LYNELLE LEIGHTON has been an integral part of the professional music industry as a pianist and vocalist for the past 30 years.
Lynelle’s was blessed with a nurturing musical childhood. Her mother was a piano teacher, and she was part of her church choir and performed each Sunday, and was involved in any musical group she could find at school. She first sang in front of an audience at 5 at a church talent night debuting “Happiness Is”. There was always the country music radio channel on at home. She had weekly piano lessons and won numerous Eisteddfods and Talent Quests. At the age of 17 she was accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium of Music majoring in classical piano and voice.
In 1988 Lynelle passed a successful audition to become the second mezzo soprano in a 12 voice jazz vocal group which performed regularly all over Australia in the corporate world. This opened many doors for her in the professional music industry and as she finished her study, she worked with vocal groups, showbands, comedy and theatre productions, and performing as a solo piano/vocalist in some of the most prestigious piano bars throughout Australia including 5 star hotels such as the Novatel, Sheraton, Hilton and Parkroyal chains.
In 1995, Lynelle moved to Sydney to record her first album “Standstill” and this album revealed country music was a genre of music she was passionate about and naturally produced. This album sold a few thousand copies but Lynelle was unable to pursue a career as an original artist as she got married and started a family. But country music never let her go, and from almost 10 years later she has enjoyed working as keyboard/vocalist for the iconic legend John McSweeney, and working with many of Australia’s top country artist including Lee Conway, Lucky Starr, and Chad Morgan.
In 2001 Lynelle entered the tribute show world to become the musical director and keyboard/backing vocalist for The Australian Elvis show. She went on to perform in her own 3 productions as Agnetha Faltskog in ABBALIVE, keyboard vocalist in DISCO MANIA, the lead in The Magic of Olivia, and appearing weekly as a country artist at venues and festivals throughout Australia.
Lynelle’s vocal and keyboard skills have been displayed Australia wide over 28 years through her work in television and radio, and during her extensive career she has worked with some of Australia’s top artists including Wickety Wak, Glen Shorrock, Rhonda Birchmore, Lisa McCune, Ian Stenlake, and John Farnham.
Her warm personality, fun sense of humour, and the ability to connect with the audience whatever the situation has allowed Lynelle to entertain tens of thousands of music lovers throughout her career. Add a lifetime of musical training and a passion for the artistic world of entertainment and Lynelle stands out as one of Australia’s top female entertainers.
In 2003 Lynelle decided to develop her skills as a producer and created her own successful shows ABBALIVE (formerly Dancing Queen – Australia’s Ultimate ABBA Show), DISCO MANIA (a fabulous tribute to the 70’s featuring a 9 piece band) and The Magic of Olivia.
Today ABBALIVE is known as the most authentic reproduction of ABBA available on the market today, and is in its fifteenth year of success. ABBALIVE presents ABBA as they were live in concert, and the show covers the songs and costumes from the groups three main tours in 1975 (Europe), 1977 (Australia), and 1979 (Canada and Wembley). Featuring a 6 piece band of some of the worlds finest musicians including Mr Geoffrey Lamb who played bass for the release of the Mamma Mia Musical on London’s West End, Lynelle ensures that ABBALIVE stays at the top of the market with perfectionistic attention to detail, musicianship, and entertainment.
DISCO MANIA was released in 2011 and features a completely live 9 piece band with 2 lead singers and a brilliantly entertaining 3 piece brass section. The show includes over 30 of the best disco hits of all time, including 5 medleys by Earth Wind and Fire, Saturday Night Fever, Jackson 5, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Village People. This show is brilliant for 70’s theme nights at corporate events, clubs, parties and festivals.
Although not her most successful production, The Magic of Olivia has a special place in Lynelle’s heart. She grew up on the music of Olivia and singing along to her songs brings her joy at any age. This show is perfect for daytime and guest spots in Morning Melodies and Gala Day events. It covers her career chronologically through her beginnings in country music, progression into the 80’s (with a mini tribute to Sir Peter Allen), Xanadu and Grease. The music of John Farrar is a highlight in this show.
In the past decade Lynelle has become a well known artist in her own right rather than playing a role, and her passion still to this day is in her craft as a country artist.
In 1988, her second year at the Conservatorium, Lynelle was recommended to the Yamaha chain of Music School’s based on her exceptional aural ability. She spent 5 happy years working at The Grange School in Brisbane, teaching over 100 students per week!, In 1998 she developed her own music school, The Hills Music Centre. At its maximum this school hosted 180 students per week with 5 staff covering Piano, Voice, Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Theory. After the arrival of her beautiful daughter in 2000, Lynelle minimised the school down to a manageable level and continues to teach each week.
She has enjoyed 30 years of passing on her knowledge and experience to her wonderful students, preparing them for exams and tertiary study. All Lynelle’s students have received excellent results, with over 95% receiving Honours or High Distinction.