Elizabeth Sheppard

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Elizabeth Sheppard Cantor and Composer BA GradDipEd ACertCM(UK) STB (BTh/BPhil) AdvDipMusPerf AdvDipAbStuds NILA OblSB EMAIL: esheppard.oblate@gmail.com

An Australian born musician with Gundungarra (Blue Mountains, New South Wales) and Noongar Yamatji (Western Australian) indigenous heritage, Elizabeth grew up playing the organ and piano in churches, and singing in choirs in Adelaide, South Australia. She studied piano, Gregorian Chant, Western Music and singing at Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University, as a Bachelor of Arts student. She sang soprano with the Tasmanian Opera Company Chorus in the 1970s, progressed to Church ministry studies, completed UK Church Cantor's Certification in 2000, and sang with the Melbourne Chorale and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Later tertiary studies in Theology, Musicology, Church Music, Ethnomusicology, and Australian Aboriginal culture and music, and twenty two years of mentoring by Aboriginal Elders through Eora and Tranby Colleges in Sydney, the Australian National University, and Reconciliation for Western Sydney, have enriched her composition and performance skills. In 2004 Elizabeth completed a research project on women in church music, and was awarded the International Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB). In 2004 she graduated from Eora Aboriginal College, Sydney with an Advanced Diploma in Music Performance, and went on to complete Advanced Diplomas in Aboriginal Studies and Aboriginal Law at Tranby National Centre for Adult Education, Sydney. Her current focus, as one of five mentored Indigenous composers currently sponsored by APRA AMCOS, the Australian Music Centre, Mooghalin Arts and the Australian National University under the Australian National Indigenous Composers Initiative Program, is on composing contemporary choral and instrumental music for chamber ensembles. On August 3 2017 Elizabeth's three movement suite Kooranginy, based on indigenous themes of prayer, conflict and the Uluru Elders’ Statement call for a Treaty with Australia's First Nations, was premiered by Ensemble Offspring at the Eora Aboriginal College Theatre, Sydney, Australia, and recorded and podcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on ABC Classic FM. Elizabeth is currently composing a new chamber ensemble piece for Ensemble Offspring, and is mentored by Dr. Kim Cunio of ANU..

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