The Idea of North

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Public Education Outreach

The Idea of North believes music education is for everyone. We work often in schools but fewer than 10% of these are public. Our vision is to even the score and provide public schools and students equal access.

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The ldea of North is passionate about singing, and about the fact that everyone *can* sing, if only given the opportunity. While a fairly large proportion of our national and international work has been through our education stream, the overwhelming majority of these engagements have been for private institutions – those with the budgets to make this happen.

With the wealth of talent and wave of passion for singing currently sweeping the nation, we feel it is time to even the score and be able to provide non-independent schools the same access to vocal and choral education as their more well-financed peers. Our goal is to visit at least one public school a month in 2020, and for that number to increase going forward.

The science surrounding singing is comprehensive: singers are happier, healthier, more highly achieving people who feel strongly connected to their society. Singing in groups and choirs can alleviate depression, anxiety and feelings of disconnect and isolation.

Vocal group friendships have bonds like no other, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds. Singing together activates both brain hemispheres, releases endorphins, and is darn good fun.

Students who sing throughout their school journey experience significantly lower stress levels, and the correlation between quality musical education and achievement levels in non-music subjects is significant.

You can help us make a difference to public school students not currently receiving anywhere near the same level of music education as their peers in independent schools.

Donations to this project will be used to facilitate The Idea of North visiting public schools throughout Australia in 2020 and beyond. The group tours regularly both nationally and internationally, and is often found popping into schools before and after their public performances, giving workshops, conducting masterclasses, and singing for the school and with the students, providing the young singers with an unparalleled industry opportunity to experience performing alongside one of Australia’s most well-respected musical entities.

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The Idea of North is a vocal group, serious about their music without taking themselves too seriously. The members of The Idea of North (TION) have studied in some of Australia’s foremost music schools – the Elder Conservatorium attached to Adelaide University, the Victorian College of the Arts, and the Canberra School of Music attached to the ANU. TION became a full time, professional ensemble in 1998.

TION has developed an enviable reputation, and has been described by James Morrison, another great icon of the Australian Jazz scene, as ‘the best contemporary vocal quartet in Australia’. With two ARIA awards under their collective belt, a significant local and international fan base, and a wonderful back-catalogue of over 15 albums, TION has sustained a career in Australia against many odds. In recent years, the group has expanded their focus to include a larger emphasis on education to invest in the next generation of vocalists and vocal ensembles in Australia.

In 2015, the group met and fell musically in love with Kai Kitamura, vocal percussionist extraordinaire from Japan. Kai is now a full-time member of the group, however his home base is still in Tokyo, which is something TION is trying very hard to change.


Caron Crossan


Leeta BAcon


Andrew & Irene Lund


Rayne Allinson


Barbara Deed


Wendy Morris


Peter Wesley-Smith


Jocelyn Browning


Masako Walker


Kathleen Inverarity


Beverley James



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