Talking with Kym Dillon is exciting. It’s hard to put your finger on why. It may be that he makes you feel closer to music, draws you into its space, so that you feel if you listen carefully enough to him some of music’s mysteries might be revealed.
Kym started playing piano at age seven and by the high school years was playing regularly in jazz bands. He was selected to perform as part of the VCE’s Top Class acts for outstanding musical performance and then was further selected for Top Acts, the best of the best across all performing arts.
He went on to complete a Bachelor of Music Performance Honours in composition at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), to be awarded the ‘Beleura Sir George Tallis Award’ from the ‘Friends of the VCA’ for his work in the course in 2009, and the ‘Beleura John Tallis Award’ in 2010. More recently he’s composed a school song for Geelong High School, a cantata for orchestra and choir for the quincentennial of the Lutheran Reformation and composed a commission entitled ‘Liber Creatorum’ for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Kym always had the drive to ‘serve people with music in a practical way.’ An opportunity to realize that, came in 2009 when he was asked to conduct With One Voice Geelong choir. In subsequent years Kym took the choir from twelve members to over seventy. Kym wanted to ‘invite people into the adventure of music’ and that’s exactly what he does. It’s a joy to hear Kym lead the choir singing all four parts from bass to soprano, or go off on a tangent when someone’s mobile rings improvising from that.
The choir has members from all walks of life, many with varying degrees of disability, most with little musical experience and all who play their part in the choir’s four-part harmonies. Kym also conducts three other choirs across Melbourne.
Currently, Kym’s working on a YouTube series that aims to bridge the gap between classical music and the general populace. ‘A tour guide is required,’ he says with his usual effervescent enthusiasm.
Kym’s advice for anyone considering a career in music? Never stop listening to what inspired you in the first place. Keep the tank full, and be prepared to take on work that you never expected to.
Kym can be found playing with his jazz band, the Georgia Brooks Swingtet, on select Sunday afternoons at the Elephant & Castle Hotel. With One Voice Geelong choir meets Mondays 5.30pm at the Wesley Uniting Church in Yarra Street. https://www.facebook.com/WithOneVoiceGeelong/
Written by Tina Cartwright. Photo: Phil Hines Photography
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