B. Mus, Grad. Dip. Ed., L. Mus. A, FTCL
Artistic Director and Administration Director
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.
Performing Choir Accompanist
The Australian pianist, harpsichordist, counter-tenor and lecturer, Dean Sky-Lucas, graduated from the University of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, NSW.
Since graduation Dean Sky-Lucas has been the accompanist to the wind and opera departments of the VCA at the University of Melbourne, teacher and lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium, and for four years was an associate artist with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). He departed ANAM to pursue further studies in speech pathology at Latrobe University, placing him at the forefront of vocal performance from a biomedical perspective.
Dean Sky-Lucas has performed harpsichord, celeste, piano and organ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), Orchestra Victoria (OV) and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), and regularly tours New Zealand, Australia and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician on keyboard and voice. He is widely known to Australian audiences through numerous national broadcasts, both live and pre-recorded with ABC FM, Sunday Live and Radio National, Radio New Zealand and the BBC. He became known in high prominence as a repetiteur and vocal coach at the Victorian Opera and with Australia’s most lauded opera singers.
Notable festival engagement with 8 appearances in 10 months during 2003, include the Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane International Festivals. During 2004, Dean performed the role of the singing pianist in ChamberMade Opera’s Recital in the USA, the Melbourne Season and the Victorian tour. He was also the alto soloist in the Australian Ballet’s season of La Bella Figura with Orchestra Victoria.
In 2005 Dean Sky-Lucas performed the lead role in George Frideric Handel’s Orlando, the title role in the 2006, Australian premiere of Antonio Vivaldi’s Guistino, La Peinture in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissantes and the World premiere of a work written for viola da gamba consort for the Royal British Music Society by Australian composer Natalie Williams, in the same year. During 2005, he recorded a CD of Italian Baroque music with Louisa Hunter-Bradley and David MacFarlane which was received with critical acclaim.
Dean Sky-Lucas has continued to perform in this combination in regular guest appearances in the concert series presented by Past Echoes both in Melbourne and Sydney. For several years Dean has toured across the nation as a pianist with ensembles including Ensemble Troika, AnnaLisa Kerrigan’s “Ireland” and the Kurrawong ensemble. He performs widely with early music ensembles in Australia and his repertoire is vast, encompassing the 13th through 21st centuries. He combines the versatility demanded in early music performance practice with the fastidiousness that new music requires and as such is respected by peer and patron for the illumination brought forward in new and old scores.
Dean Sky-Lucas was an artist-in-residence at the University of Auckland in 2008 with the string, collaborative piano, voice and early music departments, featuring 3 recitals in as many weeks with master-classes and individual lessons. Following 15 years in Melbourne, he accepted the position of Lecturer and Coordinator of Collaborative Piano at the School of Music, University of Auckland, New Zealand and fulfilled this position from 2010-2015. During this placement Dean won University research grants that allowed him to make CD recordings of New Zealand music for violin and piano and a recording for bassoon and piano of Australasian music written in the last 20 years, which garnered a 5 star review from New Zealand’s classical music critic, William Dart.
Dean regularly appeared on Radio NZ as their Opera critic and he was a much sought after accompanist in the NZ choral organisation, Choirs Aoteoroa, with whom he accompanied Voices New Zealand – the professional ensemble, and toured often with the National Youth Choir throughout the North and South Islands and internationally throughout Czechia, North France, England and Singapore to critical acclaim including a live broadcast on the BBC from St John’s Smith Square, London. Every concert in that European tour of 2016 was met with standing ovations for the National Youth Choir with Dean as accompanist and Deputy Music Director.
Dean performed and recorded as a counter-tenor and pianist in new works during these years for esteemed Kiwi composers.
Dean returned to Melbourne at the close of 2016.
He has regularly tutored and lectured at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University since returning from New Zealand. His contribution to the School’s Classical Music program in 2020 as accompanist, voice teacher and vocal ensemble tutor earned him a Dean’s Sessional Staff teaching award for contributions to the teaching environment.
Dean is the conductor of the Harmony Choir, and the accompanist to the Senior Choir at the Australian Children’s Choir. He accompanies the Box Hill Chorale and the Melbourne University Choral Society (MUCS) and joined the National Australian Boys Choir as their accompanist in 2021.
Dean has been the DIrector of Music and head repetiteur for several of the productions launched by ACoCo Opera (formerly known as Gertrude Opera) including their award winning season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 2018 directed by the outstanding, Artistic Director, Linda Thompson for the Yarra Valley Festival.
MANDY LYN BROOK BA/BMus (Hons), MTeach
Director and Conductor of Elementary and Junior Choristers
Mandy Lyn Brook graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Music (Honours)/Arts in 2008 with voice and drama majors. In 2009 Mandy took up a place at the Opera School Melbourne for a year of intense opera training and performance. She went on to both Opera Australia and Victorian Opera and had a year performing in the United Kingdom.
Mandy’s Operatic Repertoire includes Olympia Hoffman’s Heart, (encapsulation of the Tales of Hoffmann), Sandman’s Hansel and Gretel, Milly Goat Figatroll (Caraher: after Rossini), Queen of the Night The Magic Flute, Venus Orpheus in the Underworld, Drusilla The Coronation of Poppea, Tash Contact, Little Red Little Red Ridinghood an Opera for Children and the Witch The Frog Prince and Opera for Children. She has performed as a soloist with the Monash University Piano Ensemble and recorded the Peer Gynt Suite for four hands with 3MBS as part of this association. Mandy 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.
In addition to her work with the National Boys Choir of Australia, Mandy is a sought-after vocal teacher, director and vocal coach. Mandy is excited to be a part of the Wesley College music department teaching voice and continues to liaise for primary school musicals, as a classroom music teacher and as a solo vocalist. Mandy is delighted to continue her association in 2020 with the National Boys Choir of Australia, directing the training choirs where she oversees their vocal development and liaises closely by tutoring with the Performing Choir.
IRIS ZAVOU 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.