Tom Buchanan OAM
BMus (Hons), LL.B, GDLP, GradDipEd
Tom is a well-known and highly regarded Melbourne-based choral conductor, currently directing the Australian Welsh Male Choir, Excelsis and the newly established Mornington Peninsula Ladies Welsh Choir.
Tom has also been the Musical Director of Casey Choir (Berwick, Victoria), Out of the Ordinary (Monash University), The Peninsula Chorale and has directed choirs at Christ Church Grammar School (South Yarra) where he currently works, primarily as a piano teacher.
In recent years Tom has conducted performances extensively throughout Australia, as well as performing internationally in the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the USA.
In addition to his experience as a choral conductor, Tom has also had the opportunity to conduct both professional and community orchestras in some of Melbourne’s major performance venues, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Frankston Arts Centre.
Tom is a composer and arranger of choral music, and has had his work published both in Australia (Willow Publishing, NSW) and in the United Kingdom (Banks Music Publications, York). Tom’s compositions and arrangements have received performances in Australia, United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the USA.
Tom completed his music studies at the School of Music – Conservatorium of Monash University, where he majored in classical piano performance. During his studies Tom was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Joan Earle Prize for Excellence in Piano Studies (2002 and 2004) and the first prize in the Monash University Concerto Competition (2002 and 2006). He has worked extensively, both within Australia and abroad, as a solo pianist, chamber musician and accompanist.
Tom has enjoyed having the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the world’s most eminent Welsh choir conductors, and is a passionate supporter of community music. He enjoys the challenge of working with a diverse range of choristers, with varying levels of musical training, to produce exciting and engaging choral performances.
Before commencing as the Musical Director of the Australian Welsh Male Choir, Tom held the position of Principal Accompanist with the choir, from 2007-2015. He has very much enjoyed directing the choir through a period of significant growth and development, highlights of which have included introducing the very popular ‘Singing in the Pub’ program and touring Taiwan, China and Hong Kong (March, 2017) and the United Kingdom in 2018.
Tom co-conducted the Male Choirs Association of Australia festival in Wollongong in 2017, and had the honour of conducting the massed choir at the Royal Albert Hall during the 2018 tour. He is also the inaugural Musical Director for the Mornington Peninsula Welsh Ladies Choir.
Assistant Musical Director
B.Mus. (Hons) (Melb), Dip.Mod.Lang (Melb), A.Mus.A., Grad.Dip.Ed (Monash)
Simon is a pianist and musical director, whose work has encompassed opera and musical theatre, in classical and more popular genres.
He has played keyboard in the orchestras for the Melbourne seasons of "Phantom of the Opera", "Les Miserables", "Chicago", "Sunset Boulevard", "Showboat" and “Dr Zhivago” and has worked in the showbands on the m/s Sunbird (Sun Cruises), m/v Rotterdam (Holland America Line), m/v Galaxy (Celebrity Cruises) and m/v Mercury (Celebrity Cruises).
Simon studied piano with Associate Professor Stephen McIntyre at the University of Melbourne and graduated with the award for the best final year student. As a student, he recorded a concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for ABC-FM. Simon currently teaches piano and VCE Music at Peninsula Grammar in Mt Eliza, where he is also the Musical Director for the school production. As a composer, he has written a full-length musical entitled Castro’s Children, which was selected for development by New Musicals Australia. The songs from the show are available in a Concept Album on YouTube.
MMus, BMus(Hons), LMusA, AMusA
Michelle Nguyen graduated from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in 2013 having completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) and Master of Music (Performance). During her studies she was the recipient of a number of scholarships including the Gardiner, Grace Funston, Faculty Merit and John Hellyar scholarships.
Following her studies, Michelle was awarded the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Piano Fellowship (2014) with The Australian Ballet, working in Melbourne and Sydney. Other touring engagements as an accompanist include Houston Ballet’s Summer Intensive (2015), the Australian Welsh Male Choir’s tours through Asia (2017) and the United Kingdom (2018), The Australian Ballet’s Regional Tour (2018), Excelsis Choir’s Philippines Tour and JTM Production’s Practically Perfect through regional Australia (2019).
As a Melbourne pianist, Michelle has been a pit musician for productions including Disney’s 'Aladdin,' Gordon Frost Organisation’s 'Wizard of Oz,' 'An American in New York' and recently '9 to 5' Michelle is regularly engaged by solo musicians in schools, universities and various professional engagements as an accompanist.
City Chapter Accompanist
Mina completed her Master of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music in 2015 and her Bachelor of Music degree at Berklee College of Music in 2012. Whilst at Manhattan School of Music, she was the recipient of many awards, including the CJ Culture Scholarship and the MSM Scholarship for academic results and merit. She has performed as a jazz pianist, accompanist and music director in a number of New York City’s most prestigious concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Columbia University and New York Live Arts. Mina has also undertaken international tours of South Korea, Australia, England and Switzerland. During the last two years Mina has appeared in a number of projects. These include albums by ZEDSIX, “The Shape of Jazz” (The Australian Jazz Bell Awards, Best Produced Album winner, Music Victoria, Best Jazz Album nominated) and Richard Pavlidis', “Without Within” (reviewed by 'The Australian' newspaper) and performances with Fem Belling, Uncomfortable Science (featuring Lachlan Mitchell, Barney McCall, Simon Mavin and Paul Bender) and the Jazzlab Orchestra.
In addition to her work as a pianist, Mina is also an accomplished composer and arranger. Since establishing herself in Melbourne, she has performed her music at Melbourne Recital Centre, Hamer Hall, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne International Women's Jazz Festival, St Paul’s Cathedral, Parliament House, 170 Russell, the Jazzlab, the Paris Cat Jazz Club and Melbourne University. She has also served as the musical director/pianist for the 2018 Melbourne concert of renowned K-pop star, Tae Woo Kim (G.O.D). She currently teaches jazz piano at Melbourne University and works as an artist in residency at the Berklee College of Music - Inspired program.