Opportunities While Studying Trumpet at the Con

A degree from theQueensland Conservatorium Griffith Universitycan take you down many career paths. From Eurovision finalists, Kate Miller-Heidke and Dami Im to Tim Davies, who orchestrated the music for La La Land and Frozen, many of the Conservatorium’s graduates have found remarkable success.

In this series, we asked students from the Conservatorium to share their experiences at university. This week we are highlighting Matthew Nash who is studying a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet.

What do you love most about Queensland Conservatorium and why did you come here to study?
The one thing I love most about studying at the Queensland Conservatorium is the career opportunities that come from studying. I love beings able to work and collaborate with some of the best musicians in the state, as well as visiting artists from across the world. There are numerous performances we get to take part in, inside and outside of the Con building.

These opportunities were one of the main reasons for studying at Griffith. The location is a big bonus, as Brisbane is a beautiful city to live in and the Con is located right in the heart of Southbank!

What is a regular day in the life at university for you?
I don’t think there are any “regular” days at university for me since there’s always something exciting happening! My typical week at the Con would include attending a mix of 1-hour and 2-hour lectures, having lessons with my teacher, attending Brass Workshop and rehearsing with a variety of ensembles. This trimester I have been rehearsing with the Conservatorium’s Wind Orchestra, Brass Ensemble and Trumpet Ensemble. If there were any upcoming performances, we would often squeeze in extra rehearsals for the extra preparation time.

Occasionally we have guest artists come in and do masterclasses and performances, which are always a treat. The rest of the time is often spent hanging out in the common room or practicing in one of the many practice rooms.

Have there been any classes or specific teachers who have inspired you throughout your time here?

My teacher Sarah Butler has been a big inspiration for me, her expertise on all levels of trumpet playing has been amazing to learn from.

However, it’s not just the teachers who inspire me — it’s the other students, particularly those in the brass department! Everybody has their own thoughts and ideas which are shared among the group in workshops and are really supportive of one another in their journeys!

Why Trumpet?
I love the versatility of the trumpet, how it can be used in a variety of settings, from classical to jazz to contemporary. I enjoy the stylistic features that can come from the instrument in each setting as well. These things make the trumpet a truly unique instrument to me.

Believe it or not, the trumpet wasn’t my first choice of instrument! I began learning clarinet when I first joined my school’s band program, however things were not working out with my instrument. I told my parents I wanted to learn the trumpet, and immediately my dad leaves and comes back with a trumpet! My mum and I didn’t know he even had one, it was an old Boosey & Hawkes Emperor model. I fell in love with it very quickly and decided to begin my pursuit with the instrument. The rest is history.

Have you had many opportunities to perform? Which one was your favourite and why?
I’m going to cheat a little and list two performances — The first one was my high school’s annual MADD Night, where I’ve been able to perform on a variety of instruments for the local community of my hometown, Narrabri. The community response received from the shows add to the excitement and the hype, making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

The other performance that comes to mind is the NSW Schools Spectacular. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Stage Band from 2018 to 2019, and it was an opportunity to be a part of a large-scale production as a musician. It was such an amazing experience to be a part of, I would love to do more of that in the future!

What is your proudest achievement so far?
Definitely being accepted into the Con — the day I found out about my acceptance was one of the best days of my life.

What advice do you have for future students?
Whatever goal(s) you may have in mind, do not give up on them! Do whatever it takes to get you there, seek advice from teachers, other students, the internet, method books etc.

Matthew commemorating ANZAC Day 2020