Piano: Lyall Duke
Lyall Duke (L.Mus.A. + RSM) received her early training from Miss. Anne McGarry, before being awarded scholarships to study abroad. Four years in Paris studying with Marcel Ciampi, were followed by three years in London, where she played in the prestigious London Piano Series and broadcast for the BBC. Her studies continued in Munich with Friedrich Wuhrer, and in Italy, where she took part in the masterclasses of Guido Agosti and Alfred Cortot, and was awarded the Diploma of Merit in the Prix Viotti. Since returning to Australia she has played with all the principal Australian orchestras and has appeared as guest soloist at the Adelaide Festival and Melbourne's Myer Music Bowl. In addition to frequent work with the ABC, Lyall is also a lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Vocal : Benjamin Martin
Benjamin Martin holds a Master of Music (Performance) from the University of Melbourne, is a graduate of the Australian National Academy of Music-Advanced Performance Program (Melbourne) and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program (Aldeburgh, UK). He has appeared as soloist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Aldeburgh Festival (UK), Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand), Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, Melbourne International Festival and Oz Opera. Benjamin has performed live radio broadcasts for ABC Classic FM, 3MBS FM and ABC Melbourne. Career highlights include performances as the Evangelist in the St Matthew and St John Passions, Ferrando (Cosi Fan Tutte), Ernesto (Don Pasquale) as well as world premieres of Brenton Broadstock's Stations of the Cross and Scott McIntyre's Fire on the Snow (both recorded for ABC Classic FM). His career has seen him work with many internationally renowned performers and teachers including Barbara Bonney, Michael Chance, Rosamund Illing, Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles and Sarah Walker.Benjamin is Artistic Director of EsqueOpera and runs a successful teaching practice in Launceston. Former students include counter-tenor, Nicholas Tolputt, 2016 winner of the Australian Singing Competition.
Choral, Bands & Instrumental: Kevin Findlay
Kevin Findlay (Mus.B., Dip.Ed., A.Mus.A., Grad.Dip.Educ.Admin., T.I.C). lived in Tasmania for many years, and his musical involvement includes: - Conductor of the Burnie Brass Band (B grade), the Tasmanian University Music Society (Choir), the Orpheus Mens Choir, and the Adult Education Concert Band, A.E. Stage Band, and A.E. Jazz Choir. He was a long-standing playing member of the Glenorchy City Concert Brass (A grade) on trombone and euphonium for various periods . Kevin was President of the Jazz Action Society, a member of the the A.B.C. Advisory Board (Music), and a playing member of various jazz bands and stage bands. He sang with the Choir of the T.S.O. and was the original Band Officer of the Tasmanian Navy Reserve Band. Kevin has been a music performer, conductor, adjudicator, music educator, and music administrator in W.A., Tasmania, Victoria, and Canada - from Classical to Jazz - and from Vocal to Instrumental. His work experience includes Head of Music at the Perth (W.A.) Modern School (for specially talented students), Head of Music for the Greater Schools Board of Quebec (Canada) and as a deputizing member of the W.A.S.O. on bass trombone. For many years he has conducted workshops for a wide range of musical groups in several Australian states, Canada, and Cuba
Strings: Christopher Bearman
Christopher Bearman (OAM AGSM) has enjoyed 40 years making music as violinist and musical director; 20 of those years have also been devoted to passing on his knowledge and experience to students of all ages through his tenure as Director of Central Coast Conservatorium in NSW Australia. Christopher was born in Sussex UK and his music education was at Dartington College of Arts and the Guildhall School of Music in London. From 1974 to 1994 he was based in London as a professional violinist playing with many leading ensembles and orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra. At the BBC he worked with and played for all the principal conductors including Pierre Boulez; Rudolfe Kempe; John Pritchard Colin Davis; Andrew Davis; Gennadi Rozhdestvensky; Gunter Wand Charles Mackerras and David Atherton. During this time as a free lance player he also worked with many other leading conductors including Vernon Handley; Harry Blech; Richard Hickox; John Lanchbury; Adrian Boult and Charles Groves. His interest in conducting and music education began in the early nineties when he became the inaugural conductor of the Surrey Sinfonietta which was involved in an education project in some South London schools On moving to Australia in 1994 his interest in this area continued with teaching posts in violin and ensemble studies at Newcastle and Central Coast Conservatoriums. In 1999 he was appointed Artistic Director of Central Coast Conservatorium and Director in 2001 a position he held until January 2012. From 2012 to 2016 he was cohort leader for strings at Newcastle University Conservatorium NSW and conductor of the Newcastle University Orchestra. Chris now resides in Ross Tasmania. He retains musical connections in NSW as conductor of Lake Macquarie Philharmonic Orchestra. He also has made new musical friends in Tasmania as director of Camerata Obscura.
Speech & Drama: Merry Dickens
Merry Dickens has many educational qualifications, including Batchelor of Education, Advanced Skills Teacher, Drama and Performance Associate, Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), Speech and Performance (Hons) Speech Theory, AMEB, Merry's work experience includes teaching in Australia and as an exchange teacher in the United States. During which she has undertaken a number of activities including, the establishment of Woodwind and String Programs and those relating to her interest in debating. Merry has also undertaken the Speech and Drama adjudicators role in both Australia and recently in Sri Lanka.