Naomi Crellin


Naomi graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice from the Elder Conservatorium (University of Adelaide) and has been a member of many choirs, orchestras and ensembles throughout her career. In addition, Naomi has played a wide range of musical instruments including piano, cello and oboe.

Beginning her vocal journey first in the Australian Girls’ Choir and then the Adelaide Girls Choir (now Young Adelaide Voices), she was a founding member of two vocal groups, wrote and arranged material for and produced albums for both groups and toured widely both within Australia and throughout Europe.

She won the Young Australian Composer of the Year Award (1996) and Best Undergraduate Vocalist Award (2001) from the Elder Conservatorium. Naomi has also studied classical and jazz voice, conducting and jazz ballet, and has taught individual piano and vocal students, as well as directed many choirs and vocal ensembles. She is a much-sought after adjudicator and choral coach, both in Australia and internationally.

After joining The Idea Of North in early 2002, Naomi quickly became a significant contributor to the group’s repertoire through her writing and arranging, and has been their Musical Director for many years. Her arranging skills are now renowned the world over, and she is regularly commissioned to arrange for other vocal groups both locally and internationally.

Naomi lives in Sydney with her German husband and two young children.

Anagram of your name: Moral Incline

If you weren't a singer in The Idea of North, what would you be doing? Singing in another vocal harmony group; probably one that I formed instead of joining TION. I'd also probably be doing more teaching, adjudicating and commission writing.

Most embarrassing moment on stage? Luckily the night I got food poisoning I managed to make it off stage, otherwise this answer would have been much more graphic.

Top 5 favourite singers: Sting, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby McFerrin, Katie Noonan, Lior

Top 5 favourite vocal groups: (In no particular order) The Real Group, Rajaton, Take 6, Really good choirs.

If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, it would be? Modern Australian fusion. Is that cheating?

As someone who started as a fan of TION and is now a part of the group, how would you describe that transition from audience to stage? Surreal. It took at least a couple of years to get used to, and I still have moments where my inner fan looks around on stage and has a mini freak out.

Best part of this job? The connection: me to the music, me to the others in the group, the music to the audience, the audience to us...

Worst part of this job? The admin!

What were you like in High School? Total music nerd.

What is your pet peeve? I have a few: overuse of autotune on a cappella albums, the unwrapping of lollies during concerts, bad spelling and grammar, when Nick beats me at Scrabble.

What do you love about the other TION members? Emma – I love her cheekiness contrasted by her genuineness. I am in love with her voice - I am a better singer when I'm singing with her. I love the attitude she's brought into this group, and the commitment from day one to make it the absolute best it can be. And she has me in stitches. The non-flesh wound kind.

Nick – I like his different perspective on the music world, not coming from a strict musical upbringing. He's loosened my attitude to many things musical.On a personal level I admire his openness and transparency; he's one of those people you feel is a good friend immediately. I also totally rate his tenacity and positive attitude. He's been a guiding light for TION for over two decades.

Luke - having known Luke since Uni days, I knew we were in for a treat when he joined TION. Luke is one of those beautiful souls who assumes the best of everyone. He is humble yet highly skilled, and wonderfully creatively-minded. He doesn't take things personally (even when they're meant that way!), and is a very diligent musician. He loves a chat, and will talk openly and personally to people from all walks of life. He's also a master of the mic-dropping one-liners.

Where does your inspiration for writing music/arrangements come from? How do you go about it? More than anything, I have a love affair with reinvention. I often begin at the lyric, and experiment with changing the music to put a different spin on the song's meaning. I know I'm on the right path when the arrangements seems to write itself.

Who would play you as the starring role in the movie of your life? As a kid: Punky Brewster. As an adult: Sandra Bullock.