Dr. Wendy Brooks - Director
PhD, MMus (MusEd), BMusEd
Wendy was appointed Director of Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music in January, 2017, joining our committed team of music educators. She also serves on the Committee of the Association of New South Wales Regional Conservatoriums as secretary.
Wendy has been a passionate music educator since completion of her undergraduate degree in music education in the mid-1980s (NSW State Conservatorium of Music). As well as running a successful piano teaching studio, Wendy taught in several primary and secondary schools in western Sydney as a music and creative arts specialist. Through these roles, she was inspired to return to postgraduate study in 2007 in order to study the place of creative arts in the 21st century curriculum through a research Master’s Degree at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Upon its completion in 2010, Wendy began her doctoral studies, and won an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship to aid in her investigation of music and screen media in the lives of young children. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney in 2015.
Between 2011 and 2017, Wendy worked as a lecturer in music education and primary education at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Western Sydney University respectively. She maintains a keen interest in teacher education, and continues to mentor trainee teachers undertaking practicum placements.
Nathan Adamthwaite - Voice, Piano
Tristan Bradley - Guitar, Piano
Tristan was born and raised in Cessnock. It wasn’t until midway through his high school education at Cessnock High School that he decided to play the guitar. Under the guidance of his school music teacher, Deborah Falconer, and his guitar tutor, Robert Smith, Tristan developed a deep love for all forms of music. After graduating from Cessnock High School, he embarked on a music degree at the Newcastle Conservatorium. There he studied the guitar under Gareth Koch and Terry Latham, and also composition under Colin Spiers. He was also highly influenced by the late David Jones and Greg Smith, and with the guidance of all he graduated in 2005. Since then he has been teaching guitar full time.
Larni Christie - Drama
Larni hails from the Darling Downs in rural Queensland. During her teenage years she was a member of the Queensland Theatre Company and toured South East Queensland with a production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Japanese and Drama. Larni is a Life Member of the Muswellbrook Amateur Theatrical Society, for which she has directed, produced, choreographed, costumed and designed local productions in conjunction with the Muswellbrook Shire Concert Band for more than 18 years. She has been a casual teaching staff member of the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music since 2009 and teaches ensemble and private drama lessons in Muswellbrook. Larni can support HSC drama students and private students undertaking the Trinity Guild syllabus.
Katrina Constable - Violin, Piano
Katrina grew up in the Hunter Valley, studying violin and piano with the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music (UHCM), before moving to Newcastle to complete her Bachelor of Music (Hons) on Violin, graduating in 2012. Katrina has been teaching with the UHCM since 2011, and regularly performs with the UHCM Orchestra, Orchestra Nova, and as part of a quartet at weddings and functions around the Hunter Valley.
Shaun Danger - Guitar
Kate Flannery - Voice
Janelle French - Woodwind
Janelle has been teaching at the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music since 1998. Before this she was a peripatetic teacher in schools in the Upper Hunter region. In 1983 Janelle was awarded a Bachelor of Music Education from the New South Wales Conservatorium. Janelle is an active member of the musical life of the local community, leading the Muswellbrook Shire Concert Band and roles in the Muswellbrook Amateur Theatrical Society and the Kia-Ora Music Camp.
David Harvey - Guitar
David Harvey has been studying and performing guitar for 30 years and has been a guitar teacher at the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music since 1997. For the past 15 years, he has worked on three-handed guitar from an Australian perspective, studying the work of well-known Australian guitarists including Bruce Mathiske, Michael Fix and Adam Miller. In the process, he has developed his own style of ‘smooth’. David currently performs with a rock band, a jazz band, a big band as well as solo work. He is co-director of the UHCM's Guitar Ensemble with Shaun Danger.
Glen Hughes - Woodwind
Glen graduated from Newcastle University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Composition and Ensemble Direction. Glen teaches Oboe and Bassoon and performs with, and assists the UHCM Ensembles.
Samuel Kennedy - Brass, Orchestra, Head of Bands
Sam began learning trumpet while attending Bingara Central School and eventually moved to Newcastle where he completed a Bachelor of Music with the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. Sam has taught trumpet around NSW, both as part of school band programs and privately, and has also participated in a number of school and regional music camps throughout the state.
Jennifer Kershaw - Piano, Theory, Orchestra, Head of Strings
BMus, GradDipMus, AMusA (Piano), MMTA
Jennifer Kershaw graduated from the University of Queensland in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in violin performance and studio teaching under the tuition of Tor Fromyhr and Elizabeth Morgan. She then continued her studies with Jan Sedivka at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, receiving a Graduate Diploma in 1989. In 1994, Jennifer moved to Deniliquin in South West NSW to take up a position as Music Director for South West Music, a community music program serving a wide geographical area. Since 1999 Jennifer has resided in Muswellbrook, teaching violin, viola, piano and theory with the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music and developing the Upper Hunter Conservatorium Orchestra and String ensembles.
Callum Macdonald - Guitar
Callum received a Grade 8 Honours Certificate in Classical Guitar (AMEB), tours as a lead guitarist and bassist in the Gold Coast band "Supatune" and performs in a duo with the Indigenous artist Radical Son. Whether teaching a beginner the three-chord pattern that enables them to play their favourite songs, helping classical guitarists get a better tone or assisting steel-string and rock guitarists with their technique, his aim is to assist the student in having a fun musical journey.
Gillian Miles - Piano, Cello, Musicianship
Gillian Miles is an experienced piano and Cello teacher who has been teaching in the Upper Hunter region for about 30 years. As a teacher Gillian has worked with a large number of students, sharing her passion and enjoyment of music. During this time her students have received excellent results, with several receiving the AMusA diploma from the AMEB. Since 2000 Gillian has been the main driving force behind the annual Upper Hunter Shire and Kia-Ora Youth Music Camp; a camp designed for all students within the Upper Hunter Shire to have access to and learn to appreciate music and the performing arts, and to give promising students opportunities beyond the Shire's borders. Gillian's qualifications include 8th Grade AMEB Piano, 7th Grade AMEB Musicianship, Suzuki Level 6 and she has an accreditation in Early Childhood Music. Gillian enjoys playing Cello in the UHCM Orchestra, as part of the Rouchel Brook Quartet and other Chamber music combinations.
Alison Murphy - Woodwind
Alison completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours (First Class) from the University of Newcastle, studying with Paul Curtis and James Kortum. She has been teaching flute since 1994, and has taught students from early childhood levels through to adult. Alison has travelled widely in the Hunter Region, teaching with the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Westlakes Music Centre, Broadmeadow School of Performing Arts and many other Hunter Region Schools. She has been teaching for the Upper Hunter Conservatorium since 1997.
Aaron Rothemund - Woodwind, Theory
BMus (Hons), AMusA (Flute)
Aaron studied at the University of Newcastle studying under Sally Walker and James Kortum, graduating in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree with his studies focusing on French music, phonetics and tongue placement. In 2011, he was awarded the Dr Maurice Sendak Prize for the most outstanding recital in the final semester of the Bachelor of Music program. In 2013 he attended the MusicAlp Internationale Académie de Musique under the tutelage of Jean Ferrandis. He has performed with many orchestras and ensembles around the Hunter and Central Coast regions, and regularly tutors at band workshops around NSW. Aaron is an avid performer, and regularly performs in orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles and as a solo musician.
Sheriden Sommerley - Piano, Woodwind
Sheriden is a piano, flute and singing (Bel Canto) teacher with a broad range of teaching experience across regional primary and high schools on the Mid North Coast. She has established choirs in schools and communities and has had orchestral experience as a bassoonist in Sydney, playing with amateur orchestras and musical societies. She has had her own private music practice for over thirty years and very much enjoys guiding her students’ progress and providing music-making opportunities for them wherever possible.
Josh Vadas - Percussion