A remarkably successful Sydney Tour!

We were incredibly excited to tour our wonderfully talented and creative candidates to Sydney this July in collaboration with Royal Far West! Over 50 young singers gave a series of performances at unique venues throughout the city, including special performances at NSW Parliament House and Government House and St Matthews on the Corso in Manly. Accompanying them were members of our ensembles-in-residence, Taikoz and The Song Company and The Australian World Orchestra.

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Click PLAY for our fun flipagram of the Tour featuring Dan Walker’s Wide Open Sky!

The children sang new Australian music, inspired by the landscape of north-west NSW, including about the iconic Narran Lakes by Andrew Howes as well as stunning pieces by Alice Chance and Dan Walker.

Having His Excellency General The Hon David Hurley, Governor of NSW and Mrs Linda Hurley personally host us at Government House made these performances all the more special – the warmth of their welcome and generosity lifted us to new heights. We would also like to thank our host at NSW Parliament House the Honourable Lesley Williams MP, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education.

“Not everyday do you get to go to a place like Government House. I felt somewhat special to be asked to be there. It felt good playing the taiko drums in the garden. It was all clean and we had a lot of important people looking at us.”  Riley Fernando, 16.

Here is a selection of images from the tour by Noni Carroll.






Ancient markings, red dirt and night sky legends. Welcome to 2016!

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Moorambilla Voices has launched the creative inspiration driving its 2016 program with the Artistic and Cultural Immersion at historic Mount Grenfell, near Cobar, north-west NSW.

Facilitated in consultation with Ngiyampaa Indigenous and community leaders, the Immersion experience took place in April and will drive the artists’ source material.

“This incredibly beautiful landscape has an ancient history as a meeting place for the Ngiyampaa people, and is notable for its spectacular examples of ancient Ngiyampaa rock art,” explained Artistic Director Michelle Leonard. “When I first found out about it I knew that this place would form a strong foundation for our performances incorporating music, dance and visual art.”

“Combined with the rich local history and unique landscape, this year is shaping up to be quite a big one for Moorambilla Voices.”

The 2016 Program includes Sydney Tour, the Annual Residential Camps in Baradine and the Gala Concert in Dubbo and several Associated Performances and Tours.

More about the Artistic and Cultural Immersion and Mount Grenfell here…

More about the 2016 Program here…

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On a dry creek bed: The team of artists were grateful to be given this time to experience the energy of the landscape and  to appreciate the rich depth of cultural  knowledge shared by Ngiyampaa Elder, poet and powerhouse Elaine Ohlsen and elder Peter Harris, with members of the Co-management committee Rick Ohlsen, Lawrence Clarke and Philip Sullivan. Artists at the immersion this year were: Artistic Director Michelle Leonard, Composers in residence Andrew Howes, Josephine Gibson and William Yaxley, Taikoz Artist Tom Royce-Hampton, Choreographer Jacob Williams, Regional Dance Artist Tianga Savage, Lantern Artist Sara Tinning, Speaker Clive Birch, Photographer Noni Carroll and Regional Photographer Justin Welsh, supported by General Manager Dayle Murray.










We’re so proud of Wide Open Sky

The national release of the uplifting documentary Wide Open Sky, that explores the musical journey of Artistic Director Michelle Leonard and Moorambilla Voices, has received incredible acclaim across Australia.

“Everyone at Moorambilla Voices is so proud of this positive film,” says Artistic Director and Conductor Michelle Leonard. “We’re particularly excited to have this chance to show the world about our beautiful region, our remarkably talented children and the communities that we are all a part of.”

The critics roared approval of the film and gave it lots of stars! The film was directed by Lisa Nicol and won the audience award for Best Documentary at last year’s Sydney Film Festival. From the Sydney Morning Herald to TimeOut, The Australian, Variety, Margaret Throsby on ABC Classic FM, and arts critic John McDonald in the Australian Financial Review, here’s just a taste of the response:

“Music, as Leonard sees it, is about much more than rhythms and melodies. It’s about sparking critical thought and opening the minds of young people to life’s opportunities and possibilities.” Variety

“These country kids are bright and ambitious. The Moorambilla Voices offers a first glimpse of a world outside their small towns, and a sense of burgeoning possibility.” Australian Financial Review

“The final concert is a triumph. And since we’ve seen how far they have come and what they have learnt, it’s incredibly emotional. The film reminds us of the power that learning about music can have on the personal development of children.” Sydney Morning Herald

“We are in Cobar, Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Dunedoo, Coonamble, Brewarrina…most of them are towns that have had racial problems in the past, but the choir that Michelle is putting together has both indigenous and non-indigenous children, side by side with no problems. Every little bit helps.” ABC Nightlife


We’re looking forward to our exciting 2016 Moorambilla Voices program of residencies and concerts, which again will feature leading Australian composers, musicians, artists working with Moorambilla Voices children and youth in our MAXed OUT Company.

Keep up to date on our Facebook page or check out all our events here.  And please consider a donation to help us keep going.

For the full podcast of Margaret Throsby ABC Classic FM interview with Michelle Leonard click here.



Think big, dream wide!

If you are inspired by the Wide Open Sky film, please consider a donation to help us to continue to support fabulous children like those in the film. We rely on private donations, and some government support to continue and your donation will really make a difference.

Moorambilla Voices is continuing each year – just like in the film. This year in March our Artistic Director Michelle Leonard travelled across the region to deliver music and rhythm workshops in schools to over 2,000 children.

The towns participating in the 2016 program included: Dubbo, Narromine, Wellington, Gilgandra, Coonamble, Quambone, Gulargambone, Carinda, Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Goodooga, Collarenebri, Brewarrina, Bourke, Louth, Enngonia, Wanaaring, Cobar, Nyngan, Giralambone, Warren, Trangie, Coonabarabran, Binnaway, Pilliga, Gwabegar, Baradine, Dunedoo, Mendooran, Coolah, Guerie.


Tour Map and Dates

Moorambilla Voices 2016 Skills Workshop Tour

All the workshops were “open door” – we welcomed all primary and high school students who are at school, as well as teachers, educators and community members.

On the first week of the tour, Australia’s premiere vocal ensemble
The Song Company
 came with us as well!

Coonamble Public

What happened at the workshops?
The FREE Skills Development Workshops throughout the region are designed to inspire and motivate young people to explore music through innovative new approaches. The program encourages the development of music literacy. Students are challenged and encouraged to develop their knowledge in sol-fa, notational skills and part-singing, along with body percussion based on the Keith Terry (US leader in body percussion pedagogy) model, focusing on complex polyrhythmic structures.

By the end of the sessions students are empowered to sing simple melodies in small groups or as soloists and perform multi-layered rhythmic motifs that accompany the songs.


Click here to download or view the full program:
Moorambilla Skills Tour Schedule 2016

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For more information contact Moorambilla Voices General Manager Dayle Murray, dayle@moorambilla.com or call: 0418 228 047.





It’s time for High Tea!

High Tea_front cover

The Moorambilla High Tea Cookbook is packed full of 100 recipes for the best scones, cakes, slices and savoury treats to fill any table! It’s all part of our Ten Year Celebrations and each recipe includes all of our special memories of Moorambilla over the last 10 years. All proceeds from the sale of this book go directly towards the Moorambilla Tour Fund so we can take the children into the wide world and show them what we really can do!

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The cost of each High Tea Cookbook is $55.00 TOTAL
which INCLUDES GST and postage.
To order: send an email to dayle@moorambilla.com and include:
• Your Name
• The Postal Address: where do you want us to send the book to?
• Please include your Bank Payment Email Receipt so we know you have paid online.

TO PAY ONLINE:  You will need to pay online direct to Moorambilla Voices Ltd to secure your order. Westpac BSB 032 646, Account Number 382964. Please use your name as reference in the payment details.

• TO PAY BY CHEQUE: Please send a cheque for $55.00 made out to Moorambilla Voices to PO Box 495 Leichhardt NSW 2040 and include your name and postal address.

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Moorambilla Voices at Sydney Opera House Open Day 

Opera House Steps Group low resOnce a year the Sydney Opera House throws open its doors to the public to take a look – letting people have a sneak peak at the workings behind one of Australia’s iconic landmarks. It’s hugely popular – over 20,000 people queued for hours to get a chance to stand on the big stage and dream they are a star! This year, representatives from Moorambilla Voices and the MAXed OUT Company and Artistic Director Michelle Leonard were asked to perform at the opening ceremony.

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It was a hard task to choose a limited number of candidates. Kids descended from 11 towns across the region – Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Lightning Ridge, Maryvale, Cobar, Narromine, Baradine, Dubbo, Nyngan, Guerie and Mungindi.

After the acknowledgement of country given by Rhoda Roberts, Sydney Opera House’s Head of Indigenous Programming and an introduction by NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Louise Herron, Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House, Moorambilla Voices performed a work given to them by Wiradjuri elder Stan Grant Senior, Yama. MAXed OUT, led by Taikoz Senior Artist Anton Lock, then performed “The Calling”, taiko and fan dance.

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On stage low res

The children stood on the stage of the Opera House Concert Hall, and it was wonderful to see Frank Wright’s backdrop for this year’s Gala Concert hung in the backstage area.

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Hunter Street Beatles impersonation

The trip to Sydney was an opportunity for the children to experience a different style of performance – under pressure at a high profile event. They learnt how to conduct themselves in a professional situation, and behaved impeccably in front of lots of cameras! Sound checks, rehearsals on site, blending with each other, and adapting to a smaller performing group outdoors, without the security of an indoor stage, was no problem! Representing the region as ambassadors for Moorambilla they were outstanding!

MAXed Out waitingLuke Group


The trip also gave the children an opportunity to walk through the city to see some of the sights – the Botanical Gardens, the Conservatorium of Music, Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street, the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay and the Sydney Museum, They also dropped to the historic St James Church, the oldest in Australia, and heard a rehearsal of new Australian music.

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“One of the nicest things was seeing how our older candidates have developed into natural leaders, helping out and actively supporting the younger children,” says Artistic Director Michelle Leonard. “This opportunity to develop leadership and peer support skills is one of the great benefits of this program.”

“I want to personally thank all the parents and supporters who helped us to make this happen! Our next Sydney adventure will be with the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus for their 12th year of Carols on Norton on 20 December 2015. I look forward to welcoming members of Moorambilla Voices to join us on stage with full orchestra.”

Stay in touch on Facebook and via the Moorambilla Voices website. 

Moorambilla 2015 10th Gala Concert Program

The Moorambilla 2015 concert program is packed full of information about the concerts this year – including notes from the Artistic Director, the Narran Lakes creation story, the artists, composers, musicians and all the children. 


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Full page photography: Noni Carroll
Backdrop artwork details:
Frank Wright
Graphic design:
Tracy Loughlin
Michelle Leonard, Andrew Howes, Jacob Williams, Alice Chance, Lliane Clarke,
Clive Birch, Anton Lock.
Incidental photography:
Lliane Clarke, Liz Cutts, Amanda Wheeler
Proof reader:
Joshua Taylor