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Profiles

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Philip Rees
Conductor

When Philip Rees was eight, two events impacted on his life: his first piano and brass lesson and his parents being given a complete recorded performance of Handel's Messiah. Since then he can’t recall a time of not wanting to be a musician.

Philip has spent his entire working life involved in music education and performance. As the musical director of the Central Coast Philharmonia, he conducted many major works of the choral tradition, as well as a number of Australian premiere performances of works by Christopher Tin, (Calling All Dawns) Karl Jenkins, (Joy to the World) John Rutter (Feel the Spirit) and Alexander Lestrange (Zimbe and Ahoy). He was the chorus master for Central Coast Opera productions of Magic Flute (2016), Carmen (2017) and La Bohème (2018).

Philip moved to the Central west in 2019. He teaches brass and piano at the Orange Regional Conservatorium, is the conductor of the City of Orange Brass Band, and participates in the music program in some local schools.  He was appointed Conductor of OMVC in mid-2020.

 

In 2010 he was awarded an OAM for services to music.

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Rachael Brooking
Accompanist

Rachael grew up in Orange in a musical family with a dad who played the drums in the Pipe Band, a mum who sang, and grandparents that both played the piano.

Rachael’s love of music began with with piano lessons at 5 and, later, singing in the church choir with her gran every Sunday. This continued at James Sheahan High School, which at the time had a very well known performance choir under the guidance of Miss Julie Aysom, and a parish youth group which performed at church.

When 14, Rachael began accompanying  a well respected singing teacher and she began teaching piano at 19.

Rachael has also been active in the Orange Theatre Company for many years, both as a rehearsal accompanist, performing with the orchestra and on stage.  She was Musical Director for “Side by Side’ by Sondheim which won best musical at the CAT awards in Canberra. She also sings in the Cantar Ladies Community Choir.

 

Rachael has 3 gorgeous children and continues to teach piano.  She is also passionate about raising education and awareness for the brain disease known as Huntington’s.

Rachael's love of the OMVC goes back many years and her idol was the fabulous Bev Glover, a previous accompanist for the choir.  She used to say, “when I grow up, I’m going to do that one day”.

Rachael knows she has big shoes to fill - “I hope I do you proud Bev!”

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