The Young Conservatorium program recognizes talent at an early age and nurtures each student through to adulthood. At the Young Conservatorium, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a supportive network and learning from world-renowned teachers from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
Current student, Michael Smith, shares his experience with the program this far.
Tell us a bit about your experience at Young Conservatorium.
The Basil Jones Orchestral Hall is a terrific venue to rehearse in for either Symphony Orchestra or Wind Orchestras, of which I’m part of. The theatre is the most amazing hall I’ve ever performed in either orchestrally, or in the Young Conservatorium Brass Ensemble.
Kevin has been an amazing administrator; he and the Young Conservatorium team have done a terrific job in keeping everything running as smoothly as possible. If I need a room for a trumpet sectional, I just ask the team if they can get a room for me, one minute later we have a room for half an hour.
Have there been any lessons or specific teachers who have inspired you throughout your time here?
All the teachers and experiences I have had through Young Conservatorium have inspired me. Stephanie Smith has been a great conductor to study under. I’ve learned a lot from her musical style.
My teacher, Mark Bremner, has been an encouraging mentor to me, I even learn about physics on the odd occasion. In my private lessons, he gets me to do focusing, breathing and relaxation exercises that help me improve my technique
Have you had many opportunities to perform? Which one was your favorite and why?
Once a year the Young Conservatorium Wind Orchestra collaborates with the Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, on a Friday night, to perform in the theatre doing a collection of band works by various composers. Getting to play with the Conservatorium Wind Orchestra is amazing. You get to sit next to more advanced players and learn how to play with new people after less than a week.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
Performing a concerto with the Young Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, last year, was a huge privilege. Being a soloist with an orchestra doesn’t happen every day.
Do you have any advice for students looking to start lessons at Young Conservatorium?
Even if you aren’t planning on going on to do music it’s a great learning experience. The teachers that I know are really supportive so if you’re looking for a supportive environment, the Conservatorium is a good place to start at. Playing music with other people is great fun. Learning music is a lifetime experience.
What are your plans for the future? Are you planning on continuing your studies at the Queensland Conservatorium?
I’m not sure at the moment what I plan to do when I finish schooling, but if I am going on with music I will definitely go to the Conservatorium. You get so many opportunities going to the Conservatorium, so many ways to expand your knowledge musically. Music is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle.
I have been immersed in music from an early age, each of my siblings learnt piano and an orchestral instrument. Most of them learnt string instruments, but I wasn’t interested in what they were doing. I heard the trumpet one day and I loved the sound it made, so I began to take lessons from a local regional teacher who instructed me to an intermediate level. From there I began taking lessons from Mark.