Melbourne Music Summit: Artists

Keynote Speakers

Deborah Cheetham AO

2020 MSO Composer in Residence
Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”.

In 2009, Deborah Cheetham established Short Black Opera as a not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous singers. The following year she produced the premiere of the landmark work Pecan Summer, Australia’s first Indigenous opera. In 2019 her work Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace received its orchestral premiere at a sold-out performance with the MSO.

Recent awards and honours include: Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia (2018); Merlyn Myer Commission Prize (2019); Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award (2019); Melbourne Prize for Music (2019); and, Limelight Magazine’s Artist of the Year (2019).

Dr Anita Collins

Dr Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. Anita is best known for her role as on-screen expert and campaign lead for the Don’t Stop the Music documentary that aired on the ABC in late 2018. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student. Over the last two years Anita has interviewed close to 100 researchers in labs across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia so she can share the most up to date research with educators. Increasingly Anita is being invited to provide expert opinion on education, creativity, strategic direction and innovation.

Breakout Session Leaders

Ellen Block

Ellen is an extremely passionate violinist and teacher. She currently teaches at Sacre Coeur and has a private studio. She also leads the Senior Ensemble at The Pizzicato Effect. Ellen has delivered teacher professional learning sessions for teachers through the PizzIMMERSION program since 2018. Having moved to Melbourne in 2013 from Hamilton, Western Victoria, to undertake a Bachelor of Music at Monash University, she also completed her Honours in Music performance. Ellen enjoys performing regularly with the Monash Academy Orchestra as well as Quintessence String Quintet.

Nicholas Bochner

After training in Adelaide and London, Nicholas spent 3 years as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Queensland as part of the ensemble Perihelion, forging a strong reputation as an exponent of contemporary music. In 1998 he joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) as Assistant Principal Cello. Since then he has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. He has also taught cello and improvisation at the Australian National Academy of Music.

Nicholas has always had a strong commitment to music education and community engagement, and is the MSO’s Cybec Assistant Conductor for Learning and Engagement. In 2010 Nicholas was awarded the Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to spend 2 months looking in depth at the LSO’s iconic Discovery program and at the use of improvisation in training classical musicians at the Guildhall School of Music.

In 2016, Nicholas’ considerable experience as an orchestral musician and his passion for communication led him to undertake a fellowship at ANAM where he developed, conducted and presented educational concerts for primary school children. In support of his work as an education presenter, Nicholas has been studying conducting with Benjamin Northey and won a coveted place at the TSO’s 2019 Australian Conducting Academy.

James De Rozario

James de Rozario is an experienced string teacher and music educator. Originally hailing from Perth, he studied violin at the WA Conservatorium of Music and later gained a Graduate Diploma in Education from Monash University.

Working as an itinerant teacher for several years, James performed regularly in WA as a freelance artist. In 1999 he was appointed Head of Strings at Scotch College Perth and later conducted with the WA Youth Orchestra Association.

James moved to Melbourne in 2005 to take on the role of Head of Strings at Scotch College Melbourne and in 2020 moved to Xavier College as their new Head of Music (3 Campus).

As an experienced clinician, James has presented workshops on string education within schools and at conferences. He has is heavily involved in the Australian Strings Association (AUSTA) and is currently National President.

David Hirst

David has been a member of the classroom and instrumental music faculty at Camberwell High School in Melbourne for over 20 years. In 2014 he took up the position of Director of Music, where he is responsible for a program of over 300 students, four wind bands, four stage bands, a biennial school production, and triennial international tours. Prior to leading the program, David was a regional music coordinator for the Department of Education Eastern Metropolitan region, overseeing instrumental music staffing in 50 secondary schools and organising professional development activities and student workshops and concerts. A trumpet specialist, he works regularly with big bands and jazz combos as well as the occasional theatre orchestra.

This session will focus on incorporating the whole school community into the recruitment process, including school administration, current students, parents, staff and feeder primary schools. David will also share the way he collects and uses data to not just help with instrument selection and allocation, but to aid in the ongoing search for additional funding!

Sylvia Hosking

Prior to becoming Schools Program Manager, Sylvia Hosking was Assistant Principal Double Bass with the MSO. She has performed on a number of occasions as Guest Principal Double Bass with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Soloists and Australia Pro Arte, and has given solo recitals around Melbourne.

Sylvia studied at the Victorian College of the Arts under Steve Reeves, later moving to the Royal Conservatory of the Hague under Quirijn van Regteren-Altena, and finally gained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York, returning to Melbourne in 1999.

Karen Kyriakou

Karen Kyriakou’s work as an educator, facilitator, violinist, and composer/arranger is underpinned by her passion for music’s unique capacity to unite and inspire. She works broadly in the area of music education, with students from kindergarten to tertiary level. Karen holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters of Music Education.

With over 25 years experience in the field, Karen is renowned for her ever-innovative approach to music education. She is in demand as a presenter and workshop facilitator with many of Australia’s leading arts organisations including the MSO, Musica Viva and ANAM, and delivers professional learning seminars to teachers of all levels of skill and experience. Driven by her special interest in supporting young people to achieve beyond their expectations, Karen is a long-time Artist in Residence in schools for children with additional needs. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2012 to further her studies in the area of Music and the Deaf.

In 2018, Karen released her teachers manual ‘Strings Together’ which provides activities for string teachers who work in the group and ensemble setting. A staunch advocate of lifelong learning, Karen regularly presents at industry conferences, championing creative music making and inclusive music education.

James Le Fevre

For the past 15 years James Le Fevre has been sharing his passion and enthusiasm for music education with students and colleagues from around the country across the Independent, Catholic and State School systems. He was recently appointed as Head of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School having served as The Arts Learning Area Leader and also Director of Bands at Our Lady of Sion College for 7 Years prior. As an active member of the music community James performs regularly across a wide range of genres and is forging a reputation as an engaging presenter and conductor. He proudly serves as the Immediate Past National President and as a Vice President of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association.

James holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the Australian National University majoring in Jazz Saxophone, and education qualifications from Monash University. In 2016 James completed studies in Education Leadership on scholarship to the Expert and Leading Teachers Colloquium through the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative.

Ingrid Martin

Ingrid Martin’s work as a conductor, clinician and curator is united by her vision to transform lives through the emotive power of music. In demand internationally as a clinician, guest conductor and lecturer, she is renowned for her ability to lead ensembles to deeper, meaningful musical performances. Ingrid creates inspiring experiences for audiences and empowers musicians to find their unique artistic voice.

Ingrid trained under the late John Hopkins AM OBE, and initially studied Medicine at Monash University. She worked as an emergency physician while maintaining a busy musical life as a conductor, horn player and violinist. A decision to further her conducting training led her to the University of Minnesota to study with mentor Craig Kirchhoff.

As Artistic Director of the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra, Bayside Chamber Orchestra and Crosswinds Ensemble, she leads innovative performances that fuse music with other art forms and explore unexpected collaborations. She continues to teach at Blackburn High School while maintaining a busy schedule as a freelance conductor and clinician.

Ingrid is the founder of, an online learning platform for conductors featuring online courses, resources and a podcast. Committed to conductor education, she has served as State President of the Australian Band & Orchestra Directors’ Association, taught conducting to graduate students at the University of Melbourne, and continues provides individual tuition to hundreds of teachers.

Sarina Walter

Sarina Walter is an enthusiastic and versatile music educator. Having grown up in rural Victoria, she places great importance on improving student access to arts education.

After enjoying many years performing and touring in chamber ensembles, Sarina delved into teaching full time, working as both an instrumental and classroom teacher. During this time she developed her skills and knowledge in the Orff and Kodaly methodologies and became interested in bringing classroom ideas to string teaching. Now Sarina combines her performance and teaching skills in both her role as Team Leader with MSO’s The Pizzicato Effect and as Head of Strings at Lauriston Girls’ School.