Question: Can you tell us a bit about you, and what you are up to these days?

Answer I am a cellist from Adelaide who was fortunate enough to have been at a school (Rose Park primary) where David Bishop and Erwin Meyer set up a scheme to teach stringed instruments to those of us who showed an interest. I subsequently became a student of James Whitehead, a graduate of the Elder Conservatorium and came to the UK on the Elder scholarship for postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music. To cut a long story short, I ended up staying! <br> <br> After working for seven years as Co-Principal Cello in the Halle Orchestra in Manchester I became a freelancer and mother of two. I've always loved chamber music and teaching and now most of my work involves both these passions. With my husband, pianist Harvey Davies, I co-direct the chamber group The Pleyel Ensemble and I teach at the University of Manchester, as well as the junior department of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Question: What was a highlight of your time in AYO programs?

Answer Definitely the USA tour in 1976. The combination of the wonderful music, friendship and excitement of travelling to so many different cities throughout the States was quite overwhelming, not to mention meeting so many lovely people as we were billeted with different families everywhere we went.

Question: What skills, musical and otherwise, did you take away from your time at AYO?

Answer AYO helped provide me with the experience I needed to be shortlisted for and ultimately gain professional work in the UK. It taught me the importance of discipline and teamwork, whilst giving me leadership opportunities, all of which have been invaluable.

Question: What was your favourite piece or performance during your programs?

Answer This is such a difficult question to answer as there are so many that stand out. The Verdi Requiem in the Sydney Opera House, Sibelius 2 throughout the USA tour and my first Stravinsky (<i>Petrushka</i>) are definitely at the top of the list though.

Question: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about you or your time at AYO?

Answer AYO was important to me as an aspirational teenager in that it provided the motivation I was looking for, encouraging me to work hard, daring to hope that I might one day be chosen to join its ranks. I have gone on to work as a tutor for youth orchestras in the UK, directed my own youth String Orchestra and have returned to Australia to tutor at National Music Camp.

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