Director Highlights 2020

Director Highlights 2020
December 17, 2020 Australian Girls Choir

Director Highlights 2020

What a year it’s been at the Australian Girls Choir. Thank you for singing and dancing with us through the most incredibly challenging year. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of our AGC community, most especially our parents who encouraged girls into the zoom room and who embraced technology to ensure that girls could enjoy the range of activities available on Padlet.

We asked our ASPA Company Directors to share their highlight of 2020 to celebrate some of the incredible accomplishments by choristers, AGC families and staff at the Australian School of Performing Arts this year.

Nicole Muir AM

The generosity of our ASPA community

My highlight for 2020 is definitely the community spirit we’ve experienced here at ASPA. In a year that has seen the performing arts world on its knees, we have a very special community of people who are deeply committed to supporting their daughters and girls generally to continue their performing arts education.

When we communicated with AGC parents about what they’d like to do with fee refunds, I was stunned and so deeply moved by the generosity they showed. Not only did a high number people offer to help other AGC families but Girls from Oz (g-oz) received over $40,000 in donations. I’ve dreamt of a time when the ASPA community would fully fund g-oz so this level of engagement and support feels like we’re on the way to my dream coming true.

Nicole with g-oz participant Kate Lawer from Carnarvon, 2019

Jasmine Cruickshank

Finding opportunities for choristers to uplift others with their beautiful voices and inspiring performances

In a year where the arts and event industries have really been hit hard, I’ve been so pleased that we’ve found opportunities for our girls to uplift others with their beautiful voices and inspiring performances. Earlier in the year we had nearly 200 of our girls involved in two Virtual Choir projects, which the girls filmed on their phones from their own homes during lockdown. Seeing our choristers connecting virtually through song in the ‘Qantas at home’ and ‘Walk With Me’ choirs was so special, and this burst of youth and positivity sent such a powerful message during a time when we were all feeling quite disconnected. Another highlight was having the opportunity for our girls to sing alongside Amy Shark on ABC’s ‘The Sound’ and most recently at the ARIA Awards. Amy is such a wonderful female role model for our girls and so the chance to collaborate with her to perform her hit song ‘Everybody Rise’ was an incredibly positive experience.

I’m looking forward to finishing off the year the way I love most – watching our senior choristers singing on Channel 7’s Carols in the Domain on December 23 and Channel 9’s Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve!

Recording 'Everybody Rise' for The Sound, Sydney Opera House, 2020

Libby Franke

Hearing the messages of support and appreciation from AGC parents

My highlight has been the many messages of support and appreciation from parents who have motivated and inspired our team to keep doing what we do to the best of our ability. In a year of twists and turns, our staff team had to be open to adapting and innovating in order to keep our AGC choristers singing throughout 2020. This year strengthened the bonds of our staff team as we focused on the ‘why’ of our AGC programs. We are so passionate about what we provide to girls and have loved to see the output of our programs centered on joy, inclusion, enrichment, empowerment and developing resilience.

AGC team planning day, January 2020

Kylie Lee-Archer

Celebrating 25 years with the Australian Girls Choir

In May this year I celebrated 25 years working with the Australian Girls Choir. I joined the staff team in 1995 as a young and completely inexperienced Tutor in training. I worked each week with the specialist group Cantissimo under the watchful eye of Judith Curphey who wrote me a report on my teaching after every class. It was an intimidating process but one I was so incredibly fortunate to experience.

Jump to 25 years later and the anniversary coincided with a time of incredible innovation and creativity for the AGC music team. Australia was in lockdown and my colleagues were designing and administering ‘AGC Online’ at a rate of knots. I was once again fortunate to find myself intimidated and challenged by what was required to teach at the AGC – this time pre-recording segments alone from my living room and later learning how to teach choir using the zoom platform.

I experienced many highlights in 2020 but the theme that plays on my mind is all about rising above adversity. My colleagues and I had to rethink just about everything this year – the way we taught, every administration system, our communication, leadership and vision. In another 25 years I have no doubt I’ll be better for this experience and I hope to still be singing and dancing with my AGC colleagues and our choristers.

Kylie teaching for AGC Online