Luminescence Chamber Singers

Luminescence Chamber Singers

The Luminescence Chamber Singers is a professional vocal consort based in Canberra, Australia. Since the ensemble’s earliest iteration in 2013 Luminescence has quickly gained a reputation for presenting exciting and excellent singing, performing a wide range of repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Luminescence seeks to give voice to human experiences of all kinds and to champion to vocal arts as a uniquely human mode of creation and communication. 
 
In addition to a diverse annual concert season, Luminescence appears regularly for the Canberra International Music Festival and for the Four Winds Festival, and has presented performances in some of our most iconic national institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery, the High Court of Australia, and the National Portrait Gallery. Luminescence is also a regular collaborator with conductor Roland Peelman, and has performed alongside many of Australia’s leading ensembles, composers and conductors, including  Ensemble Offspring, the Song Company, Gondwana Choirs, Four Winds Festival, Elliott Gyger, Alice Chance, and Carl Crossin. Closer to home, Luminescence delivers regular workshops and local collarborations, including performances many of Canberra’s local choirs and orchestras, including Canberra Sinfonia, Oriana Chorale, Radford College Choir, A Chorus of Women, and the Wayfarers. 
Photographer: Hilary Wardhaugh

AJ AMERICA | Mezzo-Soprano

AJ is a performer, conductor and creative producer. She is the Artistic Director and founder of Luminescence Chamber Singers and Children's Choir. AJ grew up in Sydney as a member of the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices and has toured nationally as well as across the USA, Canada, China and New Zealand. She has recorded for a number of Australian film soundtracks, including as a soloist for PJ Hogan’s Mental and Baz Luhrman’s Australia. In 2012, both her vocal performances and choral composition were nominated for Encore.

AJ appears regularly as a soloist and a consort singer in Sydney and Canberra, performing with the Luminescence Chamber Singers, the Choir of St James’ King St, Cantillation, Pinchgut Opera and Vox Plexus (Melbourne). She is a regular collaborator with pianist Ella Luhtasaari and guitarist Minh Le Hoang, and a member of Ampleya, a multimedia collaboration with pianist and composer Rasa Daukis and visual artist Genevieve Swifte.

In recent years, AJ has also served as the Musical Director of Canberra Community Chorale, the ANU School of Music H-Course Vocal Ensemble, and Director of Choirs at Radford College.

In her spare time, AJ is a casual academic with strong ties to the Australian National University. In 2017, AJ completed her PhB with Honours in History. She has taught 20th Century European History at the ANU, is a contributor to the recently published Cambridge University Press NSW Year 9-10 History Textbook, and has worked as a research assistant for a number of pre-eminent historians and social scientists, including Rosanne Kennedy and Joy Damousi.

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VERONICA MIRLOY | Soprano

Soprano, pianist & chamber musician, Veronica grew up in regional NSW and studied at the Mitchell Conservatorium. She was a member of Gondwana Choirs from 2003 – 2017 and has toured both nationally and internationally across the UK & Europe, the USA, and New Zealand. In 2014, she graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Voice) from the ANU School of Music under the tutelage of Alan Hicks & Louise Page OAM.

An experienced consort singer, Veronica performs with the Luminescence Chamber Singers (Canberra), Coro (Canberra) and the Choir of St James’ King Street (Sydney). Veronica has been an educator for nearly a decade and has worked as a singing tutor, accompanist and director with many organisations across Canberra & Central Western NSW, as well as the Rhapsody Rotorua Festival (New Zealand) . In addition to performing with the Chamber Singers, Veronica is the pianist for Luminescence Children's Choir and was a founding member of the Luminescence Board of Directors.

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RACHEL MINK | Soprano

Rachel Mink, soprano, is a versatile artist interested in music that inspires connection. A singer-songwriter turned classical singer, Rachel enjoys genre-bending work and is committed to accessibility in classical music. In addition to performing with Luminescence, Rachel is a 2021 Pacific Opera Young Artist. Her engagements for 2021 include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marzelline in Fidelio, Despina in Cosí fan tutte, and Spirit in Gustav Holst's Savriti. She is a chorus member with Victorian Opera.

Last season, Rachel sang the role of Émilie in Peabody's “Now Hear This” presentation of Kaija Saariaho's Émilie. Highlights of her previous operatic credits include Colin in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s opera Le Devin du Village, Belinda and the First Witch in Dido and Aeneas, and Zirphile (cover) in the American premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Sympathy with Victory Hall Opera. As an active opera chorus member with Charlottesville Opera, she performed in La Traviata and Amahl and the Night Visitors. In concert, Rachel has performed as a soloist with the University of Virginia University Singers, University Chamber Singers, and Oratorio Society of Virginia. In February 2020, Rachel had the distinct pleasure of premiering two new vocal works in concert: the song cycle “Breach” by B.K. Zervigon for piano and voice and “The Moon” by Aaron Mencher for voice and string quartet.

Originally hailing from the USA, Rachel is a dual master’s candidate in Vocal Performance and Musicology at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland studying in the studio of Ah Young Hong.

Outside of classical music, Rachel is a certified yoga teacher and avid library-goer. In her spare time, she works as a fundraising professional for the Boulanger Initiative, a non-profit committed to promoting music composed by womxn.

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DAN WALKER | Tenor

Composer, conductor and performer Dan Walker is one of Australia’s most in-demand choral specialists. He has had works commissioned by the Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Gondwana Choirs and Halcyon. As a performer, Dan is a member of numerous professional vocal ensembles, including Luminescence Chamber Singers, The Consort of Melbourne, Cantillation, Pinchgut Opera, and the Song Company. He was a founding member of early music ensemble ‘The Parson’s Affayre’.  He is a keenly sought-after conductor, appearing as chorus-master for Canberra Choral Society, the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Choruses, and is Artistic Director of Oriana Chorale, as well as Canberra Community Chorale.

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JACK STEPHENS | Bass

Sydney-born bass Jack Stephens has worked extensively within choral music and as a soloist. He is currently the Principal Lay Clerk at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. He performs regularly as a soloist, and has worked closely with David Hill, John Rutter, Nigel Short, Barry Rose and Stephen Darlington; made recordings with the ABC and BBC and performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Snape Maltings. Jack was also featured on True Story with Hamish and Andy alongside comedians Kitty Flanagan and Ed Kavalee. In 2020 he was a reserve finalist for the 14th Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition.

 

Luminescence Chamber Singers at the High Court.
Luminescence Chamber Singers at CIMF 2019 (Photo: Peter Hislop)