The 2020 Autumn Mountain Fest is a weekend singing retreat for all voice types, styles and experience levels.
WHAT: Feed your soul some fabulous music, meet some other local singers, and enjoy the clean Mt Evelyn air.
WHEN: Friday 29 – Sunday 31 May 2020
WHERE: Mt Evelyn Recreation Camp
* Make sure you take the path to your right, just before you enter the football oval *
Workshops from some of Australia’s best choral directors and musicians.
Firepit sing-a-longs with wood-fired pizza supper
Friday night music team trivia
To sing with a group of people from all walks of life in a safe and comfortable environment was terrific. The beautiful harmonies that each instructor teased out of the group brought goosebumps upon goosebumps. The happiness instilled in me through this experience has lingered for weeks.
My life was changed forever at Mountain Fest; I stumbled upon it looking to sing with others and found gold. This weekend at the very least will expand your horizons both musically and socially and might just change your life; do it!
A great opportunity to share singing and moving in harmony. A opportunity to learn a variety of different vocal styles A great place to meet like- minded people.
A great balance of singing, learning, playing and getting to know other music lovers. Chris and the team were professional in their approach and made sure everyone was included and had a good time. Thanks so much for a fantastic event.
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Phil Heuzenroeder is passionate about gospel music and community singing. He leads the 80 voice Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir and has led various massed gospel choirs for over 20 years.
He has explored, arranged and led singing a wide range of gospel and soul music, from early spirituals like Steal Away, the golden era of the gospel quartets, the soul gospel sounds of 60‘s and 70’s through to contemporary gospel giants such as Kirk Franklin.
Together with MMGC he has produced large scale sell out shows of the iconic music of Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples, Bob Dylan and more.
Phil says, “I am hugely passionate about singing together, and for me, gospel music is the most powerful and unifying music to sing. I love its uplifting power and its passion as the music expresses the history of struggle of African and African-American people.
“I’m fascinated by Gospel music’s long history and evolution as a musical culture and its central place in worship and community. I strive for MMGC to interpret its meaning in a secular community environment and discover how it speaks to our daily lives here in Australia.”
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Born in Colombia and a bit of a globetrotter, singer and composer iaki Vallejo has truly understood what human differences can mean. She now brings a message of unity and peace through her music and lyrics. Mixing Afro-Colombian traditions with jazz, soul, salsa, afro-beat, funk and reggae, her compositions and arrangements are a living example of differences coming together to enrich one another and create something beautiful. Her powerful, intense and warm voice earned her “Best Voice of Melbourne” award in 2009 and her message of unity and integration honoured her with the International Federation of Peace’s 2016 “Peace Award”.
Earlier this year, iaki launched her EP ” Yo Soy” (I am) at Bird’s Basement and was nominated from Music Victoria Awards as best Intercultural Act 2019.
“Listening to iaki sing, it is essay to appreciate her multi faceted voice which is comfortable in all sort of songs”
– Essentially Pop- United Kingdom
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Alex completed a Bachelor of Music (Composition) at the University of Western Australia in 2009. Since then he has been active working with orchestras, arts companies and festivals currently holding the position of General Manager with the Stonnington Symphony. Alex is in demand around the world as a vocal coach working with ensembles, teaching classes and running workshops with regular appearances as faculty at the BHS Harmony University.
Alex is the former Music Director of Vocal Evolution, leading them to three Barbershop Harmony Australia (BHA) gold medals. Since moving to Melbourne, Alex has taken on the role of Music Director with Geelong Harmony Chorus (Sweet Adelines Australia) as well as Music Director of shoUT Youth Chorus and Shania Choir.
Alex is a member of the Sweet Adelines Australia Regional Education Faculty as well as the BHA Education Faculty. In 2013, Alex became the first non-North American certified Barbershop Harmony Society Music Judge. A sought after arranger, Alex is regularly commissioned to write new works and arrangements and sells his music to ensembles around the world.
Performing regularly as Bae Marie, Alex has used queer performance art to develop interactive experiences for children and adults alike.
He has a passion for education and loves nothing more than to share the joy of music.
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Suzann is a singer, teacher, songwriter and arranger. She was born in Sweden, by Hungarian parents and was brought up in a musically multicultural environment of Swedish folk, pop and rock, as well as Hungarian gypsy music.
Having had her mind set on the clarinet and a classical path, it changed unexpectedly, to singing and jazz, once she started studying music at the Conservatorium of Music in Malmoe, Sweden. There she discovered her voice and the great joys of singing, harmonising and improvising. Apart from studying singing and piano, the training consisted of everything from conducting, theory and rhythm studies, improvisation, the double bass and more. During her time in Malmoe, Suzann performed with an all female singing and drumming group, singing anything from Barbershop, classical, world music and jazz. She also toured parts of northern Sweden, performing a mixed vocal program.
Every aspect of her training proved to be of value when Suzann moved to Australia. She quickly started teaching singing, privately and in schools, as well A Cappella singing at the Selby and Olinda Community Houses. Since then Suzann has been actively writing and arranging songs, according to the settings of the for various groups. A majority of her songs are composed together with a Swedish lyricist and are published on line, but a few have been published and some can be found in the CMV and ABC Songbook as well as and also in songbooks published in Germany.
Suzann has performed at the Canberra National Festival, with Bobby McGee’s band at the Merimbula Jazz Festival and the Victorian Jazz Fest as well as at many local festivals in the Emerald area. She also performs songs accompanied by her didge playing husband, Paul. Suzann has run many singing workshops, in Victoria through the CMV; locally in the Emerald area, as well as interstate workshops.
For the last ten years, Suzann has concentrated on teaching singing and piano privately and her students range between the ages of 10 and 80. Suzann is the musical director for Skutan, a Swedish choir, which regularly performs at Swedish cultural celebrations throughout the year. Suzann believes that everyone can sing – as long as you can yawn and laugh!
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Andrew is the director of the Woodend Warblers, and assistant director of Melbourne men’s singing group, Men in Suits. He also runs a side project with folk singer Fred Smith, and is currently running the Kingston Sea Shanty sessions. He is also an assistant director of the Young Voices of Macedon.
Andrew had extensive exposure to music from a young age, with a father who was the Church Organist, and a mother who was a Singing Teacher. He started piano lessons in Primary School, and moved on to clarinet in High School, which earned him a Music Scholarship for his last two years of High School. He played clarinet with the Sydney Schools Symphony Orchestra (SSSO) and represented his school in numerous mass choir events.
He’s got a passion for good harmony, and strong community.
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Chris has been writing, producing, managing and performing in the music industry for over fifteen years, and has a wealth of knowledge of the artistic, technical and business sides of the industry.
Chris’ a cappella man-band SUADE performed for nearly twenty years, touring extensively, both locally and internationally. They produced four albums – the latest self-produced by Chris and his brother Loz.
Chris works with MusoMagic, running youth leadership and development programs throughout indigenous communities in Australia, and runs music programs for Red Dust Roel Models. He’s also the musical director of “Men In Suits”, runs Melbourne’s “With One Voice” choir, and was a co-founder and director of Vocal Australia – Australia’s a cappella singing hub.
He’s also the director of Melbourne Singing Events, and Keynotes Team Singing – ventures aimed at bringing communities together through song – and a registered civil marriage celebrant to round things off!
- Please note: This schedule may change slightly in the lead-up to the event. We will keep you informed as quickly as possible.
FRIDAY 29 MAY
From 17:00: Arrive, registration
18:00: Light meal
18:30: Welcome, introduction, team MUSIC TRIVIA
21:00: Firepit Sing-a-long
SATURDAY 30 MAY
07:30: Breakfast (Hot food from 08:00)
08:30: Morning Activities (Basic Yoga)
09:30: CHRIS BLAIN (warm up and intro)
10:30: Morning Tea
11:00: WORKSHOP 1: ALEX MORRIS
13:30: WORKSHOP 2: SUZANN FRISK
15:00: Afternoon Tea
15:30: Afternoon Activities (Drumming Workshop)
17:00: WORKSHOP 3: ANDREW PRICE
18:30: CHRIS BLAIN (daily recap)
20:00: Firepit Sing-a-long
SUNDAY 31 MAY
08:00: Breakfast (Hot food from 08:00)
09:00: Morning Activities (Yoga, bushwalking)
10:30: CHRIS BLAIN (warm up and intro)
11:30: Morning Tea
12:00: WORKSHOP 4: PHIL HEUZENROEDER
14:30: WORKSHOP 5: IAKI VALLEJO
16:00: CHRIS BLAIN (Recap, Farewell)
The accommodation provided onsite is camp style living – 3 to 4 people per room, most of them large rooms that could take 6 to 10 people. You must provide your own bedding and bring a towel. There is a communal bathroom located on each floor.
If you prefer something a little more luxurious, here are some other options for accommodation within 10km of the site:
If you like singing in a friendly environment, this is the event to come to. Great teachers, great group, a fun weekend!
I can’t think of a better way to discover how much fun singing is – even if you’ve never sung before. If you think you can’t sing but wish you could, this is the perfect place to start exploring.
A fabulous weekend for those who love to sing in company with others. Simple but perfectly adequate accommodation, sessions presented by top choir leaders, the chance to sing around the fire pit into the wee small hours, lots of good company.
It was a challenging and fun exploration of so many different types of music – it was so amazing what we were able to achieve and it really fired up my passion to do more.