The Music Staff at the Geelong Youth Choir are highly-qualified in the field of Music Education. The team brings together a wide range of skills and experience that provide choristers with a range of opportunities to develop their vocal and musicianship skills in a supportive environment.
M.M.Ed., Grad.Dip.Ed., Grad.Cert.Orff Mus.Ed., B.E.C.S.
Denise Hollingworth graduated with a Masters degree in Music Education from the VanderCook College of Music, Chicago, Illinois, majoring in Choral Music Education. Denise has completed extensive studies in the area of children’s musical and vocal development, and has a special interest in the care and development of young voices. Denise has completed studies in Kodály and Orff philosophies of music education, and enjoys incorporating these methodologies in a creative approach to teaching.
Denise has taught in a variety of settings ranging from early childhood to tertiary levels and regularly presents workshops for teachers on the topics of Music Education and Children’s Vocal Development. She was the guest conductor at the Geelong Summer Music Camp, Morrison Singers, in 2008 and 2009. In addition to her work at GYC, Denise teaches music in schools. She has been teaching with the Geelong Youth Choir since 2004 and is the conductor for the Cantore, Chamber and Raise the Bar Choirs.
Conductor – Prelude Choir
M.M.Ed., B.Mus (Hons)., B.A., B.Ed., AMusA
Janelle Kratzmann is a graduate of the University of Queensland, where she completed a Bachelor of Music Degree with Honours (violin performance), Bachelor of Arts Degree (double major in German Studies) and Bachelor of Education Degree. She has since obtained her Master of Music Education from Monash University. Janelle began her teaching career in Brisbane high schools before moving to Geelong in 2004 where she has taught at Geelong Grammar, St. John’s Lutheran School and Geelong Lutheran College.
Janelle works as a classroom Music and German teacher and strings specialist. She has directed student choirs and instrumental ensembles as well as Kodály musicianship workshops with adult community choirs in Melbourne. She is passionate about the Kodály philosophy of music education and has completed Level 1 and Level 2 Kodály Teacher Training Secondary Courses.
Janelle performs professionally with various orchestral and small ensembles in Geelong, adjudicates for the Geelong Advertiser Regional Music Competition and has been an active committee member for the Geelong Summer Music Camp. She joined the Geelong Youth Choir as a conductor in 2005.
Conductor – Vivace Choir
Bachelor of Education (Primary), AMEB Certificates (Theory, Violin), University Units (Music, Music education)
Melodee Herbert graduated from Deakin University in 2015, where she keenly completed her Bachelors degree in Primary Education with distinction. Having completed considerable training in children’s education, music education and music, Melodee is both a dedicated and passionate young educator who loves to sing, learn, teach and work with all students to extend their musical abilities.
Currently, Melodee works as a professional Mathematics and English tutor in the greater Geelong region, but has previously practiced Classroom Teacher type roles in a variety of school settings, as part of her teacher training, and been employed as a Classroom Music Specialist locally. She’s also tutored violin, taught and assisted in developing various children’s choirs, and conducted both junior and senior instrumental ensembles.
Melodee performs regularly with various singing and instrumental groups, and has a long history with busking for fun. She’s also been involved with numerous performing arts organisations, such as orchestras, bands, choirs, string ensembles, theatre groups and dance assemblies. Having studied Kodály, Orff and other philosophies of music education at university, as well as in her own time, Melodee is passionate about music education and enjoys blending different approaches to cater for the diverse and individual needs of students.
Kym Dillon is an emerging composer; arranger; orchestrator, pianist and conductor, who is currently based in Melbourne and Geelong. Starting out his career as a jazz pianist, he soon turned to composition, and his work now regularly spans multiple genres and areas of musical practice.
He completed a Bachelor of Music Performance Honours in composition at the Victorian College of the Arts, studying under such teachers as Anthony Lyons, Mark Pollard, and John McCaughey. He was awarded the ‘Beleura Sir George Tallis Award’ from the ‘Friends of the VCA’ for his work in the course in 2009; and the ‘Beleura John Tallis Award’ in 2010. He composed and performed two original jazz works for the VCA Improvisation Series in 2009, for which his ensemble won the ‘Athanaeum Prize’.
Kym has had original works commissioned by such groups as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Astra Chamber Music Society, and Musica Viva; and his music has been performed in Canada, the U.K., North America, Canada, Romania and Italy. His work often seeks to explore the relationship between intuitive and systematic composition, and the nature of creativity. 2014 saw Kym collaborate with choreographer Jude Walton on her project Lehte, composing and performing music directly tied to the space of Heide II.
As a pianist he performs regularly in jazz/contemporary contexts, often as a soloist but frequently as an accompanist to vocalists, such as in May 2015 where he performed on piano as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival show, Larry Paradiseo and the Fabulous Dame Farrar. His work as an accompanist and arranger regularly brings him to schools around Victoria, such as Christian College Geelong, Geelong College, Ballarat Grammar, Geelong Grammar, and Loreto College. He is regularly commissioned to compose new material for student ensembles, including multiple jazz pieces for big band, a processional, and pieces for an orchestra/rock band combination.
He occasionally works as a freelance journalist for the major entertainment website IGN.com, where he has written a variety of articles on the subject of music in interactive media. Kym is also the lead conductor for the charity Creativity Australia’s ‘With One Voice’ program, which seeks to connect people from different walks of life through community singing. As part of this role he conducts four choirs each week, in Geelong, Melbourne, Ashburton and Altona Meadows, and has led these choirs to perform at venues such as the Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Monash carols in Jells Park 2013.
Alan Thomas has been the junior accompanist at GYC since 2013, primarily playing for the Prelude choir. When not at GYC he can often be found at the University of Melbourne, where he is continuing his studies in spatial engineering and working as a computer science tutor, or at the office of a software development company in North Melbourne. In 2012 Alan graduated from The Geelong College, where he was the pianist in the Stage Band for four years and played with all of the school’s major ensembles at various points. Alan is the organist at Wesley Uniting Church, Geelong.
B. Mus (Therapy) Hons., B. Ed.
Bron Lawson graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Music degree majoring in Therapy but the call to teach later led her to Deakin University where she completed an Education degree. An early childhood music teacher for over ten years, she has facilitated parent-child music groups in both educational and therapeutic settings. She has a passion for providing a developmentally appropriate music education for very young children that draws on the Kodály and Orff philosophies. Bron also has a special interest in working with kids with special needs and has worked in early intervention playgroup settings at Noah’s Ark and in a parent support role at Kids Plus Foundation, a program offering intensive therapy for babies, kids and teens with neuro-motor disabilities.
In addition to teaching in a variety of settings including classroom teaching, school choirs and childcare staff training, Bron has demonstrated a passion for community arts by managing projects including ‘whatem choo’ – a CD of fun and funky songs for little kids, ‘Different Strokes’ – a visual arts project for kids with a disability and ‘Uncovering the Bellarine’ – a unique nude calendar project. In 2009, she co-founded Bluebird Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making quality Arts programs accessible for all. Through Bluebird Foundation she shares the joy of music with young parents, kids with disabilities and older adults.
However, Bron is still enchanted by the joyous participation of kids and parents alike in her preschool music classes. Her gentle manner and infectious personality bring the music to life and she is excited to be able to share the wonder of music with babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the adults that love them at Let’s Make Music!