What is your role in the Bellingen Youth Orchestra Ensembles? 
I am a woodwind teacher and double reed specialist. I am well-versed in the orchestral woodwind instruments, with my first love being the oboe.

What are some of your musical achievements?
I started out on the piano and then taught myself to play the recorder, over one very intense weekend, at the tender age of 5. Choral singing followed and by the time I was 9, I was playing oboe in the local community orchestra, conducted by my dad. As a teenager, I was principal oboe in another BYO – the Brighton Youth Orchestra in England. The musical opportunities were amazing and the social life rocked! As a teacher, I delight in engaging students with a rich variety of ensemble playing. Taking a group of 48 orchestral students on tour to Japan in 2015 was certainly a highlight. Starting beginners in a band and seeing their love for their instruments grow is special too. It is always a privilege to play a part in someone’s musical journey, especially when they take on making music as an integral part of their life.

What do you love about playing music?
Orchestral playing has always been the greatest buzz. Playing alongside your own children and students takes that to a whole new level. The challenge of constantly learning and developing as a player and a teacher is tremendously satisfying. But it’s making music with others that truly engages the emotions. There is something very special about connecting with a group of musicians and working on a piece, individually and together, to bring it alive. Music inspires, engages, uplifts, connects and moves us. Music lights up our brains and lays down memories. It’s an undeniable part of who we are. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in that?

What inspired you to teach music in Bellingen?
l live in Dorrigo and have been teaching in Dorrigo and Coffs Harbour since 1994. Having several students in the BYO inspired me to join the team as the Oboe tutor. After that, the pull was irresistible. The passion and love, fostered by Annie and Lizzie, for engaging children with music has made Bellingen the number one place to be teaching.



More than just an orchestra
More than just music

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