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Home : About Us : Our Archive : Annual Chronicles : 2002
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2002 - our 5th year

Year of the Outback Tour

2002 was the Year Of The Outback, so our Artistic Director, Michelle Leonard, with the support of the committee, decided to take LEC on a tour of outback NSW.  This proved to be a landmark event in the choir's development and it provided a template for the future direction of LEC.

The Year of the Outback Tour was based around a suite of music that LEC commissioned especially for the tour and around working with children's choirs in outback communities. Both of these aspects were to become cornerstones of LEC's approach in future years - see our aims and objectives.

LEC poses on the banks of the Darling River at Bourke

But before the tour we gave a cabaret-style concert. And we rounded out the year with the very first Carols on Norton


LEC's first performance in 2002 was a cabaret concert at Balmain Leagues Club on 14 June. Called 'S Wonderful it featured a wide variety of songs from both the full choir and from smaller groups. The cabaret was hosted by Vivienne Schenker. The sopranos and altos gave a very entertaining performance of Holy City, as captured in this video clip (with appropriate cabaretesque lighting and background chatter!).

On 15 September we performed an Outback Tour Farewell Concert at Sydney Town Hall. This concert featured the world premiere of our very first music commission: the Outback Suite by Paul Jarman.

LEC and the Children's Chorus takes applause for Paul Jarman's Outback Suite at the Sydney Town Hall on 15 September 
Michelle Leonard (Conductor), Marco Creazzo (piano), Paul Jarman (baritone and mandolin), Luke Robinson (percussion)

Five days after the Town Hall concert the choir left Sydney by coach for a packed ten-day tour of western NSW, including performances at Nyngan, Girilambone, Byrock, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble and Baradine. 

The impetus from the tour inspired Michelle Leonard and the LEC committee to initiate a recording of the tour music. We organised for a coach load of children to come to Sydney from western NSW in November for a two-day recording session at Studio 301. Our third CD was born! 

And suddenly, Christmas had crept up on us once again! On 7 December, LEC went carolling at Marketplace as a way of publicising the main Christmas concert that was coming up. Marketplace carolling has since become an annual event on the LEC calendar on the last Saturday before Carols on Norton.

On 15 December 2002, LEC produced Carols in the Forum on Norton Street. In addition to LEC the concert featured the Kegworth Community Band, Leichhardt Public School Band, Summer Hill Primary School Band and the Leichhardt Community Brass Band.


LEC commissioned Paul Jarman to write the Outback Suite for our Songs for the Outback tour in 2002. The suite consists of five songs and it proved to be a very popular part of our concerts in 2002 and beyond. Following this success, LEC adopted a policy of regularly commissioning fresh, new Australian music - see our aims and objectives 


Premiere    Composer               Name

15 Sep       Paul Jarman              Outback suite (5 movements)

 For details of all our commissions  

Behind the scenes

One of the hardest workers for the LEC in its earliest years retired from the committee in 2002: Elizabeth Mulrennan. Our secretary, Nikki Brown, took over the President's role while a large group of willing assistants joined the committee.

There was much work for them to do, what with our first cabaret concert and our first tour.

President: Nikki Brown
Vice President and Artistic Director: Michelle Leonard
Secretary: Colin Williams
Treasurer: Malcolm James
Librarian: Therese Briggs
Committee: Karen Myers, Colleen Pettiford, Eddie Crook, Chris Hutch, Suzanne Blythin, Kristen Ody, Debbie Wilson
Website: Jim Fleming

New Singers

The choir recruited 25 new singers in 2002, including a number who became stalwarts over many years: Margaret Grove, Lliane Clarke, Miriam Poole, Cath Stevens, Greg Wright, Mike Berry and Suzanne Blythin.

The following singers joined LEC for the first time this year: Mike Berry, Suzanne Blythin, Annette Brown, Lliane Clarke, Nell Ctercteko, Carl Gray, Liz Gray, Margaret Grove, Marion Haas, Daniel Hastings, Marianne Hastings, Hannah Leach, Selvi MacLeod, Judith Marriott, David Mathieson, Helen Mathieson, Melinda McFadden, Sandra Nemet, Deirdre O'Sullivan, Miriam Poole, David Slater, Cath Stevens, Katherine Williams, Debbie Wilson, Greg Wright.

Click for a larger image