Our Director

Helen Earley has devoted a lifetime of musical experiences to her role as Director of the Helen Earley Ensemble.

She commenced her music studies on piano at the age of 7. Her singing experiences throughout primary and secondary education involved solo, small ensemble and choral work as well as a passion for conducting from the age of 8. Throughout her lifetime, her inspiration and the quest for musical excellence have come from Mansel Jones and Elwyn Barber.

She commenced formal singing lessons at the age of 17 with Elwyn and attained her A Mus A in 1986. She was invited to be the guest performer at the presentation ceremony. In Eisteddfod competitions she won many awards including the Queensland Eisteddfod Bursary. After completing her Nursing Diploma, receiving the Matron’s Award for Best Graduate, she continued with her singing and over the years performed leading roles in 10 Musical Productions including “The King and I, Sound of Music, Camelot, Oklahoma and Song of Norway”. She also performed the principal role in the opera, “The Bartered Bride”.

Helen has been a singing teacher for over 38 years now, providing professional vocal tuition to hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to tertiary study and the professional stage. Her conducting career began in 1979 with “The Flying Pieman” and she has achieved great success with school and community adult and youth choirs. She formed her first choir in 1988, ‘The Earleybirds’ and in 1992 formed 2 choirs, ‘The Academy Singers Ensemble’ and ‘The Academy Singers Youth Ensemble’. In 2004 the choir amalgamated and was renamed ‘The Helen Earley Ensemble’.

In 2002 Helen was invited to direct the Hymns of Praise Concert held on Easter Day in the Empire Theatre as part of the Australian Gospel Music Festival. This Concert became a powerful yearly event and in 2009 was re-named ‘Burstows Easter Praise’. It ran until 2011.

She has been guest Music Director for a number of Musical Productions, “Show Boat, South Pacific, The Wizard of Oz and Me and My Girl” and has written and directed numerous musicals and theatre restaurants.

Her community involvements have included terms as President, Secretary and Treasurer of the City of Toowoomba Eisteddfod Committee and Secretary of the Queensland Eisteddfod Committee as well as Adjudicator at Choral Fanfares and Music Festivals.

Helen’s rehearsals are always vigorous and exciting as singers are encouraged to explore the depths of their talents, to grow technically and to unite as a team to create a polished and emotive product.