Music Academy Staff

Music Academy Staff

Mr Joel Copeland

Dean of Music

BEd (Secondary Music), Ad Dip (Leadership & Management)

Joel Copeland currently holds the position of Dean of Music at Canberra Girls Grammar School. He was previously employed at Radford College where he was Head of Music and Director of Choirs.  Joel holds a Bachelor of Education (Secondary Music) and has been an exponent of the Kodály philosophy throughout his teaching career.  In 2015, he received the Australian Kodály Certificate in Secondary Music Education and is currently undertaking a Masters in Education (Educational Leadership).  Joel recently obtained an Advanced Diploma in Leadership and Management through the Australian Institute of Management.  He has directed choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles across all year levels and was heavily involved in the development and implementation of an International Baccalaureate inquiry-based music curriculum in the Radford Junior School. Joel spent 2016 as a Director of the Radford College Board.  With experience teaching students from Pre-Kindergarten through to Year 12 as well as adult music learners in a community setting, Joel believes that music education should be made accessible to all and above all else, music learning should be fun and engaging.  In 2010, Joel spent 18 months in the UK as the Assistant Director of Music at Kent College, Canterbury.  Joel is currently serving his second 2-year term as the National President of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA Inc.) and is also a past President of the ACT Music Educators Network (ACTMEN).  Joel was involved in the Music Australia delegation to Parliament House in 2017 and has previously held positions on the National Council of the Australian Society for Music Education (ASME).  Joel is a passionate advocate for Music Education and is honored to lead The Music Academy at Canberra Girls Grammar School through 2018 and beyond.

Phone: 02 6202 6400

Mrs Jennifer Groom

Head of Music and Performing Arts, Junior School

B Mus Ed (Hons), DC

After graduating from the NSW Conservatorium of Music in 1984 with Honours in a Bachelor of Music Education, Mrs Jennifer Groom attained a DC (Dalcroze Certification). Teaching at several schools in Melbourne including an appointment as Head of Music at Siena College, Jenny developed a passion for music education in both Primary and Secondary schools. While at PLC she became the first IB music teacher in Victoria and has taught up to Year 12 in the Victorian, NSW and ACT systems. For many years, Jenny was the ACT and South Coast Professional Development presenter for the Musica Viva in Schools programme and co-coordinated the Primary Independent Schools Arts Network. Bringing a wealth of experience and passion to her role as Head of Music and Performing Arts in the CGGS Junior School, Jenny is an invaluable asset to the Primary Years Program, collaborating not only with her Music Department colleague, Mrs Sara David, but also with teachers at all year levels in Units of Inquiry where music enriches students’ learning. Over the past 15 years at CGGS, Jenny has developed extensive academic, instrumental and co-curricular Music Programs ensuring students develop musical skills and a love of participation in musical activities. She believes that “students at CGGS Junior School have unique opportunities to create, perform and critically appreciate a wide range of music which will enhance their lives”.

Phone:  02 6202 6411

Mrs Rowan Harvey-Martin

Head of Orchestras

A.S.C.M BMus, Churchill Fellowship in Conducting

Rowan graduated violin with honours from the ANU School of Music and has also studied at the Eastman School of Music, New York. She was former Principal First Violin with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and has had extensive orchestral experience with the Eastman Virtuosi in New York, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and as Associate Concertmaster with the Australian production of Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon.  Rowan studied choral conducting with Michael McCarthy at the Canberra School of Music and orchestral conducting with Donald Hunsberger at the Eastman School of Music. She is currently Musical Director of The Llewellyn Choir in Canberra. In 2007-2009 Rowan took part in Symphony Australia’s Conducting Development Program with Christopher Seaman, Arvo Volmer and Sebastien Lang-Lessing conducting the State Orchestra of Victoria, Tasmanian, Queensland, Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. In 2010 Rowan conducted The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in their Tea and Symphony Series and Brahm’s A German Requiem for the Llewellyn Choir’s 30th Anniversary. In 2009 Rowan was awarded the Stuart and Norma Leslie Churchill Fellowship for furthering her conducting in Graz, Austria with Johannes Fritsch and Rochester New York with Christopher Seaman.  In 2012 Rowan conducted Bach’s St Matthew Passion with The Llewellyn Choir and became Chief Conductor of Canberra Youth Orchestra and Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Music.   With the Llewellyn Choir between 2013 and 2016 Rowan conducted Antill’s Corroboree, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Jenkin’s The Armed Man, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Tavener’s Ikon of Light, Rheinberger’s The Star of Bethlehem, Verdi’s Requiem, Ramirez Missa Criolla and Will Todd’s Mass in Blue. She will conduct Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ in December 2017.

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Mrs Natalie Guile

Head of Bands

BMus Ed (Hons)

Natalie has always enjoyed a deep involvement with music. Participating in many ensembles throughout High School, she was selected to study at a tertiary level at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. At the Conservatorium, Natalie studied flute under Suzy Powell, Esme Yamaguchi, Rosamund Plummer and Amanda Hollins. Her studies were guided by some of Australia’s leading music educators, conductors and academics. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education (Honours) in 1996, she then went on to work at Richmond High School for Education NSW as a targeted graduate, and was then successfully appointed to Tyndale Christian School. In 2000, Natalie was employed as a foundation staff member at Nowra Anglican College, where she was the Head of the Creative Arts and Music faculty. Over 15 years, Natalie developed and led a highly successful department that was recognised in the region for eisteddfod winning ensembles, award winning musicals and consistently high HSC results with many students progressing toward further study in both music and education. During this she also was commissioned to write music education resources for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Meet the Music’ concert series. Making the move to CGGS in 2015 as Teacher in Charge of Bands, Natalie has been able to take on a variety of leadership roles to ensure our students receive an experience of music education that is of the highest quality.

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Mr Stephen Rabe

Head of Woodwind

BMus, Dip Teach, Assoc. Dip Mus

Stephen graduated from the Canberra School of Music in 1992 with a B.Mus, Distinction in Clarinet Performance. He also holds a Diploma of Teaching & an Assoc. Dip.Mus. from the University of Tasmania.  He has performed professionally with many orchestras including Principal Clarinet with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, The Canberra Mozart Orchestra, Canberra Pro Arte Orchestra, Canberra Choral Society Orchestra & the Llwewellyn Choir Orchestra.  He has also performed as Soloist & Chamber musician throughout Australia & overseas in the Rotterdam Concert Hall, The Australian Embassy in London, The Esterhazy Palace, The Barbican in London, as well as live broadcasts on ABC FM, & ABC TV.  Stephen is highly regarded as a clarinet teacher & many of his students have gone on to perform with the Australian Youth Orchestra, The Tasmanian Symphony, The Adelaide Symphony, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as well as furthering their studies throughout Australia & overseas including Conservatory De Versailles & The Julliard School of Music. On two occasions his students have been selected to perform at the Encore Gala Concert in the Sydney Opera House for gaining top marks in performance in the NSW HSC. Stephen is the Head of Woodwind and has been teaching clarinet at CGGS since 2000.

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Mrs Greta Claringbould

Head of Choirs

BMus Hons, ATCL (Violin), AMusA (Voice)

Greta holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours, an ATCL in Violin, and an AMusA Diploma in singing.  Greta is a former professional orchestral violist and chorister with Wellington Cathedral Choir (New Zealand). She currently teaches voice at Canberra Girls Grammar School, and is also conductor of the school’s choirs, Cantantes and Coro da Camera. Greta’s singing teaching focuses on classical repertoire and the accent breathing method. In performance, Greta’s vocal timbre combines purity and clarity with warmth and richness. She specializes in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, especially oratorio, cantata and small ensemble, and is expert at the execution of lengthy florid baroque runs.  Greta frequently performs solo roles for various Canberra choirs and ensembles. In July 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald cited, “Soprano Greta Claringbould has a neat elegance in her delivery, skilfully executing ornaments and articulating every note of each run.”  In 2016, in partnership with colleagues alto Maartje Sevenster and harpsichord/continuo player Peter Young, Greta formed Baroque Trio Adhoc Baroque. The trio continues to delight Canberra audiences with authentic performances of esoteric sacred and secular Baroque chamber works, including in 2017, the Antipodean premiere of Brunetti’s 1764 Stabat Mater. In 2018 Adhoc Baroque will debut at the Canowindra Baroque festival.

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Ms Kylie Loveland

Head of Keyboard

BMus, MMus (Piano & Accompaniment)

Kylie graduated with a Masters in Piano Performance and Accompaniment from the ANU School of Music in 2009. She has performed as a soloist with the National Capital Orchestra, participated in the Tel Hai International Piano Masterclasses in Israel, and has accompanied choirs and soloists regularly around Canberra for over 15 years. Kylie’s passion for teaching comes from her love of working with fellow musicians and from studying with great pedagogues, including Susanne Powell, Dr. Geoffrey Lancaster (fortepiano) and Prof. Larry Sitsky. Throughout 2014-15 Kylie also studied Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique with Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink (USA). Kylie’s focus as a teacher is to encourage musicians to be independent, creative and confident in tackling new challenges so that they can reach their full potential.

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Mrs Lim Hur


Dip Mus (Performance), GradDip Ed (Sec)

Lim Hur is a highly-experienced music teacher and has worked at CGGS for many years. She has taught music classes from Years 7 to 12 and has helped coordinate many music ensembles and concerts. Notably Lim founded the Gabriel String Quartet and has co-led the jazz band at many successful eisteddfods. Prior to working at CGGS, Lim taught at Kambah High School and Narrabandah College. Lim has also worked in the NSW school system teaching HSC music and led the Music Department at Berkeley Vale High School from 1983 to 1993. Lim is a committed believer in both Orff and Kodaly methodology in music education, and enjoys keeping her skills up to date by attending yearly workshops and international conferences. Lim studied piano performance at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music under Leah Horowitz.

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Mr Viv Martin


BMus (Hons), GradDip Ed (Sec), MEd (Educational Leadership)

From the tender age of 8 Viv has pursued many forms of making music. Alongside the Bachelor of Music (honours), Diploma of Education and Masters of Educational Leadership he has held a variety of positions from Director of Music at Trinity Regional College to principal tuba with the famous Footscray-Yarraville City band to Director of Bands at Scotch Oakburn College. In 1995, he won the National Solo Championships on B flat tuba and has been awarded a total of ten state titles in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.  From 1995 Viv has specialised in conducting choirs, orchestras and bands. He is a well know figure in the Australia band movement directing Latrobe Federal Band to wins in consecutive state titles. Viv instigated a highly successful youth training program for this ensemble to ensure its continued success, a legacy which continues today. Internationally, in 2003, Viv completed a tour of Kentucky in the USA through the Rotary Group Study Exchange program, appearing as guest conductor and clinician in a number of universities and high schools. He ventured to Northern France with Eastern Australia Brass in 2005 and 2014 performing in the Conservatoire de Paris and to 3000 on the steps of Amien’s cathedral. Viv is currently Head of Kilburn House at CGGS, directs bands and is a senior staff member of The Music Academy.

Phone: 02 6202 6480

Mrs Sara David


BA Ed (Hons)

Sara David has pursued her passion for Music Education since graduating from Christ Church University (Canterbury, United Kingdom) with a Batchelor of Arts and Education (Hons). Her experience in leading the Bristol Chamber Orchestra and running the North Somerset Music Centre for Young Musicians Junior Orchestra, in addition to classroom teaching, was invaluable as Sara began teaching at the highly regarded CGGS Junior School Music Department in 2005. Qualified as an Orff Music Education Practitioner, Sara believes that young children “playing and doing” is a vital element of their Music Education. Sara specialises in teaching classroom music in the Early Learning Centre, Junior Primary classes and Year 3. She has developed choirs for young singers and the Celtic Music Ensemble. In addition to classroom music teaching, Sara plays violin in many school settings modelling to students a collaborative approach in music playing and a lifelong love of instrumental music. She is passionate that “music should be available to all students and that music education is essential to their development of social, cognitive, and motor skills.”

Phone: 02 6120 3395

Mr Stephen Leek

Conductor/Teacher – Community Choir & Composition

B.A.(Mus) Composition and Cello Performance

Freelance Australian Composer and Conductor Stephen Leek has long associations with some of the finest and most innovative ensembles around the world including Gondwana Voices (Australia), the Tapiola Children’s Choir (Finland), Kamer Choir (Latvia), The Formosa Singers (Taiwan), and his own choirs, the innovative vOiCeArT and the highly acclaimed The Australian Voices, that he co-founded and conducted for 16 years until 2009. As a conductor, Stephen continues to be in demand as guest conductor around the globe. As a composer, Stephen writes with his own distinctive contemporary style – his works have broad appeal and are performed regularly by a wide selection of choirs throughout the world. As a result, he has been commissioned by some of the leading choral groups world-wide. Having written 13 operas, numerous orchestral and chamber works, music for education and dance, yet, Stephen is often credited as the “founder of Australian choral music” for his composition of over 700 innovative choral works that explore a uniquely “Australian” colour and texture for all ages of singer and levels of experience. A Churchill Fellow, Stephen has received many national and international awards including the prestigious “Robert Edler International Choral Prize” for his contribution to the development of global choral music. In 2012/13, Stephen was the Artistic Director of the Shanghai Youth Choir and in 2015, Conductor of the Asia Pacific Youth Choir, and until recently Vice President of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) – a voluntary role he undertook for 6 years creating opportunities for musicians around the world. Currently in the role of Artistic Director/General of the Young Music Society in Canberra, Stephen continues to pursue hectic freelance activities in Australia and throughout the world.


Mrs Alice Giles

Conductor – Chamber Music

Dip Mus (Performance)

Alice Giles is celebrated as one of the world’s leading harpists. First Prize winner of the Eighth Israel International Harp Contest, she has had a wide and varied international solo career, from London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Merkin, ‘Y’ and Carnegie Halls, to Mawson Station, Antarctica, and continues to tour annually in the USA, Europe and Asia. She was awarded an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours for “significant service to the performing arts as a harpist, mentor and educator, and through contributions to Australia’s musical landscape.”  With a passion for teaching, Alice has developed a unique and systematic approach to teaching technique using natural body movements, and has recently launched an online teaching resource. She was lecturer at the Frankfurt Hochschule and has given master classes in major institutions from the Salzburg Mozarteum to the Juilliard School, currently teaching at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her annual Summer Course is held in Kioloa on the NSW South Coast. She has commissioned many new works by Australian composers, including for the electro-acoustic harp and as Director of the Seven Harp Ensemble. Chair and Artistic Director of the 2014 World Harp Congress in Sydney, Alice is also founding Director of the Harp Centre Australia, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the harp in Australia.


Mr Gary France

Conductor – Global Groove Percussion Ensemble

BMus MMus

Gary France is a passionate advocate for music education throughout the world. He presents workshops, motivational speeches and concerts in the widest range of musical genres including jazz, commercial, world and classical music. He has performed and taught music workshops in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Ghana, Brazil, Cuba, India, the Americas, Australia and NZ. He received his Bachelor of Music degree, Music Education, in 1979, from the prestigious Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, and his Master of Music degree, Orchestral Performance / Jazz, 1988 at the University of North Texas. Gary was recruited from the USA to Australia in 1986 by Richard Gill as the inaugural Lecturer in Drumset and Percussion at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music. Gary’s prominent positions have included: Head of Music WAAPA – Edith Cowan University, Head of ANU School of Music, Associate Professor of Music and Distinguished Artist in Residence at the ANU, Features Editor of PERCUSscene Magazine, International Board of Directors Percussive Arts Society USA, President and founder of the Australia Chapter of PAS and Board member SPEAK Percussion. Gary’s former students hold prominent professional positions in contemporary drum-set / percussion and the arts industry throughout the world. Gary France is presently the founder and director of The Groove Warehouse, an innovative institution that merges music educational practice with entrepreneurship.


Mr Arnan Wiesel

Lecturer – Music Appreciation


The Israeli born pianist Arnan Wiesel is well-known to Canberra audiences. Arnan is a winner of national and international prizes and was a finalist in the 1985 Sydney Piano Competition. His career as solo and chamber musician has taken him to Australia, USA, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Israel.  Concert appearances include concertos with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Mozart Orchestra, Danska Sinfonietta and recitals in important music centres such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Münchner Gasteig, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Zurich, Geneva,Budapest and Moscow as well as appearances at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Insel-Hombroich and Münchner-Klaviersommer Festivals in Germany and the Israel Festival.  Since taking up residence in Australia, he has performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australia Ensemble, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Festival, in numerous ABC Live concerts, the Hunter and Huntington festivals, Tyalgum Festival and in the Canberra Chamber Music Festival. He appeared in the NZ Piano Festival in Wellington.  From 2005 – 2010 he performed the complete J.S.Bach Keyboard works on the modern piano and on the clavichord.  Arnan was Head of the Keyboard area at the ANU School of Music from 2010 – 2012 and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the 1st Australian International Chopin Piano Competition held in 2011. He was the inaugural President of the ACT Keyboard Association.  Arnan was convenor of music appreciation classes at the ANU and produced the complete J.S.Bach Keyboard works on the modern piano and on the clavichord.  Arnan was Head of the Keyboard area at the ANU School of Music from 2010 – 2012 and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the 1st Australian International Chopin Piano Competition held in 2011. He was the inaugural President of the ACT Keyboard Association.  Arnan was convenor of music appreciation classes at the ANU and produced a series of radio programs for Artsound Radio on the History of Keyboard Literature.


Dr Kim Cunio

Teacher - Audio Production

DCA, (Comp), M Mus, (Comp), B Mus (Comp & Voice), B Comm

Sacred, post drone, maxi- minimalist, early music composer nut has had his music played around the world including performances at the Whitehouse, United Nations, and festivals in many countries. His list of commissioning organisations is significant, including the Olympics, The Art Gallery of NSW, The National Gallery of Victoria, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, The Foundation for Universal Sacred Music (USA), and many others. The Australia Council for the Arts has funded many of Kim’s projects, and the Australian Government has funded much of his touring. Kim is published by the ABC, Australian Composers and Shiv Shakti music; and records with New World in the US. Kim lectures in composition and musicology at the Australian National University, performs a large array of forgotten music with soprano Heather Lee and transcribes vanishing oral traditional music for fun.

Mr John Couch

Conductor – Williams Guitar Ensemble

MMus, MBA, FTCL, Post-Grad. Dip. (Performance/Research), BMus

John Couch graduated in 2000 with a Masters of Music (MMus) in classical guitar performance and pedagogy and has been teaching classical guitar since 1994. His teaching philosophy is one that balances enjoyment with progression, enabling students to progress technically and musically on the classical guitar while discovering a rich repertoire for the instrument. As an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB NSW) he has a broad knowledge of the student repertoire. John has adjudicated many music performance competitions from local eisteddfods to international guitar competitions in Mexico. John is the director of New Zealand’s premiere classical guitar festival, the Taranaki Classical Guitar Summer School (TCGSS); a biennial festival that connects international and local professional and vocational classical guitarists. As a performer, John tours internationally as both a soloist and chamber musician and is a core member of the New Zealand Guitar Quartet (NZGQ). He has recorded for radio and television in Australia, Vietnam, Canada and New Zealand and has released five CD recordings, including his latest solo album Ask Me Tomorrow featured heavily on the ABC Classic FM. “An extraordinary musician, a perfect technique:” Edition Beauce, Quebec (Canada). 


Mr Minh Le Hoang

Conductor – Kain Guitar Ensemble

BMus (Hons), MMus

Minh Le Hoang studied with leading Australian guitarist and teacher, Timothy Kain at the ANU School of Music. He subsequently graduated with first class honours, receiving the highest mark ever achieved by a student in a solo recital. Minh then continued to undertake postgraduate studies and completed a Masters of Music. A member of Australia’s unique guitar quartet, Guitar Trek, Minh has toured extensively throughout Europe, toured for Musica Viva and appeared at major festivals including the Sydney Festival, Canberra International Chamber Music Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Port Fairy Classical Music Festival, Saigon, Frankston, Darwin, and New Zealand International Guitar Festivals. Minh won first prize in the 50th Tokyo International Guitar Competition having won the Adelaide Spring Guitar Competition in 2001. As a soloist and recitalist within Australia he has given master classes and concerts for guitar societies in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra. He has also given concerts and classes in the United States and Southeast Asia and as well as making many appearances on radio and television. In 2008, he released the critically acclaimed solo album “The Fall of Birds” and a more recent recording “Duo Merindah” featuring music for guitar and flute. As a devoted and respected teacher developing the talents of a future generations of musicians in Canberra, Minh is currently a teacher at CGGS and at Australia’s leading guitar department at the Australian National University, School of Music where Minh has also served as acting Head of the Guitar department.


Mr Steve Fitzgerald

Conductor – Hit It Percussion Ensemble & KT Percussion Ensemble

BMus, MMus

Steve Fitzgerald was born and raised in East Gippsland. He completed a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Victorian College of Arts in 2004 under the direction of Peter Neville, and a Masters degree at the Australian National University in 2012.  He has performed with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Basel Festival Orchestra and is currently a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Steve has been involved with the Astra Ensemble, Speak Percussion, Synergy, Ensemble Offspring, Graeme Leak & Strange Fruit Theatre, Australian Boys’ Choir, Australian Chamber Brass and the Green Room award-winning production of ‘Hunger’ by Rawcus Theatre/MSO. During 2008, Steve worked in Japan on several shows at Tokyo Disneyland, and in 2009 he toured rural and metropolitan schools throughout Victoria with the OzOpera production of ‘The Sound Garden.’ Steve has appeared at the Adelaide and Melbourne International Arts Festivals, Hobart’s MONA FOMA, WOMAD and at CHOGM 2011 as part of the co-inciding celebrations. In 2012, he performed alongside the cabaret-diva Meow Meow in a sold-out season of “Little Match Girl”, the Sydney Festival’s Spiegeltent house show. Since then, Steve has toured to the UAE with Australian percussion legends Taikoz, and more recently has composed twice for playwright Emma Gibson in conjunction with The Street Theatre. Steve has been an Instrumental Tutor at both Canberra Grammar School and Canberra Girls’ Grammar School since 2016 and enjoys conducting the different percussion ensembles and marching band drum-line.


Mrs Teresa Rabe

Conductor – Flute Ensemble

B.Mus, L.Mus (AMEB) A.Mus (AMEB)

Teresa is a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, has toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and played in a casual position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She has been Principal Flute with Stopera, Canberra Choral Society and Llewellyn Choir. Most recently she played Principal Flute with the National Pops Orchestra, backing Kate Miller-Heidke and The Whitlams. She has appeared many times in the Canberra International Chamber Music Festival and plays for the Canberra Philharmonic and Free Rain musicals. Teresa enjoys chamber music and performs with soprano Louise Page and pianist Phillipa Candy, and has toured Australia and China and recorded a CD with guitarist Minh Le Hoang. For the past decade, Teresa has also played in the Canberra Symphony Orchestra Noteworthy program, with a Wind Quintet that tours the Hospitals, Aged Care residences and Special Schools of Canberra a few times a year. Teresa has won the National Flute Orchestral Extracts competition and performed concertos with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Canberra Pro Musica, The Hayden Bande and Canberra School of Music Orchestra. Teresa has a prestigious teaching studio, which includes pre-tertiary students at the ANU School of Music. Her students have continued to tertiary studies in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane Conservatoriums. Teresa conducts the Canberra Girls Grammar School Flute Ensemble. She has given masterclasses in Australia and Beijing, and adjudicated the Adelaide Eisteddfod, Canberra Eisteddfods and Music Festivals on the NSW South Coast. Teresa has been a recitalist on ABC Classic FM Sunday Live.


Mr Ethan McAlister

Conductor/Teacher – Pop Ensembles & Song Writing

BMus (Composition & Performance)

Ethan McAlister is an electric guitar/bass and theory tutor at CGGS. An experienced performer, composer and songwriter, Ethan’s interests extend from contemporary classical music to jazz to folk music. Since completing his Bachelor of Music in Composition and Electric Guitar at the University of Melbourne, Ethan has returned home to Canberra where he now teaches across Canberra and studies musical composition under Kim Cunio at the ANU School of Music. Ethan is excited for the opportunity to be a part of The Music Academy in 2018, teaching song writing classes as well as continuing to build the contemporary music program within the school.


Mrs Jenny Sawers

Conductor – The Decibelles

BMus (Hons)

Jenny Sawer graduated from The School of Music, ANU with a BMus (1st class Hons) in 2004 majoring in classical singing and musicology. She is a Canberra-based vocalist, vocal coach, composer, guitarist, pianist and cellist. Jenny teaches privately at Canberra Girls Grammar Senior School and performs regularly in the contemporary duo ‘Jen & Jim’ at public venues and private functions. Jenny leads The Decibelles at CGGS and is also a relief conductor for The Cyrenes, The Canberra Children’s Choir and Mr Tim’s community choirs. She was the Musical Director of the choir Out of the Shower and on with the Show (OOTS) from 2004-2007 and was recognised for her efforts with OOTS when she won the Adult Learner’s week ACT 2006 Award for Outstanding Teacher. Jenny appears as a guest soprano soloist for choral performances in Canberra and has recorded two albums of original music, ‘Wild and Free’ and ‘Outrageous’. Jenny is passionate about music education and sharing her joy of music with students. Her particular interest in vocal technique lies with timbre and being a “vocal chameleon”.


Mrs Charlene Brighenti

Teacher – Theory

BMus (piano pedagogy), BA in Communication (public relations), LAGM, AAGM, AMusA, CMusA (Distinction), Perf. Cert. TCL, MMTA.

Charlene is a CGGS piano and theory teacher, teaching across both Junior and Senior school campuses. She has been at CGGS since 2000, having taught since 1994 at many ACT schools including St Vincents’ Primary, Hawker Primary, Lyneham Primary, Lyneham High, Merici College, Cook Primary and Macquarie Primary, as well as teaching for many years in her home studio. A former CGGS (at the time, CCEGGS) girl herself, Charlene believes strongly in creating an environment where students feel motivated, encouraged, comfortable contributing and asking questions and are able to progress according to their individual interests and needs. She aims to make lesson time meaningful, foster students’ independent learning skills and stimulate an appreciation for music that lasts well beyond school years. Charlene holds a Bachelor of Music (majoring in piano pedagogy) and on graduating was privileged to receive recognition from the AICM for a distinguished academic record, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from UC (majoring in public relations), piano performance diplomas including a Licentiate (AGMS), two Associates (AGMS, AMEB), a Certificate of Music Australia with Distinction (AMEB) and a Performance Certificate (Trinity College). Currently she is studying towards a Master of Education, with a specialisation in expert teaching practice (Monash University). Charlene is an Accredited private music teacher, has been a full member of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW since 1998, was a member and committee member of the former Canberra branch and is a member of ACTKA (ACT Keyboard Association).


Mrs Lilian Hathorn

Teacher – Theory


Lilian Hathorn is a piano and theory teacher with 25 years teaching experience. She has been an instrumental tutor at Canberra Girl’s Grammar School for over 20 years, both in the Senior and Junior Schools. Whilst Lilian has had a particular interest in teaching advanced theory and harmony, she has taught privately and in a group setting to students of all ages and levels. Over the years, she has maintained a high standard of teaching that has resulted in consistently good results from the AMEB for both her Piano and Theory students. Lilian studied classical piano performance with Prof Larry Sitsky and Harmony with Marretje Van Wezel at the Canberra School of Music. She holds a Licentiate and Performer’s Diploma in Piano Performance with Trinity College, London, and an Associate Diploma with both the Australian Music Examinations Board and the Australian Guild of Music. As well as her musical studies Lilian also graduated with first class Honours in Philosophy from the ANU. Her teaching philosophy emphasises music’s accessibility to the motivated student. Far from the elitist prone notions of ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’, a musical education can and should be experienced by all those willing to learn. Lilian attributes her teaching success to her respectful teaching style. She is happy to relinquish the power dynamic, so often associated with teaching, in favour of a mutually respectful relationship with her students. Finding that even young children respond best when the responsibility of their learning is theirs to nurture. Lilian is currently enjoying the many challenges involved in mastering Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz.


Mr Tim Wickham

Conductor – Alma Strings


Canberra violinist Tim Wickham has over thirty years of formal training, practice, and performance experience. Tim graduated from the Canberra School of Music (Australian National University) in 2005 and is a highly sought after local violin performer, mentor, conductor, and ensemble director.  He is a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and is also a regular contributor to its community outreach and education programs. In addition to a strong interest in traditional violin techniques, Tim is also proficient in contemporary and improvised electric violin methods. Tim has been a member of the Canberra Girls Grammar School music community since 2012.


Mrs Rebecca Smith

Conductor – Stringy Bachs


Rebecca has had over 10 years of experience teaching violin to all ages at schools Canberra wide and her own home studio. Rebecca was a graduate of Canberra Girls Grammar School and a significant part of her teaching experience has occurred at CGGS. She is very fond of the school. Rebecca has a passion for bringing out the best in her students, to enable them to express themselves technically, musically and spiritually. A main goal for her is to teach them to be independent and develop lifelong learning and development whether that is with her or other teachers along the way. Her students have been very successful as solid members and leaders of school and community orchestras, chamber groups, placing in Eisteddfods and achieving high grades in AMEB amongst other achievements. Her students have also gone on to study music professionally. Rebecca has also worked as a conductor and tutor of many orchestras around Canberra and is currently the Junior School’s ‘Stringy Bachs’ conductor. Aside from teaching Rebecca regularly performs with her ensemble as the leader of Forrest National Chamber Orchestra and much other freelance work both in Australia and Internationally.


Mrs Lisa Christie

Music Academy Administrator

Phone: 02 6202 6446

Enrol Now for 2018

View our music ensemble and class opportunities for CGGS students from Prep – Year 12, non-CGGS students and adult community members plus submit your enrolment information now.