Benjamin Leske

Inclusion, exclusion, and the performance of difference? Ben’s thesis examines the social world of community choral singing through a qualitative and reflexive study of member experiences of singing with the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Youth Chorus (now, shOUT Youth Chorus), the youth chorus of Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, Inc (MGLC). Ben’s study explores what the Youth Chorus means for its young members, as a place of social and musical inclusion, exclusion, safety, and the performance of identities. Ben is a community musician, choral leader, and scholar, and brings to his PhD a social sciences research background in international relations and foreign policy. Ben is active as a community choir leader in Melbourne, working with singers of all ages and abilities, but with particular interest in supporting young adults to sing. Between 2009 and 2014, Ben was the music director of the Youth Chorus and associate music director of MGLC.