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. A founding member of two vocal groups in Adelaide, Naomi has produced CDs for both groups and toured widely both within Australia and in 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 voice, conducting, piano and jazz ballet, and has taught piano, vocal and choral students for several years.

After joining TION in early 2002, Naomi quickly became a significant contributor to the group's repertoire through her writing and arranging and has also utilised her extensive choral training and experience in taking a major responsibility for managing the group's rehearsals and educational activities. Since becoming a member of the group, Naomi has travelled widely on all overseas tours and having spent a number of years studying the German language is a very useful person to have on a European tour!

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.

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, Jamie Cullum, Julie Andrews (sort of a joke and sort of for real)

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 at Nick or Andy while we're on stage and has a mini freak out.

Best part of this job? The variety is pretty amazing. I don't know if I could ever cope with a desk job after nearly a decade of this lifestyle!

Worst part of this job? The hardships associated with being an independent group in a small country with a sports obsession.

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? Sal – I've been listening to her sing for more than 20 years and I still just love that voice. And I've been her friend for more than 20 years and I still just love that girl.

Nick – I'm in awe of his range and colour palette. I like his different perspective on arranging and performing, 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 after about half an hour.

Andy – I was a big fan of Andy's arranging before I joined the group and I still am. I've learnt a lot from him in that way. And his packhorse role is one I constantly admire him for doing with such patience and steadfastness. Andy's got a dry, wicked sense of humour I particularly relate to. He's also very reliable, which is great to have in a group of absent-minded musicians.

Where does your inspiration for writing music/arrangements come from? How do you go about it? It comes from hearing another version and wanting to sing it, or wanting to change it (and then sing it).

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