Six concurrent workshops are available for registered singers to choose from on both Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October. These workshops led by leading musical practitioners will enable singers to develop their skills and practice in singing, conducting, choreography and general musical ability with a special focus on issues of particular relevance to our LGBTIQ+ community.

To participate in these amazing workshops you need to be registered for the Festival as a singer. You’ll be prompted during the registration process to select your workshop preferences. If you’ve already registered for the Festival, go to the My Details page and follow the prompts to select your workshop preferences. Please note that Workshop 6 is not available at this time.

Download this schedule (PDF).

Workshop LEADERS

Jenny Sawer: Understanding Your Voice

Jenny Sawer graduated from The School of Music, ANU with a BMus 1st class Hons in 2004 majoring in classical singing and musicology. She is a Canberra-based vocalist, vocal coach, composer, guitarist, pianist and cellist. Jenny teaches singing privately and at Canberra Girls Grammar Senior School. She also performs regularly in the contemporary duo ‘Jen & Jim’, Fleetwood Mac tribute band ‘Sweet Little Lies’ and with roving entertainment company ‘The Fool Factory’.

Jenny leads contemporary vocal group ‘The Decibelles’ at Girls Grammar, is a guest conductor for the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire and is also a relief conductor for The Cyrenes and Mr Tim’s community choirs. She was the Musical Director of the choir Out of the Shower and on with the Show (OOTS) from 2004-2007 and was recognised for her efforts with OOTS when she won the Adult Learner’s Week ACT 2006 Award for Outstanding Teacher. Jenny appears as a guest soprano soloist for choral performances in Canberra and has recorded two albums of original music, ‘Wild and Free’ and ‘Outrageous’. Jenny is passionate about music education and sharing her joy of music with students. Her particular interest in vocal technique lies with timbre, control and being a “vocal chameleon”.


Ken Teoh: Let’s Get Physical

Malaysian born Kenneth Teoh started studying classical piano at the age of 3 and singing soon after.  He later learnt the clarinet and played in numerous bands and orchestras, notably the Asian Youth Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. During his time with the Asian Youth Orchestra, Ken was awarded conducting apprenticeships & worked under Claudio Abbado, Yehudi Menuhin and Sergiu Comissiona.  He has since led orchestras, bands, choirs and ensembles of various shapes and sizes.

Ken now devotes his time to sharing his love of music with the community; bringing together people from all walks of life through music.  His work in community music has taken him around Australia and overseas to work with diverse school and community groups as a conductor, vocal coach and workshop leader. He has brought together members of the community to perform at large scale events such as the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay celebrations in Canberra, the “Australian Carols Spectacular” and the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Ken routinely incorporates movement and theatre into choral performances in order to enhance the singing and performing experience of community choirs and the concert experience of audiences.


Stephen Leek: Understanding Conducting

Freelance Australian Composer/Conductor Stephen Leek (b.1959) has long associations with some of the finest and most innovative choirs and musicians around the world. As a conductor, Leek is in demand to work as guest conductor, workshop leader and teacher, and as a composer, his extensive body of work and has its own distinctive sound world that reflects the country of his birth. His works have broad appeal and are performed by a wide selection of choirs throughout the world. Leek has received many national and international awards including the prestigious “Robert Edler International Choral Prize” for his contribution to the development of global and Australian choral music and several national APRA ARTmusic Awards for Composition, Community and as the most Distinguished Contribution to Australian Music by an Individual. Currently Leek is Artistic Director / General Manager of the Young Music Society in Canberra- providing quality music experiences for young people, and Lecturer in Choral Direction at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, whilst he maintains a freelance career across Australia and around the globe.

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Rachel Hore: Sight-singing and Sol Fa

A much sought- after teacher of choral singing, Rachel Hore OAM has been performing and teaching throughout Australia and internationally for 30 years.  Rachel composes, arranges and sources new repertoire for community choirs and her arrangements are sung by choirs all over Australia. 

Rachel is the creator of Big Sing in the Desert, a unique choral camp in Central Australia where Indigenous and non- Indigenous singers share songs and culture. 

Rachel is passionate about building connection and community through song. She leads cultural singing tours in the Pacific and Europe where songs and performances are shared. 

Rachel has taught countless singing workshops at Festivals, in schools, conferences, and at community events. She has conducted several massed choir events including Under One Sky (with the African Children’s Choir, Sydney children’s choir and Gondwana voices), the Woodford Festival Fire Choir, the National Folk Festival Choir and the Melbourne Millennium Chorus. 

In 2014, Rachel received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to the Australian choral community and is listed in the 2017 Who’s Who of Australian women. Rachel now lives in Canberra where she runs the Pop Up Choir, a community of 100 plus singers. More info:


These workshops no longer available : Aboriginal Sound and Song | The Double Minority


Kathleen McGuire: Music Reading | The Importance of LGBTIQ Choirs in the World Today

With a career spanning more than three decades and seven countries as a conductor, composer and educator, Kathleen has conducted at such renowned venues as Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House, the Kennedy Centre and Carnegie Hall. A social justice advocate, she has led multiple LGBTQI choirs since her brother Lawrence founded the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus in 1990, including a decade directing the 200-voice San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. She has been a guest conductor and presenter at Out & Loud, Gay Games and GALA Choruses Festivals and was Community Grand Marshal in the San Francisco Pride Parade. “Kathleen McGuire Day” was named twice, by consecutive San Francisco majors.

Studying with and receiving mentoring from some of the world's finest conductors, her qualifications include: BMus (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music), Diploma of Arts in Music (Victorian College of the Arts), GradDipEd (Monash University), MMus with Distinction (University of Surrey, UK), Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting (University of Colorado, USA). Returning permanently to Australia in 2013 after 19 years abroad, Kathleen is now a Lecturer at Australian Catholic University and directs the Tudor Choristers.

Kathleen lives in Melbourne with her fiancée Audrie and their three children.


Sarahlouise Owens: Voice Production - Involving your Whole Body for Best Effect

Sarahlouise is best known in Canberra as a concert artist and performer, whose experience spans musicals, opera, oratorio, straight theatre and theatre-restaurant. As much a concert recitalist, she has also been soloist with some of Canberra’s choral groups, such as SCUNA, UC Chorale, Igitur Nos and Canberra Choral Society, and has also performed in the Canberra International Music Festival.

Since returning to Canberra after many years in Europe, she teaches (erstwhile at ANU), and conducts many choirs around Canberra, including the Award Winning (Positive Ageing Award) Seasoned Voices. In 2017 she was choir director for CCS’ successful ‘Not the Messiah’.

A graduate of the ANU School of Music (Hons) and Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, she has studied and worked extensively in Europe: Radio Choir WDR, Theater Hagen, Brussels’ La Monnaie, Paris Châtelet, the theatres of Frankfurt and Hannover, and as a consistent ensemble member in the Wagner Bayreuth Festival.

Sarahlouise has performed with Canberra Repertory, and Handel in the Theatre's production of The Vow. With Canta Viva, she sang Violetta in a highlights version of La Traviata. In addition, she is part of the 3-women Baroque ensemble Les Musettes.


Charlie Beale: Rhythm in Jazz and Blues

Dr Charles (Charlie) Beale is an international choral conductor, jazz educator and activist in LGBTQI singing worldwide. Artistic Director (2007-19) of the 275 strong New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Vice-Chair of the Board of GALA Choruses, he regularly conducts at Carnegie Hall and the South Bank, was co-Artistic Director of Various Voices 2009, and conductor of an all-Australia LGBTQ chorus in 2013, and co-wrote OUP's award-winning ‘Popular Voiceworks’. 

A campaigner for stylistic diversity within music education, Charlie is also one of the UK's leading jazz educators. He taught at London’s Royal College of Music, where he was Professor of Jazz Piano and directed the Royal College of Music Big Band. He was also on the Resource Team of the International Association for Jazz Education in the early 2000s. Central to the invention of ABRSM Grade exams for beginner jazz musicians, he toured within the UK and internationally, and has worked with thousands of musicians and educators on first steps to improvising, jazz rhythm skills and teaching and learning by ear. 

A strategic thinker, Charlie believes passionately in the power of music to bring people together, and campaigns unceasingly for LGBTQI equality.


Sharon Moore: Finding the Voice You Love: And Keeping It

Sharon Moore is a Speech Pathologist and Orofacial Myofunctional Practitioner with 4 decades of clinical experience across a wide range of communication and swallowing difficulties. She has worked in Australia and London, including the Voice Clinic at St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster London. Currently, she runs a Private Practice in Canberra, helping medical and dental specialists with referrals for patients of all ages.  The integration of Orofacial Myofunctional principles into traditional Speech Pathology work allows a unique approach to managing disorders of the upper airway, including: breathing, voice, resonance & speech, critically important features of voice feminisation. Sharon believes there has never been a more important time for medical, dental and allied health colleagues to work as a team for precision outcomes for each individual patient. 

Sharon’s interest in voice started in the early days as a speech pathologist having been mentored by internationally known voice expert and author Professor Janet Baker. 

On the back of Sharon’s clinical interest in upper airway health and function, she authored Sleep-Wrecked Kids (

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