Naomi Cooper is a freelance musician based in Sydney, Australia. Naomi graduated from a Bachelor of Music with distinction and went on to be awarded First Class Honours for her research project, Two Hands, Many Voices: Learning to be a choral director. She has recently completed her doctoral thesis, Sing to me: learning to direct community choirs. Naomi is currently working as a choral conductor, performer, sessional academic, guitar teacher, musicianship teacher and workshop facilitator. Naomi is the current President of the NSW/ACT Chapter of the Australian National Choral Association.
As a choral conductor, Naomi has extensive experience working with children's, school, university and community choirs and is in high demand across Sydney. She has conducted for many choirs including the Australian Youth Choir (Musical Director for NSW), Sydney Children's Choir, Sutherland Shire Choral Society, Kooskõlas, Sydney Alterna Choir, ChoraLocal Community Choirs, the New Day Carers Choir, ParkinSong, Northside Community Choir, the Joan Kids Chorus, Mountains Choral Society, and a number of school choirs (International Grammar School Sydney, Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College, Mosman High School and Caroline Chisholm College). She regularly conducts in professional venues including the Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall, Sydney Town Hall, Chatswood Concourse, St Mary's Cathedral and Sydney Conservatorium of Music as well as at private and public events. Naomi's expertise in the area of choral conducting has been recognised through publications in books, journal articles and conference proceedings. She has presented her research on community choirs both interstate (Hobart, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney) and internationally (Singapore, Brazil, Japan, Scotland and Georgia).
2019 saw Naomi travel to Estonia to perform at Laulupidu with national Estonian-Australian choir Kooskõlas. In 2018, Naomi travelled to the USA as Assistant Musical Director to Tony Backhouse on his 10th USA Gospel Tour.
Naomi has presented choral workshops for Kodály NSW including 'Choir 101' as well as a Choral Reading Day, both in 2019.
As a chorister, Naomi has performed extensively with Sydney Philharmonia's widely acclaimed youth choir VOX. She has performed in many concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra including Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Howard Shore's The Lord of The Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers), Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt and Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades. She also performed in a concert conducted by renowned choral composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre, as well as many other concerts presented by Sydney Philharmonia. Naomi toured with VOX to Canberra, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
Guitar playing and teaching
Naomi trained as a classical guitarist and performs as a freelance musician on a regular basis. In addition to her classical training, Naomi is experienced in a range of other styles including pop rock and folk, having performed as a guitarist and vocalist with several pop, rock and folk bands. She currently performs as a guitarist and vocalist in a bluegrass band with recent performances at KiwiGrass (Hamilton, NZ), Kelly Country Pick (Beechworth, VIC), Northern Beaches Music Festival (Sydney, NSW) and Dorrigo Bluegrass and Folk Festival (Dorrigo, NSW). Naomi is a vibrant guitar teacher with experience teaching children and adults of all ages. Naomi is passionate about music education and believes in universal access to high quality music education. Naomi's structured, sequential and enjoyable approach to guitar tuition involves tailoring lessons to individual students’ learning styles, personalities, interests and existing skill set to ensure the best learning outcomes for all students. Naomi’s capacity to develop a strong rapport with her students fosters a love of music and learning.
Academic work and research
Naomi has worked as a sessional academic for choir and music analysis at Western Sydney University and for vocal studies and popular music studies at Macquarie University. She has worked as a research assistant on several research projects within the Department Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Naomi's own research has been published both nationally and internationally and she has recently been invited to collaborate on several research projects with colleagues in Australia and overseas.
National association service
Naomi serves on the committees of the following national associations:
ANCA NSW/ACT (Australian National Choral Association) as President and National Council representative,
ANATS NSW/ACT (Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing) as Treasurer and on the Board of Directors, and
Kodály NSW (Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia) as Vice-President.