PETER CASEY B. Ed. (Mus.)
Peter, a graduate of Melbourne State College with a voice major, sang with the Victoria State Opera Chorus and performed in many of their major productions. He understudied several roles and sang the role of Spoletta in a schools performance of Tosca. For Opera Australia he has performed in Lohengrin, Turandot, Wozzeck, Billy Budd, Pelleas et Melisande, Beatrice and Benedick, and he was one the of Apprentices in The Meistersingers of Nuremberg. In concert he has sung as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Pierné’s The Children’s Crusade for the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society, and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s choir for their performance of Purcell’s Come Ye Sons of Art at the Melbourne International Festival.
Peter has also performed regularly in recital, often recording for 3MBS FM.
Peter is an accomplished choral conductor, having studied with Robert Rosen, and he was appointed Music Director of the Choir in 1987. He has led the Choir on several overseas tours, including three concert tours of the United States, two tours of Japan and two tours of Europe. He has prepared the Choir for many performances with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and directed the children’s chorus in a performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony at the Exhibition Building in 2001. In 2010 he conducted the offstage boys chorus for performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.
PHILIP CARMODY B.Ed(Mus)
Philip is Director of Music at Melbourne Grammar School where he directs the Chapel Choir whose repertoire is drawn principally from the cathedral tradition. In recent years the Chapel Choir has performed on ABCTV with Russell Watson and at Hamer Hall with Orchestra Victoria under the baton of Graham Abbott. At the Melbourne Recital Hall the choir has been featured in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, directed by Jeremy Summerly, and in three concerts with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Paul Dyer: Vivaldi’s Gloria; Dixit Dominus; and Handel’s Coronation Anthems.
Philip has also directed the choir on the soundtracks of Showtime’s television adaptation of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet and Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys and Ja’mie Private School Girl.
Philip has twice been awarded the Music Theatre Guild’s Musical Director of the Year – firstly for Whitehorse Music Theatre’s Man of La Mancha in 1998, and CLOC’s A Little Night Music in 2000. In 1999 he was musical director for Whitehorse’s The Secret Garden, in 2004 Lés Miserables and in 2007 their season of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Philip composed the score to the pantomime Aladdin, commissioned by The Catchment Players, which has been performed professionally.
In 2010 Philip was guest conductor of the Melbourne Chamber Choir in a programme of sacred a cappella works and the Duruflé Requiem. In 2016 the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra invited Philip to guest conduct Brandenburg Young Voices at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
For a number of years he has been a guest presenter/conducting tutor at the ACCET (Australian Choral Conductors Education and Training) Summer School and is in frequent demand for workshops and adjudication.
Philip is on the staff of organists at St Francis’ Lonsdale Street.
Philip is the recipient of an Australia Day Youth Award for service to the community.
ROBYN COCHRANE B.Mus. A.Mus.A.
Robyn studied piano and accompanying at the University of Melbourne where she was twice awarded the Maude Harrington prize for accompanying. Robyn has undertaken concert tours with the Choir to Europe, Great Britain, USA and Japan, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand. She has particularly enjoyed working as rehearsal accompanist under conductors including Graeme Abbott, Brett Dean and Guy Noble and accompanying singers including Joanna Cole, Suzanne Shakespeare and Jacqueline Porter in performance.
In addition to her work with the National Boys Choir of Australia Robyn works as a freelance accompanist and at Melbourne Girls Grammar School as an accompanist and a teacher of piano and theory.
MANDY BROOK B.A/B.Mus (Hons), M.Teach
Coordinator and Conductor of Elementary & Junior Choristers
After graduating from Monash University, Mandy took up a place at the Opera School Melbourne for a year of intense opera training and performance. Mandy has gone on to work at both Opera Australia and Victorian Opera and had a year performing in the United Kingdom. Mandy’s Operatic roles have included Olympia, Frasquita, the Sandman, Milly Goat, Queen of the Night, Venus, Drusilla and Little Red. She has also performed as a soloist for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Government House and Choice Hotels and continues to bring music to the older generation with specialist concerts in nursing homes.
Mandy also works in a number of schools with their choral, singing and music programs, and runs her own music studio specializing in singing, piano and preschool music classes. As part of the studio Mandy offers services to produce and direct primary school musicals and works with a number of schools to produce their yearly school productions.
IRIS FERWERDA BMus, BA, Assoc. Mus (AMUSA), MTeach
Elementary and Junior Tutor
Iris studied a bachelor of music (classical voice) at the Australian Catholic University. The university recognised Iris’ musical talent by awarding her a scholarship to undertake post-graduate study in music teaching, which saw her performing as a soloist as a member of the University Choir. As a singer, Iris has been involved with groups such as Opera Scholars Australia, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Citi Opera, Victorian Youth Opera, Hamer Singers, Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Australian Catholic University Choir and 3MBS. Other performance highlights include The Boy from Oz with Hugh Jackman and Channel Nine’s Carols by Candlelight. Iris has also held several scholarships to sing at St John’s Anglican Church East Malvern.
Iris has also worked as a choral conductor at the Australian Girls Choir, Wattle Park Chapel, Manningham Council and Burwood Heights Primary School. She has also completed her AMUSA in classical voice and is completing LMUSA this year.
BEN TAYLOR B.Mus (Hons)
Elementary and Junior Accompanist
Ben recently completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours at Monash University, studying piano under Darryl Coote. Aside from his position with the Choir, Ben works as a performing musician, piano teacher and freelance accompanist. As a vocalist, Ben performs as a member of Gian Slater’s ‘Invenio’ – an improvising choir whose recent work includes collaborating on Barney McAll’s ARIA award nominated album, ‘Graft’.
Ben also works as a dramatist, teacher and composer with 3dArts Company, a not-for-profit arts company providing school and community performing arts classes, and staging theatre and dance productions. Recent on-stage roles have included those in The Importance of Being Earnest, and The 39 Steps.