The Song Company | Collaborators
Elizabeth Sheppard
Composer
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Name
Elizabeth Sheppard
Biography
Elizabeth Sheppard’s music combines ancient Noongar Aboriginal musical traditions with contemporary themes, using expressive, culturally infused motifs and textures. Through this fusion of old and new, she strengthens ties to country and kin, and educates community groups. Her extended family, dispersed across Australia, keep music, story and gardening traditions alive, that connect them to the ancient songlines that crisscross Australia. Elizabeth also explores contemporary and historical Australian cultural, governance and religious scenarios in her music. Her Kooranginy Suite on invasion, mourning and the hope of peace through truth telling, was premiered by Ensemble Offspring in November 2017. In 2018 Elizabeth, who is a professionally trained Cathedral Cantor and theologian, mentored Dharawal soprano Sonya Holowell to perform her pieces Kaya Mary, Warangka Makialo, Wonthaggi and Burradowi with Ensemble Offspring at Eugene Goossens Hall, Sydney, singing alto with Sonya in Kaya Mary, and playing clapsticks for Wonthaggi. Following her 2019 Sydney Living Museums “Songs of Home” commission for the Royal Australian Navy Band, that produced Karlinkiri Hearth, Elizabeth recently completed a commissioned piano work, Kalgoorli Silky Pear, for Scott Davie’s Henrion Project. Her commissioned SATB choral / piano elegy, Gandangarragal, honouring Blue Mountains Country (for River City Voices Choir), will be perfomed next May 2021. On 9 Nov 2020 she recorded her cycle of six solo soprano Noongar language pieces with piano accompaniments, played by Kimberley Steele, at ANU Music Studio, and her ten new Australian Christmas Carols will shortly be released. Accompanied by pianist Alan Hicks, Elizabeth is scheduled to premiere her Noongar language song, Ngalak Noonook Balga, and sing one or her new carols, at Sydney Conservatorium’s Recital East Hall on Wed Dec 1 2020. She is an Associate Composer of the Australian Music Centre, and a Ngarra-Burria First Peoples Composers Program Alumna, and is currently studying Postgraduate composition at the Australian National University School of Music.