The Idea of North

from left: Nick Begbie (tenor), Andrew Piper (bass), Sally Cameron (soprano)
& Naomi Crellin (alto)


This wondrous Australian group is one of the world's finest a cappella (unaccompanied) vocal jazz quartets. They will be performing a concert in Kangaroo Valley Hall at 7.30pm on Friday June 27 2008. Tickets: $30, $25 (concession) available from the Kangaroo Valley Supermarket - or mail order via this concert booking form. Enquiries: Peter Wesley-Smith (tel: 02 4465 1299; email).

The Idea of North has traveled the globe spreading their unique style of vocal music: vibrant, a penchant for variety, infectious humour, diverse tastes and talents, superb arrangements ...

Familiar to the Europe, U.S. and Asian scenes as well as their busy schedule within Australia, the group has toured and studied overseas with renowned vocalists, absorbing new and innovative styles of music into their expansive repertoire.

In 2003 the group won the largest a cappella competition in the world - the first (and, to date, the only) non-U.S. group to take first prize. They also received the 'Audience Favourite' award, and Andrew Piper received 'Best Original Arrangement' for his extremely popular rendition of Mas Que Nada.

Performing and recording regularly with such jazz greats as James Morrison and Don Burrows, the group has seven CDs and a DVD on the market in their own right as well as many collaborations, compilations and guest appearances. Their CD Here & Now is currently the highest selling CD ever released on the ABC Jazz label.

Nick

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graduated from The Australian National University (ANU) in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Japanese/Linguistics), and has been singing professionally or semi-professionally for 14 years. He was lead tenor with the Canberra School of Music's vocal jazz ensemble, toured with group and was a featured soloist on the group's first CD. A largely self-taught musician, Nick has been involved in a wide variety of musical groups - as a piano/vocalist throughout university, as a soloist and lead in musical theatre (roles include Hero from Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and Jesus in Lloyd-Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar), fronting a big band, small jazz ensembles and as a member of a wide range of a cappella vocal groups. In one of these, a barbershop quartet - Four to the Bar - produced the gold medal-winning performance from forty four other groups at the Australian National Barbershop Convention in 1997.

Nick is a founding member of the group, and manages many of the group's business affairs.

Andrew

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has a Master of Music degree from The Canberra School of Music (ANU). Following graduation at the Diploma level in 1993, Andrew accepted a lectureship at the Canberra School of Music which continued until 1998 when he took up a full-time position with TION. He has worked in the music industry as a writer/arranger and performer in and for many ensembles - both as a vocalist and as a trumpeter. As a freelance musician for many professional ensembles and bands, Andrew has been on several overseas tours as a performer prior to his involvement with TION. These included trips to Beijing and the Monterey Jazz Festival. As an accomplished composer and arranger, many of Andrew's outstanding arrangements are featured on The Idea of North's CD recordings.

Andrew provides both a solid underpinning baseline and extraordinary vocal percussion in seamless combination - in reality he adds a fifth 'instrument' to the group. A founding member of TION, Andrew won the best arrangement award at the group's winning appearance at the 2003 Harmony Sweepstakes final in the USA.

Sally

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studied at The Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide following classical training throughout high school. In 1995 and 1996 Sally won the Adelaide Junior Vocal Championship - the only person to have won this event two years running. She also studied alto saxophone and violin throughout high school and in 1997 won an orchestral scholarship for two years of single studies at the Elder Conservatorium of Music where, in addition to her saxophone scholarship, she studied vocal jazz performance with Connaitre Miller. She was a founding member of Pure Harmony, a vocal quartet which recorded a self-funded album in 1997 and worked together until 2000. During this time Sally also sang and travelled to Europe with Young Adelaide Voices (formerly Adelaide Girls Choir).

Since 2001, as the compere and solo singer in the Band of the South Australia Police, Sally has performed almost daily in various ensembles including a concert band, a big band, a rock band, small modern jazz combo, a marching band, and a Dixieland jazz band. Joining The Idea of North has given Sally the opportunity to combine two great loves - vocal jazz and small group a cappella music.

Naomi

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graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice from the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, and has been a member of various choirs, orchestras and ensembles. In addition, Naomi has played a wide range of musical instruments including piano, cello, recorder and oboe. A founding member of two vocal groups in Adelaide, she has produced CDs for both groups and toured widely both within Australia and in Europe. She won the Young Australian Composer of the Year Award (1996) and has toured overseas twice with The Adelaide Girls Choir. She has also studied voice, conducting, piano and jazz ballet, and has taught piano, vocal and choral students for several years.

After joining TION in early 2002, Naomi quickly became a significant contributor to the group's repertoire through her writing and arranging and has also learnt to utilise her extensive choral training and experience in rehearsals and performance. She has maintained from her school days a basic grasp of the German language that is helpful to all when touring overseas.

The Idea of North will be performing at 7.30pm on Friday June 27 in Kangaroo Valley Hall, Kangaroo Valley. Tickets: $30, $25 (concession) available at the Kangaroo Valley Newsagency, or by mail order via this concert booking form, or from Peter Wesley-Smith (tel: 02 4465 1299; email). Concert presented by the Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership (raising funds for projects in East Timor).



The group's CDs and DVD will be available for sale at the gig. You can also buy them at The ABC Shop, Koorong Books, Sanity, Chaos Music and elsewhere.

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page last updated June 8 2008
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