Frank attended seven National Music Camps and was Principal Viola of AYO for five years between 1959 and 1965; he also studied conducting with Emeritus Professor John Hopkins AM OBE at the VCA. Frank has performed with orchestras in Australia and overseas and has conducted and/or founded several orchestras including the Melbourne Musicians Chamber Orchestra. Of studying conducting with John Hopkins, Frank says: I had the chance to conduct Stravinsky’s The Right of Sprin, which is a real test, as it has such complex rhythms. John combined thorough technique and interpretation with extensive musical experience. Even in his 80’s he attended one of my concerts and gave me some positive conducting tips; he was constantly mentoring and encouraging others.
Alexis played flute in AYO/National Music Camp from 1999-2007 and was a tutor at the 2013 NMC, a “highlight of my career”. She is Principal Flute with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and an avid performer of chamber music. Alexis has been awarded numerous scholarships/prizes, including a Churchill Fellowship. She says: As a tutor, I like to simplify; it’s wonderful when I can identify one or two points that are key for a student, and then several other things fall into place. I can give students tools and build awareness, so they can implement changes independently in their practice.
Kwong Lee Dow AO
Long time AYO supporter and Former University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Kwong Lee Dow AO (Clarinet, AYO/National Music Camp 1954-1969) is an eminent scholar and leading educator. His awards include Office of the Order of Australia and the Gold Medal-Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Of NMC, Kwong says: A large portion of my professional life has involved getting up and speaking in front of large groups; after NMC I thought – this is dead easy, compared with performing on an instrument! I think it was the combined strengths of John Bishop OBE the Music Educator, Ruth Alexander the topflight Organiser and Ron Maslyn Williams the savvy publicist that made NMC so successful.
Belinda played double bass at NMC/AYO 1983-1984. Having previously worked in the music and sales/marketing industries, Belinda now runs her own “Aussie Transformation Coach” online business, which incorporates fitness programs to help women improve health and confidence. Skills developed during NMC helped Belinda achieve business success: Performing at such a high standard required us to be strong in mind and body; eg. To perfect a piece of music we had to push through physical and mental barriers. It’s the same with running a business – you have to constantly push yourself to the next level in order to achieve success.