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National Council

Debra Shearer-Dirié

President: Dr Debra Shearer-Dirié

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Dr Debra Shearer-Dirié received her Doctor of Music in Choral Conducting from Indiana University, USA.  Her qualifications range from degrees in instrumental pedagogy, Kodály Education (obtained from the Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Hungary), a Master of Music Education, and her degree in choral conducting.  She has worked at The University of Queensland and Queensland Conservatorium teaching choral conducting and aural studies.  In 2013 she will be teaching in the Education department at the Australian Catholic University.  Debra is Musical Director of the Brisbane Concert Choir, Musical Director of Fusion, and conducts the Vintage Voices, a singing ensemble for aged 65+. She has been on the ANCA QLD committee and is current editor of Singout.  She is a freelance conductor and clinician throughout the Australia/New Zealand region.

 

Vice President: Guy de Villiers 

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Educator, music director, arranger, composer and researcher, from West End Music theatre to the 'West Wing' of a UK Prison, Guy de Villiers’ career has crossed continents and contexts. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Guy spent four years working in professional music theatre for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, whilst developing a range of outreach education experience with prominent UK arts organisations.School based experience includes a wide range of educational settings at all levels of the P-12 context.

Following an MA in Music Education (Institute of Education, London University) and an MEd (UNSW), Guy’s increasing research interests are in the area of not-for-profit organisational cultures, stakeholders and community (PhD, UNSW) Since arriving in Australia in 2011, Guy has performed as choral director at The Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall (Angel Place) and Sydney Town Hall in addition to responsibilities as Head of Choral Music (K-12) and International Baccalaureate lead teacher. He currently performs with Sydney Harmony, an award winning community barbershop group.  Having previously served on the Chapter committee, Guy combines his interests in marketing, strategy and communication at both state and national level. 

 

 

Treasurer: Michelle Lee

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As Choir Director at St Albans Anglican Church, Epping, Michelle considers church music as a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the wealth of our Christian Worship heritage whilst impacting others with the Gospel of God, and entreating the transformational power of God in peoples’ lives.  After studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Michelle travelled to London where she studied privately for the L.T.C.L. As well as teaching piano at her private studio in North Turramurra, continues to perform and accompany.  Nevertheless, the main focus of her role at St Albans Epping, is to rehearse and train the choir for the various liturgical worship services within that context, as well as support and engage with parishioners for worship in both contemporary and traditional church services.  Corporate experience in administration, risk and compliance, alongside a broad-based MBA qualification and treasurer roles in non-profit organisations (e.g. Toastmasters, KCEA SRE Board, etc.) hold her in good stead for the role of National Treasurer at ANCA. Along with her husband and three children, Michelle enjoys a scenic bushwalk, a roaring fire on cold nights, engaging conversation and heart-warming story-telling.

Council Members

 
 

Anette Kerkovius

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Anette is a choral and vocal specialist and has been involved with music education and choral work for forty years; ranging from early childhood, primary and secondary school to tertiary levels. She has directed children’s choirs, church choirs, community choirs and all age groups within the school environment in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. She has a passion for choral work, and believes that every child should be taught to sing in tune, and should be given the opportunity to experience the joy of singing in a choir.  She feels very strongly that students should be taught the artistry in performing and creating music. 

Anette has presented at conferences both locally and internationally including the Orff Schulwerk Associations, The Australian Society for Music Education (ASME) and The International Society for Music Education (ISME) and ANCA. Anette has also published articles on various aspects of the Orff approach to music education.

 Anette was the Director of Music at All Saints’ College in Perth, (2011 -2018), and previously the Junior School Music Co-ordinator (2003 – 2010) at the College. She now runs her own Music Studio and is a Music Education Consultant for schools. 

 

Photo Credit: Jacqui Way

Christie Anderson

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Christie Anderson is a singer and award-winning conductor and is Artistic Director of Young Adelaide Voices, conducting the Young Adelaide Voices youth choir, women’s vocal ensemble Aurora and is Artistic Director of the WATU Youth Choir Festival.  She is a core singer and Associate Conductor of the multi-award-winning Adelaide Chamber Singers and a founding member of the EVE vocal trio.  She has sung and conducted in many festivals in Australia and around the world.  

In 2016 Christie and Young Adelaide Voices toured Europe participating in festivals in Salzburg, Bratislava and Verona.  The choir returned with three Gold Medals from the Bratislava International Youth Music Festival where Christie was also awarded the Special Prize for Best Conductor of the Festival.  As a result of that tour, Christie was invited as guest presenter at the Vox Mundi Festival in Timisoara, Romania, discussing children’s and youth choirs, and focussing on Young Adelaide Voices and Australian music for youth choirs. 

In her decade as Artistic Director at YAV, Christie has developed a Composer in Residence and Commissioning program, a choir for young men with changing voices and the WATU Youth Choir Festival.  Nationally, Christie has been involved in three wonderful seasons as a guest conductor at the Gondwana National Choral School, has been guest conductor for Hunter Singers in Newcastle and St Mary’s School in Cairns. 

Most recently Christie, together with Young Adelaide Voices, performed a work commissioned be the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to celebrate YAV’s 30th birthday in 2018 - “What do you do with an idea?” by British composer Paul Rissman.  In 2018 Christie continued her role as Artistic Director and Conductor of the WATU Youth Choir Festival.  Among the highlights of the Festival were language workshops and the first choral performance of Gurdi, the only known song in the language of the Narungga people of the Yorke Peninsula. 

In 2019 Christie will adjudicate the Cairns and District Junior Eisteddfod, be Guest Conductor for Tasmania Sings, as part of Tasmania’s Festival of Voices, tour with YAV First Concert Choir as guests of the Gondwana World Choral Festival in Sydney, and tour with her women’s ensemble Aurora as guest artists of the Desert Song Festival in Alice Springs.

Christie became President of ANCA SA in November 2018 and is excited to be part of all things choral! 

Sharon Batterham

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Sharon Batterham is a choral music and vocal specialist, with several years’ experience as a soloist, chorister and conductor. She completed tertiary music studies at the University of Melbourne, with a Bachelor of Music, in composition and voice, and a Bachelor of Music Education. Sharon studied voice with Kevin Casey and Hartley Newnham, and performed regularly with the Faculty of Music Choir and Chamber Singers.

As a child Sharon sang with the Australian Children's Choir, and performed at several venues throughout Melbourne, regional Victoria and South Australia. Sharon participated in the ACC’s first international tours to Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and worked with various conductors and musical groups during that time. Sharon has also sung with the Royal Philharmonic Choir, Faye Dumont Singers, CHIME Choir and the Australian Youth Choir.

Conducting became a particular interest when Sharon commenced tutoring the training groups of the Victorian Boys' Choir, and she continued developing this area with positions in the Australian Girls' Choir and the CHIME Choirs. Training in choral pedagogy followed, under Rodney Eichenberger, Andre de Quadros and Doreen Rao, and Sharon was selected from conductors around the world to attend the 3rd Choral Symposium held by the Toronto Children’s Chorus under Jean Ashworth-Bartle.

After a break to raise her family, Sharon is now the Music Director of Southern Voices. She is in demand as a presenter at choral workshops for all age groups, and is developing a conductor and accompanist education program within the structure of Southern Voices. Sharon is the Director of Cantabella, the senior choir of Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College; she teaches voice at Killester College and Our Lady of Sacred Heart Bentleigh, and is on the committee of the Australian National Choral Association’s Victoria/Tasmania branch.

 

Naomi Cooper

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Dr Naomi Cooper is a freelance choral conductor. She holds a PhD in music for her thesis on directing community choirs and has presented this research nationally and internationally. She has conducted primary and secondary school choirs in public, private and diocesan Catholic schools, and currently leads ensembles at the International Grammar School Sydney and Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College. 

Some of her current community choir projects include the national Estonian-Australian choir Kooskõlas who performed at a large song festival in Estonia in 2019, ParkinSong (a choir for people with Parkinson’s disease and their carers), New Day Carers Choir (for people caring for loved ones with lived experience of mental illness), Sydney Alterna Choir and Northside Community Choir.

Naomi works as a sessional academic at Macquarie University where she teaches vocal studies. She also runs a busy studio teaching classical and contemporary guitar. Naomi also serves on the National Council for ANATS, as NSW Chapter Treasurer for ANATS and as Vice-President of Kodály NSW. 

 

  

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