The 2019 Winter Mountain Fest is a weekend singing retreat for MIXED voices

WHAT: Feed your soul some fabulous music, meet some other local singers, and enjoy the clean Mt Evelyn air.
WHEN: Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June 2019


 * 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



Phil Heuzenroeder

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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.”


Sophia Exiner

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Sophia is the founder and artistic director of contemporary choir Melbourne Indie Voices. The community-based ensemble perform her imaginative arrangements of current indie pop songs, with a focus on performing works from Australian and female songwriters. Since forming in 2016 MIV has showcased at Melbourne Music Week 2016, 2018 and performed with iconic Australian artists Paul Kelly, Paul Dempsey, Vika & Linda Bull, Jen Cloher and Clare Bowditch.

She is also an acclaimed solo musician under the name “Phia”. “A live-looping frenzy” (Artrocker Mag UK), she creates a truly genre-defying experience right before your eyes. Looping her African kalimba to create mesmerizing melodic hooks, she layers beat-boxing, hand claps and lush vocals, weaving together a sonic palate that is part indie-folk and part art-pop.

She has honed her remarkable live-looping show over hundreds of performances and festivals in Europe and Australia, including Melt Festival (Germany), Warsaw Music Week (Poland), Berlin Festival and Fusion Festival (Germany) and Woodford Folk Festival 2018, Grampians Music Festival 2018, St Kilda Fest 2017 amongst others.


The Grubby Urchins

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Daniel Bornstein and Joseph Hillel (AKA “The Grubby Urchins”) are a “nebulous intersection of trad jazz, sea shanty and good ol’ fashioned folk.”

When they’re not on tour performing, they run Sea Shanty sessions in Melbourne’s north to a fast-growing community of grizzly land-lubbers.

Armed with heady harmonies and intrepid instrumentals, the Urchins wage their reckless stylistic war on songs old and new, leaving audiences grinning in politeness and confusion and wondering where the youth of today went wrong.


Image of Annemarie Sharry

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A graduate of the Victorian College Of The Arts, and recipient of the Mabel Kent Singing Scholarship, Annemarie has worked for many years, as both a vocal soloist and choral educator. As co-founder and Musical Director of Melbourne based SOUTH OF THE RIVER CHOIR, she led the choir to the finals of the ABC Classic FM Choir of the Year Awards in 2006. This dynamic community choir explores the music and rhythms of Africa, traditional African American gospel and original Australian compositions, through workshops and festivals.

As Director of ACAPPELLAWORKS, Annemarie has been influential in developing choirs in the workplace. Her vocal programs have been adopted by a number of organisations including Flight Centre, The Department of Human Services and World Vision

Annemarie has been a member of two premier and award winning Australian a cappella ensembles: AKASA and COCOS LUNCH. She continues to sing regularly with her own jazz quartet and as a featured soloist in the cutting edge Opera company, Emotionworks.


Image of Chris Blain

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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. 


From ​17:00: Arrive, registration
​18:00: Light meal
​18:30: Welcome, introduction, team MUSIC TRIVIA
​21:00: Firepit Sing-a-long


​07:30: Breakfast (Hot food from 08:00)
09:00: CHRIS BLAIN (warm up and intro)
​10:15: Morning Tea
​12:30: Lunch
​15:00: Afternoon Tea
17:15: CHRIS BLAIN (daily recap)
​18:00: Dinner
​19:00: Firepit Sing-a-long


07:30: Breakfast (Hot food from 08:00)
09:00: CHRIS BLAIN (warm up and intro)
10:15: Morning Tea
12:30: Lunch
15:30: CHRIS BLAIN (farewell)
16:30: Depart


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:

York on Lilydale Retreat 

(~$150 per night)

A Twist Of Willow
(~$135 per night)

Foothills Conference Centre
(~$140 per night)

Dorset Gardens Hotel

(~$110 per night)

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