Abbotsleigh Chamber Choir and Orchestra

Abbotsleigh Chamber Choir


Abbotsleigh School is one of the leading Australia schools for girls. With over 1600 students from 0 to 18 years of age, Abbotsleigh is recognised for empowering young women to realise their potential as creative, active, innovative and compassionate citizens of the world. Founded in 1885 we still believe that critical thought, combined with creativity and passion, can change the world for the better.
Abbotsleigh’s music program is wide ranging and diverse, with all students participating in classroom music making, choral, ensemble and instrumental studies at various stages of their school life. The school regularly performs at Australian venues such as the Sydney Opera House in styles ranging from musical theatre to symphonic orchestral repertoire. Abbotsleigh alumni are represented in the leading international conservatoires including Curtis Institute of Music, Australian National Academy of Music, Julliard School, Royal College of Music.
The students who form the Abbotsleigh School Tour Ensemble range from 12 to 17 years of age and are drawn from a number of different ensembles within the school program. As they experience many of Europe’s finest concert venues and explore the rich historical heritage of the great luminaries of Western Art Music, they are proud to be presenting a program of entirely contemporary Australian works. This program provides a variety of perspectives on the culturally diverse nature of the Australian community in which we live. Abbotsleigh strongly supports local artists with annual commissions of new music and educates all student musicians in the art of composition, allowing for individual voices to be expressed and shared through the powerful medium of music.



Lynette Clarke

Lynette Clarke

Conductor (Choir)

Lynette Clarke has been directing the Abbotsleigh choral program for over 10 years, specialising in the education of female voices from primary to secondary years. Under her baton, the Abbotsleigh choirs and her students have performed in major venues around Australia including the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Town Hall and the Melbourne Myer Music Bowl. Major performances include working on Vision Australia and Myer’s annually televised Carols by Candlelight. She is passionate about working with Australian artists and composers, and has worked collaboratively with people such as Dan Walker, Harry Sdraulig, Luke Byrne and groups such as The Idea of North. She has an inclusive philosophy of music education performing contemporary art music, the western classical canon and musical theatre; including a highly successful youth production of Les Miserables.



Louise Keller

Louise Keller

Conductor (Orchestra)

Louise studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she majored in violin and piano. Since graduating she has taught in several schools in Sydney, including Ravenswood School, Sydney Grammar and Cranbrook School, where she has worked with and nurtured music students to an advanced level. Many of Louise’s ex-students have continued their music studies at The Royal College in London, Hans Eisler School of Music in Berlin and The Juilliard School in New York. Louise was the Director of Strings at MLC School from 2002 until 2015 where her string students were featured in the documentary Mrs Carey’s Concert. Louise is also a freelance accompanist, playing for numerous Eisteddfods, recitals and concerts.

She has conducted various orchestras in Sydney including the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra, The Beecroft Orchestra and other Youth and Community ensembles.

Louise has toured internationally several times, conducting school groups on successful tours of Scandinavia and Russia, France, Spain, Cuba and the USA.



Kimbali Harding

Kimbali Harding

Director of Music

Kimbali Harding is the Director of Music at Abbotsleigh School. Studying violin and piano from an early age, her first solo performance was at the age of four at the Sydney Verbrugghen Recital Hall. She majored in piano performance at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Cortot Conservatoire in Paris under the tutelage of French concert pianist France Clidat, during which time she competed in a number of international competitions such as the San Sebastian International (Spain), Lev Vlassenko International (Australia) and Van Cliburn Youth Festival (Texas, USA). Kimbali continued to undergo a Renaissance music education with a musicology degree from L’Universite de la Sorbonne, and after returning to Australia, found her true passion for Music Education and Conducting. Working with a variety of Sydney schools, Kimbali has had the immense privilege of conducting a number of Australian world premieres, from small chamber works to pieces with 1000 plus voice choirs and symphony orchestras. Kimbali has worked with many of Australia’s leading composers including Matthew Hindson, Paul Stanhope, James Humberstone, Damien Barbeler, Katy Abbott, Nicholas Vines, Michelle Leonard OAM and Luke Byrne. She is daily grateful for the opportunity to work with young musicians who bring energy and imagination to the world of music.




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Choir Celebration Program


Wolfram Wagner (*1962)   Es löst der Sonnenschein
Paul Stanhope (*1969)   Songs of Innocence and Joy - accompanied by string orchestra
Katy Abbott (*1971)   This Is My Home - accompanied by string orchestra
Elena Kats Chernin (*1957)   Deep Sea Dreaming - accompanied by string orchestra



Orchestra Celebration Program


Matthew Hindson (*1968)   Macedonsko Oro
Mark Isaacs (*1958)   Pange Lingua
P. Stanhope (*1969)   Morning Star



Additional Concerts Program


D. Walker (*1976) & M. Leonard (*1974)   You, Me and the Wide open Sky - accompanied by instrumental ensemble
Trad. arr. R. McCall   Waltzing Matilda - accapella
D. Walker (*1976)   Nyungar Alleluia
E. Kats Chernin (*1957)   Butterflying (string quartet)
Matthew Hindson (*1968)   Little Chrissetina´s Fantasy (violin duet)
P. Stanhope (*1969)   Morning Star
D. Walker (*1976) & M. Leonard (*1974)   Karoa Calling
L. Byrne (*1980) & M. Leonard (*1974)   There Is No Limit
Ross Edwards (*1943)   White Cockatoo Spirit Dance (violin solo)
P. Stanhope (*1969)   Songs of Innocence and Joy - accompanied by instrumental ensemble
Matthew Hindson (*1968)   Macedonsko Oro - String Orchestra
E. Kats Chernin (*1957)   Deep Sea Dreaming - accompanied by instrumental ensemble