Cellist, alumnus of the bachelor of music (elite) with honours course at the University of Tasmania, Australia
I have just completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and I am going on to do a masters course there, so that I can continue working with my teacher, Sue-Ellen Paulsen. The university is based in Hobart, a small city with a thriving musical community and performance opportunities in local churches – someone is always interested if you want to put on a concert. I teach privately and in local schools as well, as do many of my colleagues.
The undergraduate course at the UTAS was very performance-based and we spent a lot of time in the recording studio. Some students decided to do a recording project for their final assessment, to create recorded materials to use for auditions and competitions, but I decided to write a thesis instead.
I want to have an orchestral career, so UTAS’s close links with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) have been invaluable to me. A lot of TSO players teach at UTAS and they are always happy to hear us play. We have an orchestral repertoire class with a different cellist each week, so we hear a wide range of views about our orchestral excerpts. More advanced students often work with the TSO as extra players; I do some casual work with them myself. There are also scholarships at UTAS that allow students to sit in with the TSO and play a few concerts with them each year.
Other scholarship opportunities available at UTAS include the McDonald Scholarship in Music, which funds a residency of up to ten weeks in the UK for string students. I am taking advantage of this at the moment: I’m in the UK studying with Louise Hopkins and Rebecca Gilliver in preparation for my masters.