Past Workshops

TUESDAY  19 NOVEMBER 2013  10am – 12am

From the moment he arrived, to the moment he took down his music stand, Ken worked tirelessly at sharing his extensive singing knowledge.

His instruction covered all aspects of protecting and projecting the voice and with technique came encouragement and praise for effort.   He showed us how improvement takes time and perseverance and in the space of two hours, provided us with tools to ‘do it ourselves’.

His energy was infectious as was his sense of humour and everyone who attended the session came away with a smile and sense of satisfaction.

Another workshop well worth repeating!


Ken Teoh is currently the Musical Director of three choirs, the Canberra Gay & Lesbian Qwire, ABC Community Choir,  and the Canberra Men’s Choir. He has directed numerous Canberra choirs including the Canberra Boys Choir, the Strange Weather Gospel Choir, the Burton & Garran Singers and the Canberra Youth Choir.

With a strong interest in music education, Ken has worked with many school and community groups giving workshops and running special projects such as the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay massed choir of 500 voices.

He is not afraid of taking some musical risks and of challenging choir members in new directions.  He has a very physical conducting style, displaying his infectious and unbridled enthusiasm, which cannot help but inspire all those who are fortunate to work with him.


Tuesday 4 June 2013   10am – 12am Workshop with Chrissie Shaw                 

  • Chrissie2 Chrissie1

Chrissie Shaw is a pint size bundle of fun and the time that she spent with us went far too quickly.  Her warm up was full of useful tips on voice and rhythm and the songs that she taught were steeped in history and harmonies – Sylvie, a song written by Leadbelly about life on a Louisiana plantation and Taku Mana , a traditional Maori song about holding on to what you have – two wonderful additions to our repertoire.

Chrissie was generous with her encouragement, the result at the end of the morning was amazing and her lightness of spirit was infectious – a return visit will be most welcome!

Chrissie is a performing artist who has worked in Canberra since 1987. She’s performed for many theatre companies, and has produced several independent shows.  In recent years, Chrissie has performed shows for children with repeat performances of the highly acclaimed ‘Gran’s Bag’.  She will begin rehearsing shortly, a French cabaret-style show “Bijou” (not for children!) which will premiere at The Street Theatre, Canberra, in September 2013.

She has been musical director of several community choirs, and is a founding member of ‘A Bunch of Posers’, a Corporate and Events entertainment troupe.

Tuesday 3rd May 2011 10am – 1pm – Workshop with John Shortis

 The three hours went very quickly as John taught us three songs to add to our repertoire.   No mean feat as although they were not difficult, each song was broken into four parts, Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass, so teaching each took time.   The song parts had been written especially for us by John and had been chosen for specific reasons:   My Generation by the Who became ‘Our’ Generation and the Beatles evergreen Money became ‘Harmony’ (that’s what we want).   John also taught us one of his own compositions ‘Sun Woman, Moon Man’ which is a very simple but effective song based on an Indigenous dreamtime story.

As always, John was generous with both his time, expertise, and energy,  working his magic with each song to make the most of the harmonies.   A thoroughly enjoyable morning with everyone leaving on a natural high!


Workshop with John Shortis
John Shortis has worked full-time as a composer, songwriter, musician, scriptwriter and music historian since 1971.  He has written radio scripts for the ABC, countless songs for children and adults, and has produced numerous cabaret shows with his partner Moya Simpson.John is also composer, arranger and pianist in residence for the Worldly Goods choir who are directed by Moya.

Tuesday 30th September 2010 Workshop with Jenny Sawyer

The three hours provided a joyous revival of some of the songs that had been learned in a previous choir life.  Jenny provided a solid and varied warm-up and many songs were covered.  It was amazing how quickly our memories responded.    Lots of fun with the ability to expand our repertoire into the future. A big thanks to Jenny and it was delightful working with her again.


Jenny Sawyer, vocalist/singing teacher

Jenny is a classically trained singer with a Bachelor of Music (1st Class Honours) from Canberra School of Music, ANU.   She has been performing for eighteen years and has been teaching for twelve years.  She currently teaches from Pirana Music in Mitchell and at Canberra Girls Grammar Senior School.  She teaches classical and contemporary styles including folk, pop, rock, jazz, blues and musical theatre and also currently performs as a soloist for the “Dead Sea Rollers”, a classic four piece rock group.

Jenny was director of the original over 50′s singing group “Out of the Shower” from Aug 04 to Dec 07 and during that time won the Outstanding Teacher’s Award during Adult Learners Week in Sept 2006.
“Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except the best.”
Henry Van Dyke