B. Mus, Grad. Dip. Ed., L. Mus. A, FTCL
Andrew began his musical training as a boy chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne at the age of seven, and became a student at Trinity Grammar School, Kew the following year. He began piano lessons, and later studied the organ under Dr June Nixon and John O’Donnell. His piano teachers included Margaret Schofield and Mack Jost. After finishing school he went on to Melbourne University where he studied piano, organ, composition and voice. Andrew worked as a freelance soloist, teacher and keyboard player for several years, including three years as principal guest organist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He held the positions of Organist and Choirmaster at St John’s Church, Toorak and Camberwell Presbyterian Church, and in 1994 was appointed Choral Director and Head of Keyboard at Scotch College in Hawthorn, and Acting Musical Director of The Tudor Choristers.
In 2005 Andrew moved with his family to Hobart where he worked as a teacher at several schools. For several years he was Organist and Director of Music at each of the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and was Assistant Chorusmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus for nearly 10 years, repetiteur for five years, and an occasional keyboard and continuo player. He was accompanist and, briefly, Musical Director of the Australian Rosny Children’s Choir (now sadly defunct) and Accompanist and Assistant Director of the UTAS Conservatorium Vocal Ensemble. For 10 years he was Musical Director of the Tasmanian Youth Choirs, and founding Musical Director of Tasmania’s leading chamber choir, Allegri Ensemble from 2013. He also performed on several occasions as a continuo player with Van Diemen’s Band, Tasmania’s world-renowned Baroque chamber orchestra.
Andrew is a Director of both the Organ Historical Trust of Australia (OHTA) and the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists (ANZCO). He returned to Melbourne in April 2019 to take up his appointment as Co-Artistic and Administrative Director of the National Boys’ Choir of Australia.
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.