Springtime Blogging

Here we are in Spring, but the heat is searing in South-East Queensland.  Am writing this blog before the sun comes up, while it’s still cool and quiet, apart  from the birds chirping away outside.

The last few weeks have been jam packed with concerts, student auditions and exams, as well as submitting the hard-bound version of my thesis.   Again, I’m so proud of my students who have worked very consistently this year and achieved outstanding results:

Corinne Edgeworth has been accepted into a Bachelor of Music degree at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University for 2012.  She will also continue as Principal Piccolo with QYO 3.  Corinne has had a very busy year and is playing brilliantly, so I’m so pleased all of her hard work has paid off.

Natalie Wong has been awarded her Associate in Music, Australia (AMusA) at the age of 15.  A fantastic achievement!

Julian Lindsay, Daria Orlovskaya, Anastasia Sechenova, Trinity Kim, and Chelsea Dunn all achieved excellent results in their AMEB grade exams.

Brijette Tubb was a semi-finalist in the Australian Flute Festival solo competition, and has also just completed a traineeship with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Jessica Lee  has won auditions to be a member of the Young Conservatorium Wind Ensemble and Flute Choir, as well as the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra.

Minji Kim has won a position as Flute 1 with the QYO Wind Ensemble.  Minji is only 11 years old, so this is a particularly impressive achievement for such a young flute player.

Zoe Wright has successfully auditioned for the position of Principal Flute with QYO 3.

Neve Murphy has been accepted into the music programme at Cavendish Road State High School.

Am very pleased to report that I have now passed all the requirements for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and will be graduating on December 17th at Brisbane Convention Centre. My research focuses on “Understanding contributing factors and optimizing prevention and management of flute playing-related musculoskeletal disorders.”   Central to this research are two components: a large survey providing insight into how practice, education, lifestyle, and background impact on the prevalence of pain; and an electromyography study assessing upper body muscle responses during playing.  The research reveals that through a better understanding of the physical characteristics of playing and applying principles from ergonomics, performing arts medicine, physiotherapy and exercise science to practice, technique and positioning, flute players can better prevent and manage playing-related musculoskeletal disorders.  The thesis will soon be available online, so I’ll be posting the link in due course.

Now that the thesis is out of the way, I’m grateful that there has been time to be a performer again.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve performed at a huge convention with the Queensland Pops Orchestra (conductor Barrie Gott; vocalists Rachael Beck and Ian Stenlake), as well as with X-Collective at a private function (vocalists Craig Allister Young of Masterchef fame and David Kidd from the Ten Tenors).  X-Collective (cabaret orchestra) officially split up at the end of last year, because of lack of funding to keep it going.  A great shame, but hopefully one day we can do more concerts again.  Touring with X-Collective and performing throughout Queensland was definitely one of the highlights of my career to date.

One of my favourite concerts not just of this year, but of all time was a Tribute to Dame Nellie Melba, held in October at the City Baptist Tabernacle, for the Brisbane City Council.  Dame Nellie Melba was an Australian operatic soprano who performed alongside famous flutists such as John Lemmone and Philippe Gaubert, among others.  It was a great privilege to perform some of the works they presented on concert tours, such as Donizetti’s Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor with Jacqueline Mabardi (Opera Australia), Lo Hear the Gentle Lark by Henry Bishop with D’Arne Sleeman (Opera Queensland) and Mozart’s L’amerò, sarò cost ante as well as Hue’s Soir Païen with Dana Kingsford (Opera Queensland).  The finale was Home! Sweet Home! with all the cast including Bernard Wheaton, Laura Coutts, Monique Latemore, and the producer of the concert, Janelle Colquhoun.  Our beautiful accompanist was John Woods, who was a joy to work with.

Well, it’s now 5:00am and the kookaburras have joined the very loud chorus of birds outside.  Time to sign off but will be back with other news very soon.

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