Heather Percy is an Australian composer and music educator based in Canberra. She completed a Bachelor of Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University, studying piano under the late Igor Hmelnitsky; a Masters of Music Studies from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne University and is currently completing a Masters of Music (Composition) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying with Dr Paul Stanhope.
As an educator, Heather has taught music from Kindergarten to Year 12 and established a reputation for excellence in choral direction. This saw Heather awarded a Churchill Fellowship (The Dame Roma Mitchell Fellowship for Excellence in the Performing Arts) in 2005. From 2012 – 2013, Heather was one of the resource writers for the SSO ‘Meet the Music’ education program.
Heather’s composing career began in 2015 and initially focused on choral composition. Her works for children are stylistically eclectic, drawing inspiration from contemporary art music, jazz and popular styles with some of these published in the Young Voices of Melbourne Choral Series. Heather’s SATB compositions draw upon her love of the European and English choral tradition, with influences from early music to contemporary art music, and combine melodic lyricism with a rich harmonic palette with intricate textures. She has completed several choral commissions, including ‘Ne Les Oublions Jamais’ (Let us not forget them) for Birralee Voices ‘Western Front Centenary Choir’ as part of the ANZAC Centenary Celebrations in France 2017 and has also collaborated with Australian poets in the creation of new choral repertoire. Her choral music has been chosen as set pieces for eisteddfods, presented at conferences and workshops and performed nationally and internationally (UK, France, USA) by a variety of choirs including Birralee Voices, Brisbane; Brisbane Chamber Choir; Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir and the Young Voices of Melbourne.
In recent years, Heather has broadened her approach to include instrumental works, the first of these, her Flute Sonatina (2019) was composed for Australian flautist Virginia Taylor and pianist Daniel de Borah and broadcast in 2020 on ABC Classic FM.
Photo courtesy of Tyson Sadlo www.tysonsadlo.com