There is no shortage of young musical talent coming from the Gunnedah Conservatorium and 16-year-old student Hayley Munro has shown her singing capabilities to some of the best conductors and music professionals from around Australia.

She spent 10 days with Gondwana National Choirs in Sydney after being accepted following an audition and interview.

The choir allows children and teens to gain world-class training from leading artists in the industry.

“It is the national choir of Australia, which is fairly awesome,” Hayley said.

She was involved with the National Choral School program during the school holidays.

Hayley was placed in the Singer’s Choir as an alto, which had performers ranging from 12 to 17 years.

While this is a rare opportunity for many people, it was not Hayley’s first experience with Gondwana Choirs.

Her involvement in the 2020 Voices of Angels was her introduction to the National Choirs and a chance to sing at the Sydney Opera House.

“Gondwana is awesome and we got so many opportunities and there are so many amazing conductors from all over Australia and the world,” Hayley said.

“They just bring so many experiences and life advice to the table and they are just so talented.”

The 10 days of hard work and excitement crescendoed with two concerts at the impressive Sydney Conservatorium.

“I got to meet composers and Felix Riebl from The Cat Empire and we performed a heap of his songs at our second concert,” she said.

“[Sydney Conservatorium] is a beautiful venue.

“They have got a gorgeous organ up the back and some beautiful lights.

“It is just awesome to be able to meet all of these people and hopefully form connections that I can use in the future.

“Especially being from little rural Australia, sometimes it can be hard to find people outside the [Gunnedah] Conservatorium who are so passionate about music as much as you are.

“Then you go to somewhere like the National Choral School and [you form a connection] and you are all so dedicated to making music and doing what you love.

“It is hard to describe what it is to people who do not experience it.”

Her journey into music started with piano lessons as a child in which her teacher had noticed she enjoyed singing along to the scales.

She was entered in the Gunnedah Eisteddfod with her debut cover of Les Misérables’ Castle on a Cloud.

Teacher Jamie Brown had contacted her mum asking if she would like professional lessons and so it began.

She looks back at all the opportunities she has been given in this life such as being at Calrossy Anglican School on a music scholarship and more recently, singing with Todd McKenney for the Gunnedah Australia Day awards. She knows it was only possible because she sang that “dirty little peasant song that was far too high” (Castle on a Cloud) at the Gunnedah Eisteddfod all those years ago.

Read about the Gunnedah Conservatorium Choir singing with Todd McKenny here: Star performance from young singers – Gunnedah Times

She is self-described as a theatre nerd and hopes to see her music career take shape in adulthood.

“I would love to make music and singing my life,” she said.

“It is already such a major part of what I do and who I am, so, I plan to make that permanent.”

Her future hopefully involves a Bachelor of Music and being involved in a professional choir singing or even the one conducting one day.

“We will have to see where life takes me but that is sort of the direction I am heading in,” she said.

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