Our Creative Team


Nicole Thomson
Musical Director

Nicole Thomson began her professional career as singer, conductor, and creative artist almost twenty years ago.

Nicole was a member of The Song Company, Australia’s leading a cappella vocal sextet, touring extensively throughout Europe, Asia, The United States and Australasia. With them, she has performed countless pieces, spanning a thousand years of music, in over 18 countries and 13 languages.

She continues to travel regularly overseas, as a free-lance specialist, sharing her skills with audiences and musicians worldwide.

Nicole has been involved in many recordings for award-winning films, documentaries and video games, including ‘South Solitary’; ‘Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole’; ‘Happy Feet 2’; ‘World Of Warcraft – Starcraft’; ‘Lotto Dreaming’; ‘Terratoma’; and can also be found on many albums released through ‘The Song Company’, ‘ABC Classic’ and ‘Tall Poppies’ labels.

In 2015, Nicole was invited to take part in a unique opportunity as part of a performance team leading the first ‘Alnwick Music Camp’, a musical initiative of SPECTRUM: The Culture Exchange Specialists, inviting a cultural exchange between the United Kingdom and the Asiatic Region.

With the success of the pilot programs in the UK and Malaysia, Nicole has been invited to return to the program in 2016, and be a part of the program in Australia in 2017.

Nicole is currently the Choral Education Coordinator for Gondwana and Sydney Children’s Choirs, overseeing their educational development and creating performance opportunities for young singers.

In September, Nicole travelled to the Pilberra to work with indigenous youth in remote WA and conduct as part of the 2015 Songfest Festival.

Nicole manages a primary music education business called ‘Jellybeans Music’, allowing schools to access quality music education, which fulfils all required outcomes of the new National Curriculum.

Through song, instrumental tuition and theoretical knowledge, schools have found the inclusion of music into their schools has had a significant positive effect on the students academic improvements, because of the way music affects the brain’s activity. She currently manages staff in NSW and is keen for Queensland to see the benefits of such a program.

In 2016, Nicole is taking up the position of Musical Director of the Mackay Choral Society, with whom she sang as a teenager. She is excited about the upcoming performances scheduled and has some adventurous programs planned for the future.

Nicole also has a community choir based in Sydney, which is associated with a community orchestra, performing twice yearly.

Nicole teaches a small group of students, some of whom are involved in national music theatre productions of: ‘Strictly Ballroom’; ‘Broadway to Oz: Hugh Jackman Live In Concert’; ‘The Secret Garden’ and the upcoming ‘We Will Rock You’ (2016).

Nicole began lecturing at CQU in 2012 and in 2016, joins the full-time staff at the Central Queensland Conservatorium. She is proud to be associated with a Conservatorium where the primary focus is a student’s musical excellence.



Prof. Dr. Judith Brown AM
Official Accompanist

Professor Judith Brown is the Director of the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music within CQUniversity, Australia. A graduate of Elder Conservatorium of Music and CQUniversity, Judith has performed with some of Australia’s leading classical musicians and is also an accomplished performer of music theatre and cabaret genres.

In 2010 she received an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning. She regularly publishes on music education topics, and has also adjudicated at eisteddfods and music festivals. She has been the accompanist for the Mackay Choral Society since 2008.



 Vanessa Dale

Vanessa Dale
Ensemble & Rehearsal Conductor

Vanessa Dale is a well-known performer in the Mackay region. Having sung in her family band and as a soloist for many years now, she has had great success in a wide range of vocal competitions and Eisteddfods throughout Queensland. Vanessa was a student of the Margaret Harvison Vocal Studio for 12 years and attributes her success to the guidance she received in this time.

In 2006, Vanessa completed her Bachelor of Music at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music and went on to complete her Post Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching, majoring in Primary Music Education.

Vanessa commenced teaching at Emmanuel Catholic Primary School in 2009 where she was appointed as a Music Teacher. She soon ‘won over’ the students with her enthusiastic approach to Music. During this time, Vanessa discovered her love of Choral conducting. 

Her passion and drive for Music has seen her attain many outstanding musical accomplishments. For the past 10 years she has trained and conducted numerous Emmanuel choirs at the annual Eisteddfod. Emmanuel placed in the Primary School Choral Championship each year. Vanessa’s talent has not gone unnoticed having been recognised at the Mackay Eisteddfod for her outstanding ability as conductor and awarded the most Proficient Conductor each year since 2016.

This year, Vanessa is excited to be conducting the Mackay Choral Society’s small ensembles. Her new role within the Choral Society comes at a perfect time, as Vanessa has put her career as a school Music Teacher on hold for the moment to focus on being a mother to her two little girls. Vanessa expressed how she is “Looking forward to working alongside Jan Whelan to produce some amazing ensembles and making beautiful music together.”

Jan Whelan

Jan Whelan
Ensemble Accompanist


Chantal Kay
Rehearsal Conductor and Accompanist


Lauren Menzies
Rehearsal Accompanist