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2 Introduction


4 Brass 6 Jazz 8 Keyboard 10 Learning & Teaching 12 Musical Theatre 14 Music Technology 16 New Music 18 Visual Showcase 20 Open Conservatorium 22 Opera & Voice 24 Orchestra 26 Percussion 28 Popular Music Research &

30 Research Students 32 Strings 34 Winds 1


to the QCGU Year in Review. This snapshot seeks to capture some of the many highlights of the past 12 months. During this time, QCGU has been a hive of activity, with almost 500 performances, symposia and workshops. Part of our brief is to give students the opportunity to work with the world’s best artists. This year, we attracted an impressive roll call of creatives, all of whom were thrilled to work with our talented young musicians. Renowned international film director Bruce Beresford spent several weeks in residence, directing our annual opera production, Albert Herring. The musical theatre program also benefited from national and international artists working on The Secret Garden. Both productions garnered critical acclaim and gave students the opportunity to work with award-winning creative teams. The orchestral season featured an array of international conductors, including Natalia Raspopova, Andrew Mogrelia and Tze Law Chan. Renowned maestro Johannes Fritzsch returned to Brisbane to conduct the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, who performed Bruckner’s iconic Symphony No. 7. Visiting artists included Grammy-award winning alumnus Tim Munro and classical pianists Bart van Oort and Paavali Jumppanen. We also hosted six ensembles in residence, featuring world-class musicians.


This year, we supported a range of bold initiatives that broke new ground. QCGU threw its support behind new music, commissioning a secular oratorio, Scraps from a Madman’s Diary, from talented young composer Catherine Likhuta. This year marked our first collaboration with the Queensland Ballet. Music and Dance provided our orchestral performers with new challenges and forged valuable industry connections. We also embarked on a series of projects that furthered our learning, teaching, research, and engagement agendas. One highlight was the first Global Local project, which saw three groups of students head to Cambodia, China and India to collaborate with local musicians. The Conservatorium Gala provided a fitting finale to the year, showcasing our best and brightest. This sellout event provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our achievements and look ahead to the coming year. Please enjoy, and we look forward to celebrating our 60th anniversary with you in 2017! Professor Scott Harrison Director, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University


BRASS The award-winning Horn School continued its successes with high profile performances in Brisbane and beyond, under the distinguished leadership of Peter Luff and Ysolt Clark. The QCGU Trumpet Ensemble and Trombone Ensemble also enjoyed great success, directed by Trumpet Lecturer and Head of Brass Sarah Butler and Head of Brass Band Greg Aitken. Sarah and Peter, along with others in the Brass Faculty, continue to perform as members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, with Peter joining the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on several occasions under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. In 2016, we welcomed London Symphony Orchestra, Principal Horn, Timothy Jones; Principal Trumpet of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and former member of the Israel Philharmonic, Yoram Levy; President of the International Trumpet Guild, Brian Evans; and Sarah Willis from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Sarah led the Australia Horn Hangout/Masterclass live from Brisbane and facilitated the global Horn Ensemble, and a highly successful flash mob at South Bank.



JAZZ Highlights in jazz in 2016 included the launch of the Con Artists CD, On the Other Side. Head of Jazz, Steve Newcomb was also awarded a Griffith New Researcher Grant which saw him travel to New York to work with key jazz luminaries on a new collaborative album. Engagement beyond South Bank included performances in Warwick, the annual Queen Street Mall series, and Green Jam in association with QPAC. Student and Alumni success include: Dami Im, runner up in 2016 Eurovision, Joe O’Connor (2013 winner of the prestigious National Jazz Award and the 2014 recipient of the Bell Award for young Australian jazz artist of the Year) was a 2016 finalist in the Freedman Jazz Fellowship and 2016 recipient of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz commission. Kayleigh Pincott won the prestigious Generations in Jazz vocal scholarship. Kayleigh joins a long list of previous QCGUrelated successes in this prestigious award: Megan Washington (2004); Alessandro Bellino (2005); Kate Wighton (2007); Elly Hoyt (2008); Megan Crocombe (2010); Luara KarlsonKarp (2012). Kristin Berardi, jazz graduate and current jazz vocal staff member, was the recipient of her third Bell Award. Kristin, together with Sean Foran and Rafael Karlen also won a QMusic award for the song Hope In My Pocket.



KEYBOARD We were thrilled to welcome Daniel de Borah to our keyboard faculty in 2016. Daniel is a multi-award winning pianist who has enjoyed success nationally and internationally. Ayesha Gough (winner of 2015 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition) was a finalist in the Sydney International Piano Competition. Aaron Liu was winner of the 2015 Melbourne Recital Centre Great Romantics Competition. 2016 also brought the introduction of a new fleet of pianos, with Steinway and Yamaha instruments complementing our existing stock of Kawai instruments. Pianist Jayson Gillham, past student of Leah Horwitz, continues to enjoy success with one reviewer noting “Virtuosity is a given at the level at which Gillham works and throughout this programme virtuosity was much on display, but it was his extraordinary interpretive skill that left me overwhelmed.�



LEARNING & TEACHING The quality and scope of learning and teaching continued to receive accolades through awards, grants, fellowships and citations. Following the recognition of Brydie-Leigh Bartleet Australian University Teacher of the Year in Canberra in 2014, Gemma Carey was awarded a citation for teaching excellence in September and a 2016 Australian Award for University Teaching – Award for Teaching Excellence in December. Several Conservatorium faculty members were recognised by the Deputy Vice Chancellor for their teaching excellence, including a citation for Brendan Anthony. Within the curriculum, new courses in musicians’ health and local global activity were introduced. As an institution that values reflection, collaboration and innovation, QCGU continues to seek out ways to develop and enhance learning and teaching. In May, we hosted a symposium and professional development program associated with Gemma Carey’s Office for Learning and Teaching Grant on one-toone pedagogy. This program was led by Helena Gaunt (Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London), Kelly Parkes (Teacher College Columbia, New York) and Harald Jørgensen (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo).



MUSICAL THEATRE Musical Theatre commenced the year with a season of Elegies for Angels Punks and Raging Queens that subsequently toured to Sydney and Melbourne. The winter season, comprised two major productions: Our Country’s Good presented at the Burke Street Studios and The Secret Garden, presented in the Conservatorium Theatre. This production was a critical, artistic and commercial success, garnering excellent reviews such as …. “with fine and robust performances, striking set and costume design, and an orchestra that brought depth and subtlety to Lucy Simon’s score, it was worthy of Broadway” (Stage Whispers) One of the highlights of the year was a meet and greet with Broadway start Megan Hilty, and a Cabaret workshop with Rachael Beck, Roger Hodgman and Max Lambert in association with QPAC. Graduate successes in 2016 included:
Les Misérables, Singin’ in the Rain, Georgy Girl, Aladdin, My Fair Lady, The Fantasticks, Hairspray, Universal Studios Japan, Shanghai Disneyland, Hi 5! and The Light in the Piazza.



MUSIC TECHNOLOGY Music Technology received a boost under the new leadership of John Ferguson. Alumnus Tyson Illingworth (aka TyDi) continues to produce high quality outcomes as a DJ working in Los Angeles. The highlight in the music technology calendar was the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conference which took place mid-year at QCGU. NIME is the premier academic conference in designing human-computer interfaces and interactions for musical performance. It brought together researchers and practitioners around lectures, installations, concerts, and workshops. Keynote and invited speakers included Miya Masaoka (Japan / USA), Garth Paine (Australia / USA), DJ Sniff (Japan / Hong Kong), Karlheinz Essl (Austria) and Sabine Breitsameter (Darmstadt/Berlin, Germany).



NEW MUSIC One of the highlights in the new music area was the world premiere of Scraps from a Madman’s Diary by Catherine Likhuta. Commissioned by and written for the Conservatorium Wind Orchestra and choir, the work was conducted by Head of Ensembles, Peter Morris. Queensland Conservatorium also played host to a number of ensembles in residence who brought new music to the institution. One of the more unique events was The Piano Mill. The brainchild of Bruce and Jocelyn Wolfe in collaboration with Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson of QCGU Ensemble-in-Residence Clocked Out. Featuring 16 pianos - housed in a purpose-built structure in the heart of bushland between Stanthorpe and Tenterfield. The main proponents of new music are, of course, our composition staff and students. This area continued to drive our new music agenda with a number of world premieres – both here in Australia and internationally, including the inclusion of new work noted elsewhere. Other composition activities included The Winton Film Festival project which involved four composition students, and a project of Opera Scenes. Larry Buttrose visited in September to work on creative aspects for developing stories, libretti and scripts. The Australian Piano Duo has toured through Europe performing Gerardo Dirie’s Tanka Pampa. His work Estancia also premiered in October in Argentina. Kim Cunio’s work with the Gyuto Monks has been charting well in the US, Asia and Europe. Alumnus Brett Dean was awarded the Australia Council’s 2016 Don Banks Award for outstanding contribution to music while fellow alumnus Benedict Braxton-Smith has been accepted into the Masters Programme in Musical Theatre Writing at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts - one of 15 composers accepted into the program out of hundreds of applicants. Many QCGU-related musicians were named as finalists the Australian Art Music Awards with QCGU Doctoral Candidate Cathy Milliken winning the 2016 Orchestral Work of the Year.






CONSERVATORIUM The State Honours Ensemble Program continued to grow across the state with almost 2000 students participating, including almost 900 students in Brisbane. Illustrious conductors who worked with the students included: Robert Hollingworth, Michael Bawtree, Nicholas Cleobury, John Hoffman, Cynthia Johnston Turner, Richard Saucedo, Paul Holley, Gordon Hamilton, Rob McWilliams, Peter Handsworth, Emma Nixon, Mark Laycock and Rita Fin The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital continued to enjoy weekly classes and frequent performances from Young Conservatorium students with many also performing in the new Foyer Concert Series at Queensland Conservatorium each Saturday. Young Conservatorium students have also enjoyed many other workshop and performance opportunities this year throughout the community and regionally to Gympie. Tertiary Preparation Workshop was again another success with students from throughout Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria enjoying the experience of being a tertiary music student for a week. Another major highlight of the Open Conservatorium program was the Brisbane Lower Brass weekend which drew trombonists and tubists from all over Australia.



OPERA & VOICE Queensland Conservatorium’s long tradition of fullystaged, student-focussed operas continued with a mid-year production of The Magic Flute directed by Anna Sweeny AM. In September, the main production was Albert Herring, directed by award-winning Australian director Bruce Beresford, conducted by Head of Opera Nicholas Cleobury with designs by Felicity Abbott (set) and Wendy Cork (costume) and lighting design by Tony-award winner Nigel Levings. Presented in association with the Brisbane Festival, the production was a critical and artistic success with commentary such as “This is a beautiful production with a gloss of slick sophistication to rival professional opera companies – and with such great musical material to work with, Albert Herring is well worth a look” (Limelight) Graduates from the opera program continue to grace the world stage: Amber Evans has been accepted into Manhattan School of Music; Sam Sakker has become a Company Principal at The Royal Opera; Kiandra Howarth will debut in Don Giovanni in Basel next year; Luke Stoker makes his debut at the Opéra national de Paris in January 2017; Sam Johnson sings the Count in Figaro (a role he sang for QCGU just a few years ago) at Scottish Opera; Daniel Smerdon was engaged with the Berlin Academy. Alumni Lauren LodgeCampbell and Samuel Johnson performed with London Symphony Orchestra, the former under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and the latter under Thomas Ades.



ORCHESTRA Our Orchestral program enjoyed an active year on the concert platform and in the pit. We welcomed several visiting maestros including Johannes Fritzsch who returned to lead the orchestra in Bruckner’s 7th Symphony; Andrew Mogrelia who conducted a ballet program in association with Queensland Ballet and Natalia Raspopova who presented the 5th Symphony of Shostakovich. Students in orchestra concluded the year at the Conservatorium Gala with a rousing rendition of the perennial favourite 1812 Overture.



PERCUSSION Our percussion students, under the leadership of Vanessa Tomlinson, continued to thrill with their performances across the year. In addition to their crucial role in large and small ensembles, percussion students have been critical to the promotion and performance of new music as reported elsewhere. Their passion for found objects, inventive use of existing instruments and appearing in bizarre locations is second to none in the Conservatorium. A highlight was the Australian Percussion Gathering, bringing together hundreds of percussionists from across the country in collaborative performances and 25 world premieres. Sitting somewhere between a music festival, a conference and a music camp, the six day event brought together industry professionals, international guests, and an impressive 96% of all students studying percussion in tertiary institutions in Australia.



POPULAR MUSIC Popular Music students, past and present, continued to represent QCGU well in 2016. Moreton (aka alumni Georgia Potter) was showcased at BIGSOUND and two other Popular Music artists were featured in the BIGSOUND Gold Coast showcase, sponsored by City of Gold Coast - Aquila Young (Anjanette Chua) and Tesla Coils (Jed Walters). Five SEED artists were nominated for the Queensland Music Awards this year, including three current students Athena Joy, (Hannah Luke) Jordan Pineda, Livvi (Liv Dennis), one alumnus from the trio Avaberee (Genevieve Bufalino), and front man and guitarist for Caligula’s Horse, Sam Vallen and Zac Greensill. Avaberee won the category for best songwriting team, and Caligula’s Horse won the best heavy band category. In total, eleven past and present students from Popular Music were nominated fourteen times across eleven different categories. Popular Music graduates and staff collected a total of four awards at the Gold Coast Music Awards. Ella Fence (Stephanie Pickett) won two awards (Best Song Of The Year and Best Music Video of the Year); Hussy Hicks (Julz Parker) won Best Artist of the Year; and Guy Cooper was awarded Music Champion of the Year. Event of the Year was taken out by the Broadbeach Blues Festival – for which Popular Music alumnus Mark Duckworth is the event programmer. Eight Popular Music students (including four SEED artists) had a total of eleven songs nominated for


Triple J’s Hottest 100 this year, while the National Campus Band Competition Gold Coast finals were won by SEED artist Keelan Mak. SEED Volume 5 was launched at the start of a sixweek concert series at Helensvale’s NightQuarter, which featured 24 SEED acts, involving more than 50 Popular Music students. A pre-launch was held in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall in partnership with City Sounds. SEED developed partnerships with the Bleach* Festival, Buskers by the Creek Festival, GLOW Festival and The Arts Centre Gold Coast, resulting in hundreds of paid performances for Popular Music students and alumni. In 2016, Popular Music held a reunion of its first decade of graduates (2000 – 2010), which was attended by 35 graduates including many who travelled from interstate and abroad. Alumni living overseas sent spoken videos to be played to their peers. Four student experience days on the Gold Coast campus attracted over 280 students from throughout South East Queensland and Northern NSW. Rock School, conducted over one week during the January school holidays, continues to fill its quota well before the cut off date, and is proving to be a highly successful recruitment tool based on applicant questionnaires. The Student Services equity sponsored Mini Rock School program and Uni Reach programs held in July also continue to attract highly supportive feedback.


RESEARCH & RESEARCH STUDENTS Much of the activity in research took place under the auspice of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre (QCRC), which has continued to cultivate research projects that are imaginative in content and design, interdisciplinary in nature, and dedicated to addressing the pressing needs of our time. This year QCRC presented a program of events which brought together research with learning and teaching and community engagement. In the first half of the year the Crossbows Chamber Music Festival was presented in collaboration with QCGU. In 2016 QCRC reinvigorated the popular Behind the Music series, as well as workshops with visiting scholars and communities including senior songman and elder Eustace Tipiloura and the Tiwi Strong Women’s Group. In the second half of 2016 QCRC collaborated with QCGU on several international conferences, including the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference, the Australian Percussion Gathering and the Sonic Environments Symposium. Our members remain involved in key international events at prestigious institutions across the Asia Pacific, UK, USA and Europe. QCRC recognises the important contribution of emerging researchers, with the centre housing Dr Leah Barclay – an interdisciplinary artist, creative producer, composer and researcher who specialises in electroacoustic music, sound art and acoustic ecology. This is also the first year in which QCRC has engaged two promising Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates in its Internship program, facilitating mentorship opportunities by working alongside QCRC members. QCRC remains committed to leading research in the areas of Artistic research in music, Music and communities, Music health and wellbeing, Music and technology and Music learning and teaching through supporting key projects with our members as well as mentoring and inspiring the research leaders of the future.



STRINGS With resident staff and visiting artists of the highest calibre, the string area continued to produce outstanding results in 2016. Under the leadership of Head of Strings Michele Walsh, our violinists continue to gain national recognition for their outstanding performances. Faculty member Graeme Jennings continued to appear across the country, as well as teaching at the prestigious Darmstadt Summer Academy. Meta Weiss also performed nationally and internationally with appearances in San Francisco, New Zealand, Singapore and beyond.

In 2016, we welcomed guitarist Karin Schaupp to the faculty. Karin is the recipient of a Freedman Fellowship, and in 2013 was awarded the prestigious Music Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts. Karin has recorded an extensive discography for Warner Music International and ABC Classics. Performance highlights include concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (UK) in London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (USA), the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and performances at the World Expo (Aichi, Japan) and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Harp student Linley Chai has been selected to join the Asian Youth Orchestra 2016 Asia tour. Conservatorium staff member John Curro AM MBE was recognised as a Queensland Great, and we hosted a masterclass from the world renown Brodsky Quartet.



WINDS Our wind department has continued to develop under the new leadership of Head of Winds, Paul Dean. Eve Newsome and new flute appointment Virginia Taylor join Paul in creating a new department profile. Paul’s playing received critical acclaim with the London Observer commenting on the “feathery lightness” following a performance in June. The Arcadia Wind Quintet joined us as ensembles in residence for a week. The ensemble includes former students David Reichelt, Lloyd van’t Hoff, Matthew Kneale and Rachel Shaw. Flutist and Grammy-award winner Tim Munro joined us for a scintillating Behind the Music lecture and alumnus saxophonist Adrian Tully also returned for a brief residency. Tim Munro also won his third Grammy Award in 2016 for Best Chamber Music Performance for his work in his sextet Eighth Blackbird.




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Christian Tiger Michael Cranfield Hannah Morrison

2016 A Year in Review  

Highlights from the 2016 year at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

2016 A Year in Review  

Highlights from the 2016 year at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.