Since graduating from the NSW Conservatorium of Music, Leonie has been active in the performing arts in many roles - as a concert and opera singer, director, board member, voice and drama teacher, song writer, playwright, producer, and arts worker.
Leonie has been gaining recognition as a director with a flair for innovation and forging powerful collaborations with artists, writers and composers. Her current practice focuses on vocal works, encompassing cabaret, musicals, operetta, baroque opera, semi-staged concert pieces, and new Australian operas, at the community, pro-am and professional levels. (Opera West, Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Victoria, Melbourne Opera Studio, Childsplay Productions, Ondine Productions, the Song Company, and the Canberra International Music Festival, to name just a few).
In 2002, Leonie became Resident Director of The Tall Poppeas, a Sydney vocal ensemble presenting baroque music for female voices, written by female composers. For this group she wrote and directed the original operetta Troppo Amore, and co-devised the concert series Beyond the Moon and Too Hot to Handel which was performed at Government House.
Over many years, she has actively promoted works by Australian artists. This includes activities as diverse as establishing groups performing operas and concerts for children, such as Three’s Company Opera and the children’s band Incy Wincy, to collaborations with prominent solo artists, including the pianist Sally Whitwell and soprano Anna Fraser, and directing new works, such as Daniel Manera’s chamber opera, L’Operetta II and in August, Mind Over Matter for The Song Company.
From 2015 - mid 2019, Leonie was a Board member of The Song Company and is delighted to have been appointed Chair of the River City Voices board.
Bill's 40 year career as a chartered accountant in the UK and Australia, has taken him from the accounting profession through to Finance Director of Companies - both medium and large sized with between 30 and 1,500 employees, including Dames & Moore, URS Australia (now Aecom) and ERM. He also had direct operational management experience with URS Australia, managing a region. In a volunteer capacity, Bill works in an advisory financial role with Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association. A keen cyclist, Bill managed a charity bike ride for a former colleague, and in November 2018 he will take up his greatest challenge yet, cycling from Melbourne to Sydney as part of the "Peleton Events Ultimate Challenge", raising money for three different charities.
Schon has a career spanning over 40 years in Accounting focusing on Financial, Operational, Sustainability and Management advice to help businesses during times of growth, stabilisation and difficulty. He is well recognised within the profession as a leading advisor and media spokesperson. His professional role has seen him in numerous leadership and command roles including President of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce, Chair of CPA Public Practice Committee, Chairman Hawkesbury Business Connection and President of the Royal Australian Artillery Association of NSW Inc.
Schon holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from the University of Technology Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of Canberra. He is a fellow of the Chartered Accountants ANZ, Institute of Public Accountants, CPA Australia, and former member of the State and National Public Practice committees, Taxation Institute of Australia, Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Member of the Association of Independent Insolvency Practitioners.
In addition, Schon is a Commissioned Officer in the Australian Army and has maintained an active Army Reserve career, including being a former Commanding Officer of 23rd Field Regiment, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery.
Director, Chorister Representative
Catherine has diverse experience as a resilience and HRM professional as well as working as an academic in management and ethics. Coupled with experience working globally in a range of sectors, she considers multiple perspectives to develop an informed view. Catherine’s significant exposure to and engagement with Board-level decision-making, enables her to consider strategy and operational issues. As a thought leader in the business continuity community, Catherine has engaged globally with sector colleagues to share knowledge and experiences.
She holds a Masters in Commerce (Organisation & Management), and an Honours degree majoring in Australian history and in the past five years, Catherine has volunteered her skills for the Business Continuity Institute, City of Parramatta’s Historical Advisory Committee and local school Parents & Friends Associations.
Catherine commenced her choral experience aged 10, as a member of Australian Youth Choir, and was a founding member of VOX. During the early VOX period, choristers self-organised all logistics, marketing and operational components of performances, and Catherine was a key contributor. She has performed in a number of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs performances and was delighted to join River City Voices at its inauguration.
Catherine is passionate about the artistic and cultural possibilities for the Western Sydney Region and is thrilled to contribute as a chorister and Board member.
Founder, Director and General Manager
Inara Molinari brings to the choir a career spanning 25+ years that has focused predominantly on voice as a professional opera soloist and chorister, early music singer, artistic administrator and producer, and more recently, as an office manager at Westmead Hospital. Her connection with the arts scene in western Sydney began twenty years ago, when she established “Opera West”in Wentworthville, a weekly course for aspiring opera and music theatre singers.
After returning from the USA in 2000, Inara founded “The Tall Poppeas”, Sydney’s only female baroque vocal ensemble that delivered innovative programs throughout Sydney and interstate for ten years, including staging an original opera for the Darlinghurst Theatre (now Hayes Theatre) and Melbourne Fringe Festival.
In 2011, Inara co-founded Ondine Productions. Its first project was fully staging the Australian premiere performance of "La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina" (1625), by the first female composer of opera, Francesca Caccini. The production received critical acclaim and was short-listed for an ArtsHub award in 2012.
During the past seven years, Inara has performed locally with Packemin Productions at the Riverside Theatres and with Holroyd Musical Society back in Wentworthville! She has been a strong community advocate and volunteer in her local 'hoods of Granville and Parramatta, forging relationships with local government, and community and arts organisations. Inara was a member of Cumberland Council's Arts Advisory Committee, 2018-2019 and is the founder of River City Voices.
Liz comes to River City Voices with over 25 years experience in arts management in both professional and community organisations. Working for festivals and local government, arts funders, schools and professional arts organisations in Australia and the UK, she brings her substantial knowledge, passion for community music making and networks to her role at River City Voices.
In the UK, Liz started her career with Cambridge City Council working for the Cambridge Festival and as front of house manager at The Corn Exchange, Cambridge. She then gained experience as music officer at Eastern Arts Association, one of the Arts Council of Great Britain’s (ACGB) regional arms; and as a freelance assessor for ACGB commissioning and education projects.
More recently in Australia, Liz has worked as special projects administrator at MLC School for Karen Carey’s Music Department, membership manager at the Australian Music Centre and philanthropy manager at The Song Company.
Liz went to Clare College, Cambridge where she studied Geography – and played the cello a lot! She has been an integral part of Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney for over 15 years as a regular cellist, as well as holding leadership roles as a committee member and president.
She recently obtained her Masters of Communication Management degree from UTS.
Liz's position is supported by a Create NSW Organisational Grant, 2020
The Advisory Committee was established from RCV's inception to provide local industry knowledge for the choir and Board during its establishment period and first year of operations. The Committee members are:
Robert Love, AM, Director, Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
Brett Weymark, Artistic and Music Director, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
Cath Dadd, Executive Producer, Performing Arts, The Joan, Penrith
A/Professor Diana Blom, Music, Western Sydney University, Kingswood
Dr Paul Smith, Lecturer in Music, University of New England, FutureCampus Parramatta