Our Music Staff

WVYC staff are highly trained, professional musical educators

Olivia Swift

Artistic Director

Conductor

Olivia is a composer and choral conductor. A graduate of the ANU School of Music, her focus is on classical composition, but she has also studied film scoring and jazz. During high school, Olivia sang with Gondwana Voices and Sydney Children’s Choir and in 2008, her twelve-tone piece for wind quintet was nominated for Encore. Olivia has worked with well-known Australian composers such as Paul Stanhope and Christopher Gordon at Gondwana Composers School several times. As well as working on an opera that features a vocal ensemble providing the accompaniment, Olivia is currently the musical director of Kompactus Youth Choir and conducts a number of community choirs.

Jade McFaul

Conductor

Jade completed a degree in Classical Voice  at ANU in 2018.   She received the 2014 Christel Larko Music Scholarship and performed onstage as a soloist and chorus member in the School of Music’s production of L’Orfeo. She has been a chorister with Gondwana National Choirs since 2011 and is regularly involved in local choirs. Jade teaches music at CGGS.

Rose Holcombe

Accompanist

Rose Holcombe is a Canberra based piano teacher, accompanist and performer. In 2002 she completed a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Piano Performance at the Canberra School of Music.  Since then she has taught piano from her own studio and at various primary schools (currently Yarralumla Primary and Canberra Christian School). She thoroughly enjoys accompanying  choirs (Woden Valley Youth Choir, Marist junior choir and Lady’s Mantle at present) and playing for instrumentalists and singers in recitals (including Wesley concerts and the Canberra International Chamber Festival with soprano Louise Page).  She regularly works at Marist and Orana, accompanying tertiary music exams, accompanying students in concerts and playing for musicals.

Sally McRae

Sally McRae

Accompanist, Conductor

Sally believes in WVYC’s wonderful contribution to the musical development of young Canberrans. Sally McRae obtained a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the Tasmanian Conservatorium in 1998.  She spent the next 8 years working as a repetiteur, piano teacher, choral conductor and musical director in the Canberra music scene.

In 2008 Sally qualified as a Registered Midwife, but continues to work with the Woden Valley Youth Choir as a pianist and occasional conductor because of her belief in its wonderful contribution to the musical development of young Canberrans.

Lucus Allerton

Conductor

Lucus Allerton graduated from the ANU School of Music with Honours in Piano in mid-2013. He is yet to regret that, which makes him happy. At the piano, Lucus enjoys ensemble and piano accompaniment work most of all, in 2012 winning the overall Margaret Smiles Accompaniment Prize (and in 2010 winning the prize for Best Vocal Accompanist), and reaching the finals of the Sydney Eisteddfod’s 2013 Victoria Jennifer Warren Piano Accompaniment Award.

Lucus has very much enjoyed a number of musical partnerships and ensemble memberships, both during and after his time at the School of Music, and cherishes the friendships that have arisen from these experiences. He can be seen in and around Canberra, accompanying soloists and choirs. If you see him, please give him a wave and say hello (and perhaps chat too). He likes that. He’d be delighted to get to know you.

Mark Johnson

Accompanist

Mark Johnson is a pianist and teacher based in Canberra.  He studied musicology, piano and fortepiano at the ANU School of Music before lecturing there in music history and theory, as well as teaching privately. As an accompanist, Mark has worked with a wide range of musicians of all ages from beginning students to seasoned professionals in a variety of settings including public concerts, exams, theatre productions, radio broadcasts and the National Eisteddfod.