PARSONS, JOHN WAYNE, Yugarra, Meriam Le and Ugar high baritone

John Wayne Parsons is a Yugarra and Ugar high baritone who has always loved singing, growing up in a family with strong spiritual and cultural influences. He enjoys all types of music and has provided backing vocals for various artists including his sister and mother in the acappella group Mirror Child, along with backing vocal for several songs on Uncle Archie Roach’s album Into the Blood Stream. In 2009, John was a member of Australia’s leading Gospel choir, ‘The Café at the Gates of Salvation’.

John completed the Victorian College of the Arts Music (VCAM) Foundation Music Performance course at the University of Melbourne in 2010. In the same year, John had his operatic debut in Short Black Opera’s premiere season of Australia’s first Indigenous Opera Pecan Summer, in Mooroopna. John has performed in successive seasons of Pecan Summer in Melbourne 2011, Perth 2012 and Adelaide 2014. In the Perth season in 2012, John performed the lead role of James. Pecan Summer has been a great introduction to the world of classical vocal music and opera and because of this opportunity John is now living his dream of classical singing and performing. John continues to work with Deborah Cheetham and is a developing artist with Short Black Opera Company. He will play the lead role of James again in Short Black Opera’s 2016 Gala performance of Pecan Summer at the Sydney Opera House, September 12.

John is currently the Schools and Community Liaison Officer at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, Faculty of VCA & MCM, University of Melbourne.