A dynamic music educator and choral conductor, Renee Heron brings a wealth of experience to The Yarra Voices. She is currently a primary music teacher and choral director at Caulfield Grammar and was recently appointed Teaching Associate with Monash University. Renee has also enjoyed stints working with the Australian Boys Choir as Teacher-in-Charge of the Probationer training group, Xavier College and Methodist Ladies College. Renee is one of Melbourne’s leading practitioners of the Kodály music education philosophy and is a methodology course lecturer for the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia, where she serves as President of the Victorian Branch. In 2016-17, she had the privilege of attending the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary and in 2022 received an award for excellence in Australian Kodály-inspired Music Education. Renee is a talented musician in her own right, holding a Bachelor of Music from the University of Queensland, and an AMusA in Violin. She also holds a Master of Teaching from the University of Melbourne. Renee is a member of Melbourne based chamber choir, Polyphonic Voices and Co-Artistic Director for treble vocal ensemble, Alta Collective.
Junior YV Accompanist & Rehearsal Tutor
Peta Rust is an experienced Music teacher, accompanist and choral conductor who has been working with children’s choirs for over 15 years. She holds degrees in Keyboard Performance and a post graduate degree in Education, specialising in Primary Teaching. Peta also holds qualifications in both the Kodály and Orff Schulwerk teaching methods. As a performer, Peta has enjoyed performing solo recitals in some of Melbourne's finest venues including the National Gallery of Victoria, St. Michael's Uniting Church and The Edge, Federation Square. She has had the privilege of performing live broadcasts of solo and chamber works on 3MBS. Peta has a particular passion and interest in Music teaching, and has taught in schools since 2012. She takes great pleasure in seeing what a profound effect Music Education can have on a child's total development. She has worked at a number of community Choir organisations including Choir Victoria and Sing Australia as both an accompanist and a conductor.
Performing Choir Accompanist & Rehearsal Tutor
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 is the current Associate Director of Music at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Brighton and has 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 Teacher-in-Charge and member of The Vocal Consort. Tim is also employed by Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as a surtitle specialist since 2014.
Voice Consultant & Rehearsal Tutor
Monika Harris is a qualified speech pathologist, passionate music teacher, singer and musician. She completed her Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Melbourne Conservatorium majoring in classical voice in 2017 and completed her Masters of Speech Pathology in 2019. Monika has also completed 6 years of Kodály Methodology training through the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia obtaining both her primary and secondary levels.
Monika is currently teaching part time at the Australian Boys Choral Institute, The Melbourne Youth Chorale, Parkinson’s Victoria Therapy Choir, and as a choral scholar at the St James’ Old Cathedral. With over 18 years choral experience, Monika has travelled both nationally and internationally with various choirs and vocal consorts including the Young Voices of Melbourne, Exaudi Youth Choir, Choral Edge, Burgundy Blue Jazz Quintet, the Nineteen Quartet, and the National Youth Choir of Australia, as well as worked as the musical director of the Melbourne University choir, Ring of Choir, during her undergraduate.
Alex Gorbatov is an emerging tenor, chamber musician, and choral director who, when isn’t gardening, enjoys singing new & early music.
Alex’s choral journey began with Sydney’s Gondwana Choirs. After 11 years singing with Gondwana and other large choirs, he primarily performs as a chamber musician. Since moving to Melbourne, Alex has appeared with Luminesce Chamber Singers, Polyphonic Voices, Astra Choir, and with his own ensemble: Divisi Chamber Singers. Recently, Alex has also been awarded the position of principal tenor at Christ Church South Yarra. Alex is also an emerging music director. In addition to his work as artistic director of Divisi Chamber Singers, he has taken up the baton with Apollo Choir, the St. Hilda's College Theatre Group and recently appeared as an assistant conductor under Marianne Rigby-Black for the University of Melbourne’s All Staff Choir.
Alex is particularly passionate about creating opportunities that enable young musicians to perform and have their works performed. He works regularly with new composers and prioritizes programming and commissioning young Australian composers.