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AYO National Music Camp
Instrumental tutors


Lachlan Bramble

Lachlan Bramble

Lachlan commenced learning the violin from his mother. He went on to study music at the University of Melbourne under Mark Mogilevsky and continued with Barbara-Jane Gilby at the Australian National University gaining a Masters degree in Music Performance. He has also taken lessons in Europe with Lydia Mordkovitch, Howard Davis, Dora Schwarzberg, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and has performed in masterclasses with Cho-Liang Lin and Regis Pasquier.

Lachlan has always been extensively involved in orchestral and chamber music performance. He was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2005, performing as concertmaster in 2005 before being appointed Associate Principal 2nd Violin of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and has also performed as Acting Concertmaster. Lachlan has been a guest with Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian String Quartet. He is also violinist with the infamous Benaud Trio.

An active and passionate educator, Lachlan has tutored violins of the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and at many National Music Camps. He has also been a tutor at the Chamber Music Summer School - Mount Buller and was founding Music Director of the inaugural Adelaide Chamber Music School in 2015. Lachlan teaches violin privately and was Director the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra from 2011–2015.


Glenn Christensen

Glenn was born and raised in the regional Queensland town of Mackay, where he received his early music education through the Suzuki Method with local teacher Diane Powell. Glenn then studied with Michele Walsh at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music, First Class Honours. He was also the first person ever to be awarded the three highest prizes – the Conservatorium Medal, the Music Medal and the University Medal.

Glenn has been a full-time member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 2015. Prior to this appointment he held teh position of Principal First Violin in the Queensland Symphony Ochestra from 2012. He has also performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, was the Concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra in 2012 and 2013 and was an Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist in 2012.

As a soloist, Glenn has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra on multiple occasions, incluidng an appearence as Guest Concertmaster, Director and Soloist for a regional Queensland tour. He has had performance broadcast live on ABC Clasic FM, was a finalist in the 2014 ABC Young Performer Awards, and in 2009 won every category in the prestigious Kendall National Violin Competition. Glenn is also the violinist in the Lyrebird Trio, which won both the audience choice prize and the Piano Trio prize in the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition.

Glenn has also appeared at numerous festivals around Australia and in 2018 is the Artistic Director of the inaugural Mackay Chamber Music Festival.

Michele Walsh

Michele Walsh

A graduate of the University of Adelaide and winner of the prestigious ABC Instrumental Competition violinist Michele Walsh undertook further studies in London with distinguished violinist Szymon Goldberg.

Michele has appeared as soloist with major orchestras in Australia and has performed in the UK, USA, Europe and South-East Asia. Formerly Associate Concertmaster of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra,  a position she held for over  a decade, she is currently Senior Lecturer in Violin, Head of Strings  at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Michele is a founding member of the Griffith Trio which has made several successful international tours and is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals around the country. She is also in demand as guest concert-master of Australian Symphony orchestras.

Michele served as a Board member of the Australian Youth Orchestra and Chair of the Artistic committee for many years. She continues close association with the AYO through membership of the Artistic Committee and Council and regular involvement in their programs. She is in demand as a guest teacher and frequently serves on competition juries in Australia and South-East Asia.  Many of her former students are major competition prize winners and hold positions in Australia, Europe and Asia.


Merewyn Bramble

Merewyn Bramble

Merewyn began playing both violin and viola when she was little and was taught by her mother. In 2005 she completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Performance under the tutelage of William Hennessy and in 2007, a Master of Music Performance mentored by Caroline Henbest. During her course at the University of Melbourne she was awarded the Peg Oldfield Prize and the H.A. Owen Award for performance excellence.

Merewyn is Principal Viola of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and holds casual positions with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as guest Principal Viola of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

To quench her constant thirst for chamber music, Merewyn plays in the Australian Octet within its own series and in festivals far and wide. Merewyn is a current member of Quartz, a quartet with a big Victorian presence and which performs as part of a series at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Violist with the Patronus Quartet, Merewyn competed in the 2015 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and as a former member of the Tailem Quartet she was a finalist in the 3rd Australian Chamber Music Competition and performed in the 2008 ARD Chamber Music Competition in Munich. The Tailem quartet also completed residencies at the Banff Centre, Canada, and at Yale University’s Norfolk Summer Chamber Music Festival. 2007 introduced Merewyn to the Australian Chamber Orchestra when she was accepted as an Emerging Artist. Merewyn made another soul-searching trip to Banff in 2011, a journey she intends to repeat many, many times in the future.

Away from the music stand, nothing beats writing for children, running long distances and the fever of tap dancing.

Stephen King

Stephen King

Stephen King played violin while growing up in Canberra and turned to the dark side (viola) after all but completing an architecture degree in Brisbane. Stephen holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music from the University of Maryland. His teachers include Elizabeth Morgan, James Dunham, and Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. From 1997 Stephen was violist of the Coolidge String Quartet based in Washington D.C. and also Associate Principal Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Stephen returned to Australia in 2003 to join the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Since 2012 he has performed with the Australian String Quartet.


Sharon Draper

Sharon Grigoryan

Based in Adelaide, Sharon Grigoryan has been the cellist with the Australian String Quartet since 2013.

Born in Melbourne, Sharon studied at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under David Berlin, Philip Green, and Howard Penny. From 2008–2012 Sharon held a position with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and was a regular participant in their Chamber Players series. In 2009 she formed the Hopkins String Quartet and was, in the same year, accepted into the Australian Chamber Orchestra's Emerging Artists program. She has since toured extensively with the ACO.

In 2011 Sharon was a recipient of the MSO Friends' Travel Scholarship and spent a year in Berlin studying with Professor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt and Nicolas Alsteadt. Since then she has performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, as well as being a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Sharon has performed as a guest with the Australia Ensemble and Australian World Orchestra, as well as forming a duo with guitarist Slava Grigoryan in 2015. She is the current Artistic Director of the Barossa, Baroque and Beyond music festival, which has just completed its fourth year.

Sharon also has a passion for teaching; apart from teaching the cello privately, she has tutored ensembles such as the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, AYO's National Music Camp orchestras, and been a guest chamber music tutor at ANAM.

Tim Nankervis

Timothy Nankervis

Cellist, Timothy Nankervis, is a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has won numerous awards for cello solo, and for chamber music as a member of the acclaimed Seraphim Trio. As an active chamber musician, Tim has performed extensively with the Trio nationally and internationally. He is also a member of the Sonus  Piano Quartet, and performs regularly as a guest artist with various ensembles. Tim has performed widely throughout Australia as a soloist, and has broadcast regularly for the ABC and MBS-FM radio stations across the country. He has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto and Brahms Double Concerto with orchestras in Sydney and Queensland, and he has performed as soloist with Orchestra Victoria, playing Tchaikovsky's 'Rococo' Variations. Tim is a member of the Australian World Orchestra. He also teaches cello and chamber music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and tutors regularly for Sydney Sinfonia, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra.

Tim completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Sydney with Lois Simpson and graduated from Melbourne University with a Masters of Music degree with Nelson Cooke. He has studied in London with William Pleeth and Raphael Wallfisch, and with Vadin Chervov at the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev.

Double bass

Ben Hanlon

Benjamin Hanlon

As a professional classical Double Bassist Ben became a permanent member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra(MSO) in 2011. He has performed with a variety of professional orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Has stepped up to Principal and Associate principal regularly with MSO and was guest principal on TSO’s 2016/17 China tour. Ben has appeared as a featured artist on many film and television soundtracks, several albums and with chamber music ensembles including the ACME ensemble at the 2017 Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Brodski quartet with Katie Noonan at the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Peninsula music festival. Ben has also appeared as recital soloist and concerto soloist (with the Nicolas Chamber orchestra) on multiple occasions.

As a jazz musician Ben has performed widely including at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Melbourne International Jazz festivals (MIJF), Port Fairy Spring music festival and Melbourne Music Week. He performs regularly with many of Australia’s finest jazz musicians including Joe and Olivia Chindamo, James Sherlock, Hetty Kate and Danny Fischer at Melbourne’s premier jazz venues including the Melbourne recital centre, Bennetts lane, Uptown Jazz Cafe, The Jazzlab, Birds basement and the Paris Cat. Ben is a core member of the Hue Blanes trio with Danny Farrugia and performed in Hue Blanes’ 2017 MIJF performance for the ‘PBS Young Elder of Jazz Award’ as well on as their debut album release ‘Straight Chaser’ with Pound records. Ben is a member of Melbourne’s premier bop ensemble Bopstretch, features on Fem Belling’s the Age Victoria music awards nominated album ‘Now/then’ and has a pending duo release with James Sherlock.

As a student, Ben Hanlon was a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra and attended the Australian String Seminar.  Ben was awarded a Victorian Premiers award for his VCE music studies, was invited to be a “Top Cats” performer and was a finalist in the 2005 James Morrison ‘Generations in Jazz’ scholarship. He completed the Applied Performance Program at the Australian National Academy of Music from 2005-2007 with Steven Reeves and Alex Henery. His undergraduate studies took him to the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles where he completed a Bachelor of Music from 2007-2011 with David Moore, Paul Ellison, Leigh Mesh and Peter Lloyd. While studying abroad, Ben attended a range of prestigious music festivals including the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, USA, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and gained orchestral experience with Miami’s New World Symphony among many others.

As a Music Educator Ben has given private bass tutorial, run bass classes and masterclasses, taken assessments and ensembles and been on audition panels at Melbourne University Conservatory of music, Monash University, VCA, ANAM, Colburn Performing Arts Academy and teaches Double Bass at VCASS. He has been a mentor and tutor for AYO, MYM, Scotch College and Zelman Symphony.  He also has volunteered his time for the MSO’s Pizzicato Effect and fellowship programs in addition to many of the MSO’s other educational activities.

Phoebe Russell

Phoebe Russell

Phoebe Russell returned home to Australia in early 2017 to take up the position of principal double bass with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

She was 17 years old when she settled in Berlin and within
months made her debut in the double bass section of the Berlin Philharmonic. Since then she has performed in more than 20 countries across the globe with leading orchestras including the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony orchestras among others.

She has performed under many great conductors including
favourites such as Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Mehta, and Riccardo Muti.

Phoebe is the double bass teacher at the University of
Queensland and as an educator, has also given classes at the Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne
Conservatorium of Music, Queensland Conservatorium of
Music, Pontificana Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá and the
Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Before moving to Europe in early 2012, Phoebe completed a professional performance program at the Australian National Academy of Music under the tutelage of Damien Eckersley and was an Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist.

As a soloist she has performed in Australia and abroad with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Baden Baden Philharmonic, Zelman Symphony Orchestra, Wilma and Friends Series, the Melbourne Youth Strings and has been invited to appear as recitalist in Australia and internationally including in the Berlin Philharmonic lunch concert series to a full house.


Linda Stuckey

Linda Stuckey

Principal Piccolo of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 1997, Linda Stuckey has enjoyed working with some of the world’s top conductors and soloists including Jaap
Van Zweden, Lorin Mazel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Ashkenasy and Edo DeWaart. She has appeared as soloist with the HK Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony orchestras, as well as in radio broadcasts, recordings and chamber music in Hong Kong and the region.

Since its inception in 2011, Linda has performed annually as Principal Piccolo of the Australian World Orchestra, which brings Australian musicians from elite orchestras
around the world to play together under the baton of conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti and Simone Young. Throughout her career, Linda has
performed with many orchestras including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and in 2012, toured Europe as Guest Principal Piccolo with the Asia Pacific United Orchestra.

Born in Sydney, Linda began her music studies at the age of five on recorder before moving to piccolo and then flute. She led an active musical life in Sydney, her first
major performance was a piccolo solo at the age of ten in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. She studied with Janet Webb in Sydney and was placed in the top ten
students in the state for H.S.C. music before moving on to the Canberra School of Music (Australian National University) where she studied with Vernon Hill and
Virginia Taylor. After completing her Bachelor of Music (Performance with Honours) degree in 1994, she then went on to further study in Manchester at the Royal
Northern College of Music with Peter Lloyd and Patricia Morris, where she completed both her Post Graduate Diploma and Performance Diploma. At the time of
her international post graduate study, Linda was the recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Trust Scholarship Award for Young Australians, the English Speaking Union
Scholarship and the Big Brother Movement Scholarship.

In her home country, Linda has been the winner of the John Lehner Flute Scholarship, the AMEB/Sydney Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Doris Pilkington Memorial Prize for Flute at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod, the Ku ring gai Philharmonic Concerto Competition, and the inaugural Chamber Music Prize from the Canberra School of Music. During her years at the Canberra School of Music, Linda co-founded the Kulgarni Wind Quintet who, in 1992, performed at the Official Presidential Dinner for U.S. President George Bush Sr.and Mrs.Bush held at
Parliament House. In the same year, the Kulgarni Quintet were invited by Jeunnesses Musicale to perform in Montreal for the city's 350th anniversary celebrations. In 1994, Linda attended Youth Music Australia’s inaugural “Summer Academy” and toured Europe as Principal Piccolo with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Camerata. In 1995, she was a participant in the A.B.C.’s Youth Music
Australia Apprenticeship Scheme.

In addition to her full-time role with the HK Phil, Linda has been teaching on the performance faculties of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Baptist University. She has given many classes and is in high demand as a private teacher.


Shefali Pryor

Shefali Pryor

Shefali holds the position of Associate Principal Oboe with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  She completed her studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Universität Mozarteum Salzburg She joined the orchestra as 2nd oboe in 2003 before being appointed to her current position in 2005.

Shefali has performed extensively as guest principal with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand and Auckland Symphony Orchestras.  Solo engagements have included concertos with the Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, and performances of double concerti by Bach and Vivaldi with Violinist Nigel Kennedy and the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.  In 2015 Shefali premiered the concerto ‘A Shaft of  Light’  by Alan Holley with the Sydney Symphony, a work written for her by the composer.

Shefali was twice a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performer awards, winning the Other instrumental category in 2006.  She is an active chamber musician, performing with the Australia Ensemble, Sculthorpe Quintet,  Sydney Soloists, and the staff of the Sydney Conservatorium, where she teaches oboe.  Shefali is a director on the board of the Australian Youth Orchestra and has been involved with AYO on many occasions as tutor for various programs.  She is also the Artistic Director of SSO Vanguard, an innovative membership program for Gen X and Gen Y arts lovers.  In her spare time Shefali likes to run and hike, bake, stare at the cryptic crossword and walk her rescue greyhound, Gigi.


Dean Newcomb

Dean Newcomb

Dean Newcomb is currently the Principal Clarinettist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2008. Dean has performed as guest Principal Clarinet with various orchestras in Australia and overseas including the Australia World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and was offered the Principal Clarinet position with The Macau Orchestra before deciding to settle in Adelaide. His solo concerto performances have been met with critical acclaim, with reviewers praising his "musical gifts, technical finesse and outstanding ability" (The Advertiser).

Dean regularly performs as a recital and chamber musician with Australia’s leading ensembles including the Australian String Quartet, The Australia Ensemble, Southern Cross Soloists, the Hamer String Quartet for the opening of the Melbourne Recital Centre and the world premiere of Arthur Benjamin’s century-old Clarinet Quintet with the Goldner String Quartet.

His active involvement in music education includes giving masterclasses, lecturing and tutoring at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, tutoring for the Australian Youth Orchestra’s orchestral and chamber music seasons and adjudicating at the Lisbon International Clarinet Competition in Portugal. Dean Newcomb is a D'Addario Woodwinds artist.


Mark Gaydon

Mark Gaydon

Mark Gaydon has been Principal Bassoonist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra since 2003. During this time he has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions performing solo works by Mozart, Weber, Zwilich, Williams, Franciax and Strauss. He has also appeared as guest principal bassoon with the Sydney Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony, the Queensland Symphony and the Tasmanian Symphony orchestra. As a chamber musician he has performed with Ellision Ensemble, The Southern Cross Soloists, the New London Chamber Ensemble, the Tancibudek Wind Quintet and his own group Ensemble Le Monde.

An avid teacher, Mark has been Associate Instructor at the Indiana University School of Music, a guest artist at the Australian National Academy of Music, bassoon tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra, AYO National Music Camp and Young Symphonists programs, and Bassoon Instructor at the Elder Conservatorium since 2005.

Mark has a PhD in music from the University of Adelaide and was awarded a Dean of Graduate Studies Special Commendation for Thesis Excellence. In 2005 he won the ABC Young Performer of the Year wind, brass and percussion section and in 1999 was awarded grand prize in the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition in the USA competing against players of all instruments.

Mark is a keen supporter of Australian composers and has commissioned and premiered works for the bassoon by Gerard Brophy, Andrew Schultz, Katy Abbott, James Cuddeford, Luke Altmann and Charles Bodman Rae. In December 2013 many of the commissioned works were featured on ABC Classic Fm's New Waves Podcast series forming a bassoon odyssey into new Australian bassoon works. In 2011 he was a featured artist on 3MBS's Musical Portraits series and performed Berio's notorious Sequenza XII for solo in a live radio broadcast. Mark's teachers include Kim Walker and Stephane Levesque.


Euan Harvey

Euan Harvey

Euan joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2008 having previously held the position of sub principal horn in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for four years. After completing degrees in Music and Business Administration at Victoria University of Wellington, Euan worked as a corporate tax specialist in New Zealand, becoming a Chartered Accountant in 2002 before taking up a Fulbright Scholarship to study orchestral performance at the Manhattan School of Music with Erik Ralske and Michelle Baker. Euan was an active freelancer in the New York area as was invited to play principal horn in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra during this time.

Euan was formerly Principal horn of the Verbier Festival Orchestra and has played in principal positions in the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras as well as regularly playing guest principal with the Opera Australia Orchestra. Euan completed a lifelong musical goal by playing principal Wagner Tuba in Opera Australia’s 2016 Melbourne Ring cycle.  

As a chamber musician, Euan has been a member of the New Sydney Wind Quintet, Happy Hour Brass, and the Sydney Omega Ensemble. He has played with numerous ensembles including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Windscape, Verbier Festival Wind Quintet and the new music ensemble Stroma.  Euan can regularly be heard on ABC Classic Fm, including in recordings of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and the Brahms Horn Trio.

In addition to his musical endeavours, Euan maintains a busy Chartered Accounting practice providing tax services to clients in the Arts and Film industries in New Zealand.  When not playing horn or counting beans, Euan can probably be found outside. He has completed the world multisport Coast to Coast longest day event and finished his first Ironman distance Triathlon in 2018.


Brent Grapes

Brent Grapes

Brent Grapes is the Principal Trumpet of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and the Head of Brass at the WA Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University. Brent completed his initial studies in Perth before being accepted into the Juilliard School in NYC where he established a reputation as both an orchestral trumpeter and as a soloist. In 2007, Brent was the winner of the Juilliard School concerto competition, culminating in a performance of the Jolivet Concertino for Trumpet, Piano and Strings with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center. Brent was also one of the first trumpeters to win the Graduate soloist division of the US National Trumpet Competition for two consecutive years.

Brent has performed in orchestras around the world, and has worked as Principal Trumpet in orchestras in the United States, China, New Zealand and Australia. In 2018, Brent will be performing on tour with the Australian Brass Quintet, and also joins the Australian World Orchestra for its concerts in Melbourne and Sydney for its concerts under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

Trombone & bass trombone

Damien Lindgard

Damien Lingard

Born in Sydney in 1982 Damien Lingard began his Musical studies at the age of seven, first learning piano then later cornet before switching to trombone at 10 years of age.  His love of music grew through involvement in a variety of ensembles at school and at church which resulted in a decision to study music, being admitted to the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2000 where he studied under Jason Redman and graduated in 2003.  After a period of study with Scott Kinmont in Sydney,  Damien moved to Germany  in 2007 where he studied under Prof. Henning Wiegraebe at the Stuttgart School of Music.  In 2008-9 he was awarded a traineeship with the Stuttgart Philharmonic and in 2009 was engaged as Associate Principal Trombonist with the Munich Radio Orchestra.

Damien attended National Music Camp in 2001 and 2005 and was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra in 2007.


Karina Filipi

Karina Filipi

Karina Filipi began playing the tuba at age 10. She completed her Bachelor of Music in 2010 at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide under Peter Whish-Wilson. Karina continued her musical studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Steve Rosse and graduated in 2013 with a Masters in Music Performance. Karina was principal tuba with the Australian Youth Orchestra from 2011-2013 and performed reguarly during this time with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

In 2012 Karina was the recipient of a BBM Music Travel Scholarship, which allowed her to undertake private lessons around the UK and Europe and to attend the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference where she was a semi-finalist in the Arnold Jacobs Mock Orchestral Audition category. This travel opportunity also paved a path for her to further her studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) in Zürich, Switzerland. Last year, Karina completed her Master of Arts in Music Performance at the ZHdK under Professor Anne Jelle Visser and is near completing her Masters in Music Pedagogy.

Internationally, Karina held an internship with the Biel Solothurn Orchester (CH) throughout 2014 and performed regularly with the Philharmonia Zürich, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (CH) and the Südwestdeutsch Philharmonie Konstanz (DE). She has been a featured soloist with the Adelaide Youth Orchestra in 2006, with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestra in 2012 and with the Sinfonieorchester Nota Bene (CH) in 2015, playing the Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba on all occasions. 

Karina is currently residing in Melbourne where she is on contract as Principal Tuba with Orchestra Victoria.

Percussion & timpani

Francois Combemorel

Francois Combemorel

Francois began music at the age of five with piano and discovered percussion when he was fourteen learning from Georges Van Gucht, foundation member of Percussions de Strasbourg. He studied at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon with Francois Dupin graduating with a Masters in Percussion. During this time Francois was selected for three years consecutively with the French Youth Orchestra conducted by Marek Janowski and played in numerous festivals such as Festival of Radio France, Bolzano Festival and the Festival of La Roque d'Antheron.

Francois has enjoyed a successful freelance career playing with orchestras such as Lyon National Orchestra, Lyon National Opera Orchestra, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra and  working with conductors including David Robertson, Kent Nagano, Lawrence Foster and Pinchas Steinberg. Francois spent a year as Co-Principal Timpanist and Soloist Percussion at the National Orchestra of Porto.

Now based in Australia, Francois is currently a member of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Francois has also played with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Camerata of St John's, String Source, Queensland Pops Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestra Kanazawa, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

As a chamber musician and soloist Francois was a member of the Percussions Claviers de Lyon for four years touring Europe and recording CDs including Steve Reich's “The Desert Music”. He spent another four years with the group Symblema in Marseille, touring France and USA and recording “Les Quatre Saisons des Quatre Saisons” with world-renowned marimbist Eric Sammut. Francois was percussionist with Octobone, brass band directed by international trombone soloist Michel Becquet, recording two cds- “Octobone I” and “II”. He was a soloist with contemporary company Polychronies and worked in multidisciplinary companies La Liseuse and Piano & Co. Francois has also played in experimental rock bands and explored improvisation projects such as Biocide and Tout Est Bon Dans Le Cochon. In Australia he has played and created with Collusion Music, Ensemble 3 Ways 2 1, Ensemble Ardor and Early Warning System directed by Vanessa Tomlinson.

As an educator Francois was a tutor at the National Conservatoire of Toulon, and taught many workshops throughout France in various structures. He has taught at the Queensland Conservatorium and has been a tutor for the Australian and Queensland Youth Orchestras. He was Artistic Advisor and Accessories Competition Director for the Australian Percussion Gathering in 2016.

Tom O'Kelly

Tom O'Kelly

Tom O’Kelly is one of Australia’s most distinguished percussionists and teachers.

After early percussion studies in Melbourne and a varied freelance career, including engagements with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the ABC Showband, Tom was appointed Principal Percussionist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 1981.  In 1983 Tom was invited by Sylvio Gualda (Solo Timpanist of the Paris Opera) to further his studies at the Conservatoire de Versailles.  During his time in France, Tom worked with leading luminaries of the French contemporary music scene including Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis . Under the direction of Xenakis and Gualda he toured Aix en Provence, Salzburg and Delphi performing Pleiades .  He graduated from the Conservatoire de Versailles in 1985 with a Premier Prix de Percussion.  He returned to Australia and was re-appointed to the position of Principal Percussionist with the TSO and later became the orchestra’s Principal Timpanist.

After touring Japan as guest percussionist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1988, Tom decided to return to Melbourne.  In 1989, the MSO’s Chief Conductor, Hiroyuki Iwaki, invited Tom to take up the position of Principal Timpanist with the newly formed Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.  Tom was featured as percussion soloist with the OEK, premiering two new percussion concertos (composed for him by Maki Ishii and Atsuhiko Gondai) in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Sydney Opera House,  Melbourne Concert Hall, QPAC and The Perth Concert Hall.  He toured extensively with the OEK throughout Europe and Asia, performed as soloist with some of Japan’s major orchestras and was invited to record a solo CD for the JVC Victor label.  Tom’s live performances and definitive interpretations of the percussion concertos by Darius Milhaud and Andre Jolivet (recorded in Japan with Maestro Jean Louis Forestier and the OEK) were released in 2005 by Warner Classics.  Since his return to Australia in 1998, Tom has been guest Principal Timpanist with the MSO, TSO, QSO,  Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and continues to be guest Principal Timpanist with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. 

Tom’s passion for teaching and inspiring young percussionists has spanned some 30 years.  He has been Lecturer in Percussion at the Tasmanian Conservatorium and guest tutor at the National Music Camp, the Australian National Academy of Music, the Young Symphonist’s Program and is currently teaching at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music .

Tom is the CEO and founder of Just Percussion, Brisbane’s leading resource for drums and percussion instruments.  He also teaches privately and directs Just Percussion’s teaching facility, JP Music.


Leigh Harrold

Leigh Harrold

Leigh Harrold enjoys a reputation as a “musician of rare talent and intelligence”, and has established himself as one of Australia’s busiest and most sought-after pianists.

Born in Whyalla, South Australia, Leigh completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at The University of Adelaide with concert pianist Gil Sullivan, during which time he was a national finalist in the Young Performer Awards. He moved to Melbourne in 2003 to take up a full scholarship at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under the mentorship of Geoffrey Tozer and in 2004 was made the Academy Fellow - the first person in the institution's history to be chosen as such after just one year of study.

Leigh has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Africa and Australia as both soloist and chamber musician, including concerts at Australia House in London, the Royal Academy of Music, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Harare International Festival of Arts, and concerto engagements with many Australian orchestras. In 2007 he undertook an extensive tour of the United States and Canada where he gave lectures on and performed the solo piano music of the American composer Robert Muczynski. In 2015 he gave a lecture-tour of England, promoting and performing Australian piano music at Trinity College and the University of London.

His international reputation as an associate artist has led to collaborations with such luminaries as Thomas Reibl, lecturer in viola at the Salzburg Mozarteum; Michael Cox, principal flautist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Gaede, ex-concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; London flautist Wissam Boustany; New York violinist Charles Castleman; Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling; and British pianist Mark Gasser, to name just a few. Other significant international collaborations have included performance and studies with Andrew Ball at the London Royal College of Music; Sophie Cherrier at the Paris Conservatoire; New York-based pianist Lisa Moore and English composer Peter Maxwell Davies. He has twice been awarded the Geoffrey Parsons Award for Associate Artists, and in 2014 was the recipient of the pianist’s prize in the Mietta Song Competition.

Leigh is a founding member of the Helpmann Award-nominated Syzygy Ensemble, a group dedicated to performing contemporary classical music. The ensemble has received many accolades and prizes, and released its independent debut CD ‘Making Signs’ in 2015. Additionally, Leigh has recorded and released CDs for Sony, ABC Classics, and Move Records.

An enthusiastic and committed teacher, speaker, and writer, Leigh is regularly engaged as a tutor, lecturer and adjudicator both in Australia and overseas. In April 2012 he was awarded a PhD for his research into the music of Robert Muczynski for which he received a Dean’s Commendation for Thesis Excellence, and in 2015 he was published internationally in the Liszt Society of London Journal. He holds two University medals - one for Music and one for Applied Science.

Currently Leigh holds positions on the Faculties of ANAM and the University of Melbourne, and is pianist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. When not seated in front of a piano, he finds time to go on long walks, read extensively, and drink lots of coffee and tea. He lives in Brunswick with Craig and Bart.



Verna Lee

Verna Lee is AYO alumni, touring and performing with AYO for 10 years. She was a featured soloist with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Adelaide Arts Festival in 1996 performing Ravel's Introduction and Allegro.

After learning piano and violin from an early age, Verna decided she would like to play a larger instrument so she took up the harp at the start of high school. Making her solo debut at the age of 15, Verna went on to study and perform in Germany, the United States, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.

Verna has given numerous concerto performances; premiering contemporary Australian works, lesserknown harp concertos as well as many performances of the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto. She has appeared at many music festivals and concerts, performing both as a soloist and chamber musician.

Verna is one of Australia's key opera and ballet harpists having performed with the Kiev Ballet, the English National Ballet, the Deutche Kammerakademie Neuss, sopranos Greta Bradman and Amelia Farrugia and international entertainers such as Sumi Jo, Aled Jones, Il Divo and Tina Arena. She has worked and recorded with the Singapore Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet, Adelaide Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Despite all this, she seems to be more famous for appearing in the movie The Matrix.

In 2012, Verna was awarded a grant for her soldout multimedia performances, The Harp In Nature, which showcased stunning images of the Australian landscape accompanied by solo harp works by Australian composers. This recital was also performed at the World Harp Congress in 2014.

In 2015, Verna became fascinated with the Baroque triple harp and started exploring the role of this instrument in early music (thus giving her the perfect excuse to host Medieval banquets). On this harp, she has already performed with Sydney Consort and in masterclass with Andrew Lawrence King.

Verna is the director of the Sydney Harp Eisteddfod and President of the Harp Scoiety of NSW. She organises harp workshops, presents lectures at various harp festivals and teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium High School, at various schools and her private studio.