director of Melbourne Chorale, and Guest Chorus Master for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
He has conducted all the major Australian orchestras, opera companies and leading choral societies as well as numerous new music and early music ensembles. Graham is also a respected music educator, and was producer and presenter of the highly successful Keys To Music series on ABC Classic FM from 2003 – 2017.He currently makes podcasts for Universal Music.
In 2020, Graham has engagements with Bendigo Chamber Music Festival, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, State Opera South Australia (Barber of Seville), Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (Unwrap the Music series), Hobart Festival of Voices (Rossini Mass), and will lead choral workshops at ANAM.
After originally training as a violist (BMus), Kim moved to voice (PostGradDip) and became co-owner, musical director and member of The Ten Tenors. He has sung tenor solos in oratorios in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Brisbane, as well as solo and chorus for Opera Queensland, Victoria,State Opera and EssGee Entertainment.
Having had 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. Kim has also worked 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.
Kim lives in Crystal Waters on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with his partner and daughter. In 2016 he recorded eight harp CDs and gave over 110 public performances. Kim still performs around 100 performances a year. He also conducts the Inspiration Choir, Inspiration Project Choir (who have performed classical music at the Woodford Folk Festival to standing ovations twice), Caloundra Community Choir, Tapestry (an a capella chamber choir), the Caloundra Chorale and Hot Ginger Chorus. He is in high demand as an adjudicator and vocal workshop leader. Currently Kim is arranging music to sell online and has over 90 arrangements published on sheetmusicplus.com.
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.
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.