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LEC Home : About Us

About us

The Leichhardt Espresso Chorus is a vibrant, enthusiastic group of community members who love to sing and make music.

LEC is a non-auditioned choir of more than 80 people based in Sydney's inner west. As the inaugural winner of the national music in communities award, state runner up in the ABC Classic FM choir of the year competition and choir in residence for the Australian music festival Moorambilla, we are redefining the capacity of community choirs.

We foster new Australian choral music by commissioning local composers and we promote the value of choral music (especially to remote communities and children) through an extensive performance and touring schedule. Our activities include community workshops, our children's choir 'Espresso Kids', and many joint projects with local government and community groups from the Inner West of Sydney and beyond. 

Each year we run concerts, with orchestra, featuring major works from the traditional choral repertoire (recently Bernstein, Bach, Handel, Orff and Mozart), as well as championing "new works" concerts in leading venues and recording for ABC radio – notably Sunday Live. These "new works" concerts have recently featured Walker, Gordon, Leek, Whitwell, Byrne, Jarman, Schultz and others. We have created "Carols on Norton" (a free outdoor event for the choir with full orchestra, children's choir and lantern parade that is now in its 12th year) as a vehicle for community celebration at Christmas. 

Since its inception in 1998 the choir has been led by artistic director Michelle Leonard. We are currently accompanied by Benjamin Burton.

Our aims and objectives

We aim to stretch the boundaries of excellence in community music. In order to achieve this we:
    - Promote choral music in our community and with its arts organisations.
    - Promote choral music to children through workshops and joint projects.
    - Promote choral music in remote NSW communities through joint projects.
    - Foster new Australian choral music by commissioning local composers.

The following YouTube video features an example of the new music that we have commissioned recently. It is an excerpt from an LEC performance of Superbia by Dan Walker. This song is from the Seven Deadly Sins suite that was commissioned by LEC in 2008. You can buy a DVD of this whole performance here.