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Mini Maestros & The Gisborne Singers

Three Mini Maestros teachers and four former students are appearing together in an Australian Premiere with The Gisborne Singers this month. Jo-Ann Irwin (Owner and Teacher for Macedon Ranges/Sunbury Region), Kitty Skeen (Owner and Teacher for Bendigo) and Heidi Brockman (Teacher for Bacchus Marsh/Melton and Macedon Ranges/Sunbury) will be joined by Mini Maestros graduates Jessica and Chloe Irwin, Clancy Skeen and Ava Culpan, who appear in a children’s chorus that has been specially formed for the performance. Kitty has had the pleasure of helping to coach the group of 19 young people, aged 8-17, to prepare them for their very important role in the work. Many of the children have minimal choral singing experience, although Jessica, Chloe, Clancy and Ava have all been on-stage and performed in public, thanks to the end of year concerts they appeared in for Mini Maestros.

They’re performing Cantata Memoria by Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins. The work, written in 2016, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the mining tragedy in Aberfan, Wales. In the disaster, a coal spoil tip descended on the village, burying the primary school and surrounding houses; resulting in the deaths of 116 children and 28 adults. It was not only the disaster itself, but the following insensitive bungling by authorities and lack of prosecution of the National Coal Board and employees which has cast this tragedy deep within the Welsh psyche. The work is a deeply moving piece; sensitively and beautifully written. The choir and children’s chorus is working with a professional orchestra, including featured harp, euphonium and violin, and two vocal soloists. Kitty and Heidi have already had the pleasure of performing this work in the North American premiere at Carnegie Hall, New York City in January 2017.

More information about the Gisborne Singers and their concerts can be found online at

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