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The Choir of Hard Knocks.


Multi award winning singer, conductor, teacher, composer, producer, director, author and recording artist, Jonathon Welch is one of Australia’s most unique and diverse artists with a career spanning four decades.

Jonathon has performed around the World alongside many of the finest singers, directors and conductors including Baz Lurhmann, John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, kd Lang, Grace Bumbry, Frederica Von Stade and Dame Joan Sutherland in some of the world’s great Concert Halls and Opera Houses in- cluding Carnegie Hall, New York, Royal Albert Hall, London and Sydney Opera House.

Previous Experience

Choir of Hard Knocks: In 2007, Jonathon’s work creating choirs for the homeless and disadvantaged in Australia was the subject of the internationally acclaimed ARIA, Logie and Helpmann award winning TV documentary ‘Choir of Hard Knocks’.

Other documentaries:He also created the ‘Jailbirds’ documentary in the Victorian Women’s Prisons in 2009, was a Judge on the highly successful ‘Battle of the Choirs’ TV series for Channel 7.

Awards: Jonathon has been recognised for his outstanding commitment to the music industry, youth music education and his work with marginalised and homeless communities with the Victorian and Australian of the Year Local Hero 2008, ANZAC of the Year 2009, an Honorary Doctorate, an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009 and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.

Social Inclusion: In 2009 Jonathon created and launched ‘Social Inclusion Week’ making Australia the only country in the world to celebrate Social Inclusion nationally, and in September 2012 launched his vision for the future of arts, cultural and wellbeing programs for all Australians with the ‘School of Hard Knocks’ and ‘Play It Forward’ programs in 2018.

Talking Points

Singing for Success - Group Workshops

Part one: The first 20 minutes or so of the workshop include fun interactive physical warmups and
'getting to know you' icebreaker style games that allow all the participants to start to relax
and feel comfortable working with their colleagues.

Part two: This next segment (takes 20 mins depending on the total allocated time) will see Jonathon
helping the participants to start to explore their voices with some fun vocal exercise and
warmups - including various different clever and hysterically funny rounds and tongue

Part three (additional option): Depending on the kind of outcome you want to achieve in this session - Jonathon can do several things in this last part of the session - again it depends on the total allocated time
for the whole session.

1. He can break the large group into 3 or 4 groups and teach each group a sing that they
then all sing together in a 'mash up' - that has the group sounding like an instant choir
singing in 3 - 4 parts at the same time. They then get to sing the songs to a backing track
that they finish the session with.

2. Depending on the objective of the session - Jonathon can get each of the groups that
started at the beginning (10-15 in each group) to write lyrics to a song of their own
choosing - using a designated theme or several words that you might be using as key
words for the conference and the outcome you're desiring i.e. working together, as one

Each group has about 10-15 minutes - then one by one, each group gets up and performs
their song in front of the rest of the group.
You and your staff can then either choose the best song as the 'winner' or not have any
'winners' per se - the choice is yours.
Just a quick note to let you know that Jonathon was absolutely terrific at the Novartis conference. He went over and above the call of duty with his workshop which everyone absolutely loved. He had an exhausting trip from Hobart to Port Douglas and still spent about 3 hours on his speech and workshop. He certainly was a highlight and loved by all. He also spent a lot of time at the end mingling with guests and discussing the Choir at length. Graffiti Group

Wow! It doesn't get any better than a standing ovation from an AMP audience. All the delegate feedback rated Jonathon's presentation as the most outstanding presentation on the main plenary which is only fitting for a man who has made such a difference to so many disadvantaged lives and has forced a nation to look at the homeless and destitute through a fresh pair of eyes. Our production team really appreciated the amount of work that Jonathon was prepared to put in prior to the event to get it just right for this very critical audience. It's a powerful story that Jonathon tells, which needs to be told again and again and again. We have no hesitation in providing a personal reference to any client who is thinking of using Jonathon at one of their events.

Australian Business Theatre

Jonathon's presentation was truly inspirational. The relevance to the conference was perfect and he is a total professional.

Corporate Communique

Jonathon was such a lovely person and was a pleasure to work with. His presentation and indeed his story was captivating and inspiring.

Macquarie International
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