Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music Staff 2018


Dr. Wendy Brooks - Director
PhD, MMus (MusEd), BMusEd

Wendy has been a passionate music educator since completion of her undergraduate degree in music education in the mid 1980's (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.

Rebecca Keegan
Administration Officer


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.

Emily Bailey - Drama

Emily is a former flute and singing student of the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music, having started in our very early days in 1997.

After completing her HSC in 2006, she went on to study Acting for Screen Stage through Charles Sturt University. She has worked for TiE Shows (Quality Theatre in Education) as a touring performer in schools, travelling all across the country in 2011. Emily is a 2012 graduate of the Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s Internship Program and went on to work in their training department, supporting musical theatre training programs for school-aged children, and assisting in the co-ordination of their vast workshops, including the Australian Musical Theatre Workshop in 2014 and their various backstage workshops during their professional show runs. She also has some television experience, having appeared in television commercials, so her passion for acting spans across all areas, and she can’t wait to share her knowledge with the children of the Upper Hunter. Emily is very excited to be part of UHCM’s staff as drama teacher and looks forward to seeing the program grow. She is very passionate about developing confident and happy young people through drama activities.

Katrina Constable - Violin, Piano
BMus (Hons)

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. Since graduating, Glen has worked as a classroom music teacher in NW New South Wales, at at New England and Tamworth Conservatoriums and is a passionate advocate for accessible music education for children and adults in rural and regional areas. At UHCM, Glen teaches Oboe and Bassoon, directs the Conservatorium Choir 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.

Nicola Mackie


Raised in Sydney, Nicola began playing the electronic organ at age 10 before switching to the piano as a teenager under the tuition of Australian composer Grant Foster. After completing a Bachelor of Music Education through the University of NSW in 1990, Nicola has worked as a teacher in primary and high schools in several regions throughout NSW; as a piano, electronic organ, keyboards and theory of music tutor; and as a Yamaha Music Foundation teacher. Nicola has experience leading school choirs and school concert bands, and is passionate about developing students musical skills through singing, playing and experiencing music.

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 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.

Vincent Parmeter

Vincent Parmeter is a pianist, piano teacher and accompanist. After initial music lessons at home with his parents, Vincent went on to study piano with Joyce Blewitt and Philip Sketchley. He gained his Licentiate Diploma before starting studies at The University of Sydney where he completed his Bachelor of Music with piano tuition from Neta Maughan. As an undergraduate, Vincent performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a finalist in the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition. He also spent several years studying jazz with some of Sydney’s leading jazz pianists. Vincent is an experienced accompanist, who has appeared in competitions, concerts, graduation ceremonies, masterclasses, opera tours, eisteddfods, auditions, choir performances, and Art Song recitals. Vincent has over 35 years experience in teaching piano with previous studios in Sydney, Taree, Newcastle and Largs. For Orchestra Nova, he has performed Liszt’s Totentanz, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.

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.

Josh Vadas - Percussion