The Musical Directors and Musicians
Without the contribution of our very talented Music Director the High Street Bells Choir would not be what it is today. The Choir has benefited from a number of Musical Directors and musicians since it started.
Chris Falk joined us in late 2019 and is our Musical Director.
Chris holds an Advanced Diploma in Music Performance, with an emphasis on jazz and contemporary styles. She is a performing singer song-writer with 20 years experience in the music industry and teaches singing and guitar.
Chris is also a qualified Alexander Technique and Yoga teacher with a particular interest in applying Alexander Technique to assist singers and instrumentalists to reach their goals.
'Chris Falk is one of Melbourne's best kept secrets' - Jenny Taylor 2019.
I first offered to be an accompanist with the choir in April 2014. Sarah Mandie was the acting music director and gave me a lovely welcome, as did Gwlad, our chief volunteer in those days. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The years with the choir since then have been so much fun. Making music with this amazing group of human beings, both singers and volunteers, has become the highlight of my week.
Jenny Taylor is the founder and former Musical Director of High Street Bells Choir.
Jenny occasionally joins the Choir as a guest Music Director.
She has worked with numerous choirs including 3 years as co-founder of the choir that was "Choir of Hard Knocks".
Jenny is a music teacher and professional singer/songwriter, performing regularly in Melbourne and regional Victoria. She launched her debut album 'All is Well' in 2017 featuring the outstanding duet and single of the same name with Kutcher Edwards.
Sarah Mandie was the Choirs Musical Director for some years. Sarah is an experienced choir leader, vocal arranger, teacher, song-writer and performer. She has extensive and diverse experience in leading singing groups in the mental health, disability, aged care and educational sectors. She has devised, managed and musically directed several successful community singing projects, producing two songbooks with an accompanying CD resource.
She currently leads the Swinburne Chorale and in 2018 launched That Girl, a music video project for the empowerment of culturally diverse young girls of Victoria.
His song 'Build A Bridge' features on our CD Singing For Joy.
One of Australia’s most sought after songwriters, Frank was Nominated for the 2012 ARIA Award for Song of the Year and the 2013 APRA Music Awards for Most Played Australian Work and also for Urban Work of the Year. He has been the recipient of the coveted Lawson-Paterson Songwriting Award, 2 Labour Day Song Awards and an Australian Songwriters Association First Prize.
Frank’s 'My Brown Yarra' has become Melbourne’s unofficial anthem and his songs have been recorded by many artists including 360, Renee Geyer, Gary Pinto, Jamie McDell, John McAuslan, Kavisha Mazzella, Dave Gleeson and Margret Roadnight.
High Street Bells Choir performed with Greg Champion as part of the Launch of the Collingwood Football ground Community Park in 2011. Later Greg kindly offered us a selection of his songs to record.
We chose 'Look After Your Planet' because the theme is timeless and fits with the general community nature of our choir, and because the track features the talent of some of Melbourne's most wonderful singers, Chris Wilson, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Shelley Scown, Rebecca Barnard, Kerri Simpson.
Alana Egan was invited to do a songwriting workshop with the Choir in 2010. What resulted was the creation of a wonderful theme song, High Street Bells Blues, which we recorded in 2014 and has been the highlight of our performances.
Local Darebin songwriter, Greg Spencer, has the voice of a divine hard-living angel. His debut album was released in 2010. He is currently recording his next release. Greg attends Choir rehearsals often, lending his voice to the choir. We recorded his song 'La La, Sing Us A Song' with him for Singing For Joy.
Ruth Schoenhymer is a dynamic musician and choir leader. She has rehearsed and performed with us at "Music For The Soul", the Collingwood Football Ground Community Park Launch and with the the wonderful Biddy Connor. Ruth's musicianship is a joy.