The Conductors
Mark O'Leary B.Mus.Ed M.Mus is one of Australia's most active choral conductors, widely respected for his work with Young Voices of Melbourne which he founded in 1990 following a Churchill Fellowship study tour of outstanding children's choirs around the world. With Young Voices, Mark has produced ten CD recordings, toured all states and territories of Australia and made eight international tours to Europe, South Africa, North America, Asia and Samoa. Young Voices has been successful in competition in Europe and Asia and is often heard on Australian radio and television.
 
Mark is also Principal Guest Conductor of Gondwana Voices, Australia's national children's choir. He has worked regularly with Gondwana Voices since its first season in 1997, attending 15 National Choral Schools, as well as making three CDs and four international tours.
 
Mark has special interests in Kodaly teaching techniques, the development of excellence in children's choirs and Australian choral music. He presents many workshops each year on choral music education throughout Australia, and is the Victorian Branch President of the Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia providing courses, workshops and events for Australian music teachers. In 2009 Mark was given an Outstanding Professional Service Award by the Council of Professional Teaching Associations of Victoria for this work and was made an Honorary Life Member of KMEIA in 2012. Mark publishes Australian choral music for young choirs in the Young Voices of Melbourne Choral Series and his arrangements are performed all around the world. Mark is the creator of the Sight Singing School books and website, which won the President’s Award at the 2014 eLearning Industry Association Awards and has users from more than eighteen countries. Mark is a regular guest conductor at choral festivals around Australia, and is in demand as a presenter on choral music education at workshops and conferences, both in Australia and abroad.
 
 
Juliana Kay (BA, GDipTeach) is a teacher and conductor with a lifelong interest in choirs and choral music. She has taught classroom music and directed choirs in secondary schools, and has worked as a tutor for the training groups at the Australian Boys Choir. Juliana was first drawn to conducting while completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Middlebury College (USA), where she directed a student-run early music vocal ensemble and took a semester of conducting classes, despite being a Geography major. She is continuing to develop as a conductor through the mentorship of Mark O’Leary and her studies towards the Australian Kodaly Certificate. As a performer, Juliana sung for many years with the Young Voices of Melbourne and now performs with Ensemble Gombert and The Australian Voices. She has been a member of Exaudi Youth Choir since 2014.



THE FOUNDERS
 
 
Canadian born tenor, Robert Stewart, is co-founder and former conductor of the Exaudi Youth Choir. At 16, he began early studies in conducting with Dr. Kevin Langford, Director of the Rotary Boys Choir. Robert was a voice student at Mount Allison University where he studied choral conducting with Carlton Elliot and choral literature with Dr. Willis Noble. He studied at the University of Toronto (MusBacPerf, AdvPerf) and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (MMus) in Glasgow. He studied orchestral conducting under Dwight Bennet and served as section leader and assistant to Dr. Doreen Reo. He has worked with the world's foremost conductors including Sir David Wilcocks, Sir Philip Ledger, Dr. Lydia Adams, Robert Spano, Marc Mankowski and Raymond Leppard.

Robert was a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Centre in the summer of 1999 and participated in masterclasses with Pierre Valet, Phyllis Curtin and Ernst Haefliger. While at Tanglewood he performed Bach's "Selig ist Der Mann" with American Bach scholar Craig Smith and members of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.

Robert has been a finalist in the Mietta Song Recital Award and recently appeared in the New Zealand Opera's production of Carmen. He also performs regularly at St. John's Southgate as part of their Bach Cantata series, including performances with Bach's successor, Thomaskantor Christoph Biller. Recently he has appeared on ABC Classic FM as part of the Ruskan Hall Recital Series and with the Melbourne Choral.


Educator, accompanist, conductor and the other half of the co-founding partnership of Exaudi, Claire Preston has worked as a Lecturer in Music at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Head of Choral Studies at the VCA Secondary School, in State and private schools in Australia and Canada, teaching primary, secondary and tertiary age students, and is a faculty accompanist at the Melba Conservatorium.

Specialising in developing young singers, she has worked extensively in Australia and North America. Claire has been Assistant Conductor with the internationally renowned Toronto Children's Chorus and Assistant Conductor/Chief Accompanist for the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus. She also served as accompanist for the Elmer Iseler Singers, Canada's foremost professional choir. While accompanist at the University of Toronto, she worked with Dr. Doreen Rao, Sir David Wilcocks and Helmuth Rilling.

Performance highlights include appearances at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Minneapolis, Joy of Singing International Choral Festival, and recording the world premiere of Harry Somers' children's opera A Mid-Winter Night's Dream for CBC Records (recently nominated for a Juno Award).

Claire has been a finalist at the Mietta Song Recital Award and broadcast on ABC's "Rising Stars". In 2007 and 2009 she was the guest conductor of Gondwana Chamber Choir and has also been a clinician at the Kodaly Institute of Australia's Autumn Seminar and Victorian Music Teachers Association Conference. She is currently on the Kodaly Music Educators National Council.