The Australian Boys Choir prides itself on its high staff/singer ratio across the board. In addition to each level of the Choir being led by well-qualified musicians and teachers, each training group also has one or more tutors who work intensively with singers on their musical skills. Read more about each of the staff members of the ABCI below.
Nicholas Dinopoulos studied singing at The University of Melbourne under Merlyn Quaife AM and furthered his training as a studio artist of Gertrude Opera.
He maintains a busy performance schedule consisting of various concert, recital and operatic engagements, most notably as a core member of Songmakers Australia.
Mr Dinopoulos has appeared as a guest soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Bach Musica NZ, Genesis Baroque, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, Monash Academy Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble, Ludovico’s Band, Latitude 37, IHOS Opera (Hobart), Victorian Opera (Melbourne) and Pinchgut Opera (Sydney).
In addition to frequent live broadcasts on ABC Classic, 3MBS FM and Australian Digital Concert Hall, his performances have been recorded by both the Chandos and Pinchgut Live labels. He has also given the world premiere performances of several significant new works from among the rising generation of Australian composers.
As a conductor and educator, he has held positions at The University of Melbourne (Music Director, Melbourne Conservatorium Chamber Choir, 2019-present) and the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music (Music Director, Monash University Singers & Sessional Voice Teacher, 2014-2020). He was also resident vocal consultant to the National Youth Choir of Australia for four consecutive seasons from 2015-2018 and has served as guest chorus director for several large-scale projects with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra.
In 2024, he commences his tenure as Artistic Director of Western Australia’s premier chamber choir, the Giovanni Consort, founded in 1995.
A specialist in the field of changing voice and young men’s singing, he has been on staff at the Australian Boys Choral Institute since 2007.
He is only the fifth Artistic Director appointed in the 85-year history of the ABCI.Read Nick's staff profile.
"Without a doubt, I have the best job in the world and remain in awe of what the singers of the ABCI continue to achieve."
Liz was appointed to the role of General Manager early in 2022 but her involvement with the Choir spans well over a decade.
As her two sons progressed through the ranks of the Choir, both achieving the highest rank of Chorister and currently performing with the Kelly Gang and The Vocal Consort, Liz worked in many volunteer roles, including as Marketing Team Leader and as part of the Caring Team on numerous Weekend Workshops, Summer Schools, and Australian and international tours.
With close to two decades of professional experience in strategic communications management and consulting across a range of sectors, Liz brings to the role a passion for the arts and the not-for-profit sector.
"The ABCI nurtures excellence and commitment in boys and young men on both a personal and a communal level in music, education and life. And it manages to do so with absolute warmth and humanity. I feel so privileged to be involved."
Teacher-in-Charge of Junior Singers & Probationers / Director of Training Choirs
Naomi Heyden joined the staff of Australian Boys Choral Institute in 2001. She holds tertiary qualifications in both Music & Education from Monash and Deakin Universities, and has taught across the breadth of Institute’s training program. She currently serves as Teacher-in-Charge of Junior Singers, as well as being the Director of Training Choirs at the ABCI.
With a particular interest in Kodály-inspired education, she has also taught at Erasmus Primary School, Ivanhoe Grammar School, St. Kevin’s College and Melbourne Youth Chorale. As a performer, she has sung with various Melbourne choirs and enjoys sharing her love of music with choristers of all ages.Read Naomi's staff profile.
"The high standard of musical education and performance makes the Australian Boys Choir an enjoyable and rewarding workplace. I love watching all the results that come from the efforts of our talented and dedicated students and staff."
Teacher-in-Charge of Kelly Gang & Tyros / Administrative Assistant
Tim Mallis is a Melbourne-based musician specialising in composition and piano accompaniment. Tim is a passionate advocate for music education and bringing new Australian compositions to life.
Tim is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music specialising in organ and composition. As an award-winning composer, he has written for some of Australia’s finest ensembles and is frequently commissioned for works by local arts bodies including Arts Centre Melbourne in their 5x5x5 program, and Choral Edge in their award-nominated Stories from the Choir.
As a former member of Young Songmakers Australia and former student of the Franz-Schubert-Institut, Tim is in high demand as an accompanist, organist, and conductor. He has also held positions as Director of Music at both St Bartholomew’s and St Stephen’s Anglican Churches in Richmond.
As part of his ongoing relationship with the Australian Boys Choral Institute since 2003, Tim is involved both as a staff member and singer in The Vocal Consort. Tim is also employed by Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as a surtitle specialist since 2014.
"I am proud to be a part of The Australian Boys Choir because it provides the highest quality of music education and the opportunity to sing in the finest ensemble of its kind. I love the Choir because it provides a unique space for boys to be proud of their voices; both in song and as young men in the community."
Teacher-in-Charge of Cambiata
Jack Jordan is a Melbourne-based classical musician. He began his training with the Australian Boys Choir, to which he owes his dedication and love for music. Jack has performed across Victoria in opera, concert performances and recitals with some of the country’s premier organisations & companies. His recent solo performances include Flute in Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, tenor soloist in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, tenor soloist in Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, soloist in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Mr Dashwood and Laurie (cover) in Adamo’s Little Women and Soldato II in Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea. In addition to his career as a soloist, Jack is a highly sought after ensemble singer. He currently works with The Vocal Consort, St James’ Old Cathedral Voices, Polyphonic Voices and is an emerging artist with The Song Company. Jack holds both a Bachelor of Music (Classical Voice) and a Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Performance) from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, for which he was aided and humbled by the Future Generations Scholarship. Other awards include 3rd place in the 17th Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition, the Joan Arnold and Bettine McCaughan Memorial Encouragement Award at both the 2019 and 2021 Liederfest Competitions and the Mona McCaughey Scholarship from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.Read Jack's staff profile.
"I think the choir offers a very unique experience that is rarely available to children. The sense of community, teamwork, fostering of a discipline, and a lot more wrapped up in a neat little package."
Teacher-in-Charge of Probationers & Early Learners
Rachael joined the staff at the ABCI in 2018 as a Probationer tutor, and has since gone on to teach at all levels of the Choir. She is currently a Teacher in Charge of Early Learners and Probationers. Rachael graduated from her Honours degree in Classical Voice at Monash University in 2020, after completing a Bachelor of Arts/Music majoring in French language and classical voice. Rachael also currently holds a position at Kingswood College (Box Hill) as a voice teacher and choral conductor. She has a range of professional performance experience with companies such as Melbourne Opera, Victorian Opera and Lyric Opera of Melbourne, and is regularly engaged as a guest artist around Melbourne. Rachael has been the recipient of many awards including First Prize 99th Herald Sun Aria, Boroondara Eisteddfod Vocal Championship, Opera Scholars Australia Runner-Up, Australian Singing Competition Semi-Finalist (2023), National Liederfest Finalist (2022), First Place in The Talent, and the Monash Australian Music Prize (2019). Rachael is currently a supported singer in Melbourne Opera’s Richard Divall Emerging Artist Program.Read Rachael's staff profile.
"I love being a part of something that is bigger than just singers as individuals. There is nothing more powerful than musicians all working towards a common cause of harmony."
Teacher-in-Charge of Early Learners
Monika Harris is currently working as Teacher-in-Charge of Early Learners and has been with the ABCI since 2015 having also worked with Probationers, Tyros, Junior Singers, and Senior Singers during her time. Monika is a Kodály-trained music teacher, qualified speech pathologist, and freelance vocalist who is passionate about choral-based musicianship training and vocal health. She completed her Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Melbourne Conservatorium majoring in classical voice in 2017 and completed her Master of Speech Pathology in 2019 and her Master of Teaching in 2022. Monika has also completed 8-years of Kodály methodology and pedagogy training through the Kodály Music Education Institute obtaining both her primary and secondary levels.
Monika currently holds positions at Australian Boys Choir and Caulfield Grammar School, and uses her unique expertise of vocal science, and music teaching pedagogy in both vocal studio, classroom, and choral contexts. With over 18-years of choral experience, Monika has worked with various choirs and vocal consorts as both vocalist and conductor including The Yarra Voices, The Melbourne Youth Chorale, The Melbourne Baroque Orchestra, The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Young Voices of Melbourne, Alta Collective, Exaudi, St John’s Scholars, Divisi, Burgundy Blue, The National Youth Choir of Australia, Fiore Chamber, and The Consort of Melbourne.Read Monika's staff profile.
"I love working at the boys choir! It brings me such joy to help the boys succeed and progress along their musical journey."
Senior Tutor of Junior Singers & Senior Singers
Zachary is a Melbourne-based musician with a focus in piano accompaniment, choral conducting, and pipe organ. He studied his Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where he majored in classical piano performance under Max Cooke OAM. During his time at university, he was a choral scholar with the Choir of Trinity College, University of Melbourne, with which he toured the U.K. and France and recorded three albums. He is currently the Director of Music at St. Martin’s Church in Hawksburn and was previously the organ scholar at St. Andrew's Church in Brighton from 2019 to 2021 under Dr. Calvin Bowman. Zachary maintains a busy schedule working as the Musical Director of Mosaic Community Choir, College Accompanist at Kingswood College, Box Hill South, a piano and music theory tutor at St Catherine’s School in Toorak, and other freelance accompanying, teaching, and conducting work around Melbourne.Read Zac's staff profile.
“It’s such great fun getting to know all the different characters we have at the Institute – the curiosity they have about music is everything a teacher could want and their efforts in tutorials impress me.”
Senior Tutor of Tyros / Administrative Assistant
Gaining his first formal musical education at the Australian Boys Choral Institute in 2007, Nick has since continued his involvement with the institute singing and touring with the performing choir, later joining the Kelly Gang in 2015. Nick has worked at the institute as both a Senior and Junior singer tutor in 2018 and is currently Senior Tutor to the Tyros.
In 2018, Nick commenced his study at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, specialising in classical voice performance under the tutelage of Stephen Grant. In 2017, Nick made his debut with Victorian Opera, performing in the Youth Opera, The Second Hurricane, and has continued to work with the company since then performing in several shows such as William Tell (Rossini) in 2018 and Parsifal (Wagner) in 2019. Nick is passionate about music performance and is excited to work with Australia’s fine musicians of the future.
"The ABCI continues to nurture young musicians, providing a firm foundation for musical excellence and an unparalleled pathway to success in both the music industry and the wider community. My experience has been so valuable and should not be denied to the future generations of musicians and creatives."
Senior Tutor of Cambiata & Probationers / Junior Singer & Senior Singer Tutor
Declan Farr is completing his second year in the Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of Heather Fletcher. He began with the Australian Boys Choir in 2010, and now teaches members of the ABCI’s Tyro and Cambiata training groups. Declan is passionate about teaching the fundamentals of music and giving back to the Institute.
"I believe that the Australian Boys Choir is like no other activity. Not only because of the musical skills and pathways it fosters, but also the life-long friendships and bonds that are created at the organisation."
Junior Singer & Senior Singer Tutor
Joshua Vass began singing with the Australian Boys Choir Institute in 2012. He was presented with the VJ Kelly Award and became the Choir Leader in 2019.Josh toured with the Choir to New Zealand (2015), Central Australia (2017), Europe (2018) and South Australia (2019).He studied at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, where he continued his training in music theory and musicianship (rhythmic, melodic and harmonic analysis). Josh also trained with the Victorian Opera Youth Program (2019-2022) and is a member of the Vocal Consort (2022-current). Josh is no stranger to the professional stage, with experience performing with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Universal Studios and the Gordon Frost Organisation. Josh’s awards include, The IAAPA, Brass Ring Award: Best Theatrical Production (Voice of an Angel – Universal Studios 2017), Green Room Award: Production of the Year (Opera Australia - King Roger 2018), Royal South Street Vocal Competition Winner (2018), Victorian Music Theatre Guild Nomination for Michael Banks (Mary Poppins 2015), Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid 2022).
Clyde Saniga works as a Tutor for the Tyro group at the ABCI. He began his musical education at the ABCI in 2011 and is still performing and touring with the Choir to date. Clyde is studying at the VCA, majoring on saxophone in its Jazz and Improvisation course. Here he participates in many small jazz ensembles on saxophone and voice. Prior to this he had been studying classical voice under the tutelage of Jocelyn Hickey at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, focusing on German Romantic Lieder. Clyde’s compositional energies are working on finding a mid-ground between classical choral works and improvisational based choral styles. He also creates through his funk band and blacksmithing business. Most of his creations focus on his admiration of Country and First Nations Peoples' way of life.
“Involvement in the ABCI provides a model of how to function efficiently, effectively, and enjoyably in all world experiences.”
Beginning with The Australian Boys Choral Institute in 2011 Ian has gone on to sing with The Vocal Consort and is now tutoring Probationers. Prior to studying classical voice at the Melbourne Conservatorium with Dr. Heather Fletcher, he attended the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary school where he was taught by Dermot Tutty.
Ian has been singing at St. Andrews Brighton as a choral scholar since 2022, as well as making his operatic debut in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten) in the same year.
“The ABCI has encouraged and supported me throughout my life, and being able to watch budding musicians make lifelong friends and skills is an unbelievably rewarding experience.”
ELIZA BENNETTS O'CONNOR
Eliza Bennetts O’Connor is a classical singer and teaching artist. She works extensively with children, teaching singing, piano, performing arts and music theory. She values the reward of teaching and working with children, finding their energy and development inspiring.
As a musician, Eliza has performed with some of the state's finest companies across a range of concert, opera and early music repertoire. This year, Eliza is delighted to have been selected as an emerging artist with The Song Company. Her recent performance highlights include Belinda in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Britten), Cupid in Venus & Adonis (Blow), as well as the soprano solos in Rejoice in the Lamb (Britten) and Gloria (Vivaldi). In 2020, Eliza was a principal artist for the Victorian Opera initiative, Baby Bilby Loves to Sing, an interactive children's storybook. Alongside her performance pursuits, Eliza is one of the core members of the St. James Old Cathedral Voices. Eliza is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and holds a Bachelor of Music (Classical Voice) and a Master of Music (Opera Performance). During her studies, Eliza’s artistry and development were recognised and supported by the Francis Quinn Arts Excellence, Margaret Schofield Memorial and the Murray Ormond Vagg Scholarships.
"I think every child should have the opportunity to learn and to love music. The Australian Boy’s Choir provides this opportunity in a community-focussed, excellence-forward setting."