Lea Baker is a vocal pedagogue, founder and Musical Director of Endeavour Harmony Chorus. Growing up in a musical family where harmony singing was "normal", Lea developed a wonderful ear and a passion for a cappella harmony singing. She joined a local Sydney chorus in 1988 and spent six years with them, becoming Lead Section Leader and eventually Assistant Director. To fulfil her dream of leading a chorus of her own, in 1996 Lea formed the Endeavour Harmony Chorus.
A Certified Master Director, Lea is also a skilled vocal coach. Her private voice studio is in Peakhurst Heights, NSW. Info at www.raiseyourvoice.net.au. Lea shares her knowledge and enthusiasm throughout Australia, coaching choruses, quartets and individual singers on a regular basis. In May 2021, Lea graduated from NIDA with a Master Of Fine Arts (Voice) in May 2021. Apart from singing, her special area of interest is vocal health and longevity for teachers, who often have a high vocal load and are susceptible to vocal fatigue. Using the techniques of theatre actors, Lea has developed a course on vocal health aimed at teachers, which is being run through Teacher Training Australia (TTA). https://tta.edu.au/
Lea is also a seasoned quartet singer (baritone). She was baritone in the quartet 'Andiamo', who competed on the regional competition stage six times and placed in the top five at regional contest five times. Her new quartet 'VOX' won the 'Novice Quartet' award at their first contest.
Under Lea’s leadership, Endeavour Harmony Chorus has thrilled audiences with dynamic and energetic harmony singing. The chorus was featured on the ABC 'Sing Out Sydney' in 2019 and perform widely around the Sydney area, from Citizenship performances to the Sydney Opera house! The chorus currently holds the record for the highest chorus score achieved in the National Contest and the highest score and placement for an Australian chorus at the International level. The chorus has competed on the International Stage four times, placing as high as 10th in the world.
Karen Ramirez is the Assistant Director of Endeavour Harmony Chorus. Growing up Karen studied classical piano completing AMEB 8th grade and 6th grade musicianship winning 2 scholarships and various eisteddfods. With her love of music she sang in the school choir whilst undertaking lessons in violin and clarinet to allow her to perform in the school band. As a young adult she took up vocal lessons giving her the confidence to audition for solo and wanting to share her passion for music, at the age of 14 years, Karen started teaching piano to children in her neighbourhood. As a vocal coach she helped individuals participate and pass singing exams, and she has also directed groups of children in various aged choirs.
Karen joined Endeavour Harmony Chorus as a Lead in the year 2000, quickly becoming Lead Section Leader. Wanting to expand her knowledge and understanding of the barbershop art form Karen undertook the Directors Certificate Program and became Assistant Director in 2010.
Karen is passionate about education not just for herself but to share and teach it across our region. She is continually developing her skills by attending workshops and classes both regionally and internationally at every opportunity.