Bendigo Youth Choir

Bendigo youth choir  2014

Bendigo youth choir 2014

Founded in 1984 by Valerie Broad OAM, the Bendigo Youth Choir still delivers a quality choral experience for young singers. Over a thousand young people have travelled through the ranks of the choir, with some having gone on to establish a name in the Arts, in Australia and internationally. For most, it has been an opportunity to sing and perform, while learning musicianship and acquiring discipline, reaching the high standards which have been maintained for decades. However, the most important aspect that BYC gives to its young members is a place to belong, sharing the love of music with like-minded people. The Bendigo Youth Choir was formed with an ethos of providing quality choral tuition and experience to the young people of Bendigo and surrounds, while instilling a commitment to contribute to the wider community. Through the choir, members experience the satisfaction of rising to challenges, both here and abroad.  The choir has competed locally and internationally, and has travelled near and far to participate in choral festivals and workshops. Still going strong after 35 years, the staff and management are largely volunteers, passionate about bringing an outstanding choral experience to its members. We are thrilled to come together to celebrate 20 years of Women of Note.

valerie broad   OAM  Founder and Artistic director, Bendigo youth choir

valerie broad OAM Founder and Artistic director, Bendigo youth choir

Valerie Broad OAM Choir Founder and Musical Director

Valerie Broad (nee McCracken) is a recognised Teacher, Performer, Choir Conductor and Composer. Valerie achieved L.Mus.A (Singing) through Australian Music Examinations Board, A.Mus.A (Piano) through AMEB and ALCM (Piano) through London College of Music. Valerie is in demand as a teacher of voice and piano. Valerie has had an illustrious career on the performance stage, singing in Musical Theatre, Oratorios and Cantatas. Many of her students have gone on to eminent singing careers in Australia and overseas. She is the recipient of numerous awards and civic accolades, including an OAM for services to the disabled and the community in 1990.

Gail Godber Associate Artistic Director / Conductor

gail godber  associate artistic director, bendigo youth choir

gail godber associate artistic director, bendigo youth choir

Gail Godber worked as a music educator in schools in Melbourne and Bendigo for over 20 years. She is a passionate advocate for the communication of positive choices through collaborative songwriting. Gail has written a number of school songs, involving students in the creative process. In 2009 Gail received a National Award for Excellence in School Music Education. She conducted the Bendigo Youth Choir in America in 2012 to compete for the World Choir Games. Gail is an advocate for women who served their nation in times of war, writing the song, ‘Women of the War’. Gail was the Children’s Chorus Leader for Opera Australia for their 2016 production of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. She has worked as a volunteer with the Bendigo Youth Choir for twelve years, and is an enthusiastic proponent of the positive effects of choral singing.



Young voices of Melbourne

young voices of melbourne

young voices of melbourne

The Young Voices of Melbourne was founded in February 1990 by Mark O'Leary and is now regarded as one of Australia's finest choral programs for young singers. There are currently 230 singers from 6 - 30 years of age enrolled in the programme who rehearse weekly in one of six groups. We are proud of our achievements since 1990. Young Voices of Melbourne has presented many concerts at venues in and around Melbourne, featuring new music by Australian composers, including numerous commissioned works, world music from many countries and international classics, both new and old. The choir has a proud history of touring to all Australian states and territories as well as all around the world on its 11 international tours. YVM has made ten CD recordings and more are planned for 2018. We have influenced the lives of hundreds of young people and are proud of our work in the Australian choral community.

Mark O’Leary OAM Founder and Artistic Director

mark o’leary  musical director, young voices of melbourne

mark o’leary musical director, young voices of melbourne

Mark O’Leary OAM, is one of Australia’s most active choral conductors, widely respected for his work with Young Voices of Melbourne, Exaudi youth choir and Gondwana Voices. With these ensembles, he has produced thirteen CD recordings, toured all states and territories of Australia, and made sixteen international tours to Europe, South Africa, North America, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Samoa. Mark has presented many workshops on choral music education throughout Australia and internationally, and is a regular guest conductor at choral festivals. He publishes Australian choral music for young choirs in the Young Voices of Melbourne Choral Series and is the author of the Sight Singing School books and web site used in more than 40 countries. Mark is a Churchill Fellow, an Honorary Life Member of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia, and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to choral music and education in the 2018 Australia Day Honours list.

Julia Piggin Accompanist

Julia Piggin  Accompanist Young Voices of Melbourne

Julia Piggin Accompanist Young Voices of Melbourne

Julia Piggin is a Kodaly music method specialist and classroom music teacher at Scotch College in Melbourne. She has been chief accompanist of the Young Voices of Melbourne for many years, and has recorded numerous CDs with them. Julia is a passionate advocate of the Kodaly Method of teaching music literacy, having undertaken lengthy study with leading Australian and Hungarian practitioners. Her Sound to Symbol workbooks are used widely by Australian and overseas Kodaly practitioners. She has mentored numerous teachers, and young musicians in the best practices of music education.