My musical journey started back when I was in year five. My Dad found out about the Conservatorium High School and went to school there, which was a really good start to it all. When I was in year ten I did AYO Young Symphonists on the Gold Coast and it was a great experience; it gave me an idea of what the musical standard was out there, and it made me realise I wasn’t just in my own little bubble. I went to the Conservatorium University after that and did a few AYO National Music Camps. In my third year I ended up playing in the AYO, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Fellowship and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Fellowship – that was great year!
After that I went over to London for a few years to do the Orchestral Masters program at the Royal College. I’d decided to be an orchestral player and it was the only course for orchestral playing. I gained a lot of experience – working with amazing conductors, numerous mock auditions, etc.
Following that I took part in the MSO Fellowship program again and also participated in AYO’s Momentum Ensemble, during which we performed in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Western Australia. It was a fantastic experience because I’d been out of the professional music sphere in Australia and it gave me a chance to re-connect. In 2016 I got a 2nd Flute contract with the QSO and in 2017 I’m completing an Associate Principal Contract with them.
So I’ve been through every step of the education ladder and my timely experiences with AYO have been wonderful for my career.
What are some of your AYO highlights?
I loved it when we did Shostakovich Symphony No.10 at National Music Camp. I remember feeling stressed because there were a few tricky bits throughout the week, e.g. getting in tune with the piccolo, and it felt like there was a bit of a risk but the reward was greater when it all went the right way. Things worth doing are always hard!
The Momentum Ensemble tour was also fantastic, because I’d been feeling uncertain about what would happen when I came back from overseas and I was anxious about getting back into the music scene; e.g. I was wondering how I would go, would I be up to scratch with everyone else, etc. The tour made me feel that I’m definitely doing the right thing, and encouraged me to keep pursing music. It also put me into a very positive mind frame going into the battle of auditions.
What has been the most useful thing you learnt in AYO that has helped your career?
It’s really good to get used to having to do auditions early on. It’s also good to get to know some of those big excerpts when you’re younger. It makes the high-pressure situation for auditions seem a bit more normal. You can never start that too early. Winning auditions and actually playing in an orchestra are two totally different skills so it’s beneficial to get experience in both.