Pop-up music program

Enjoy public performances all over campus
The Alumni Festival is pleased to present a series of free “pop-up” public performances from alumni and local artists at a variety of locations across campus.
Members of Accent Strings with their instruments

Accent Strings

  • 11.30am-12.15pm, SCA Courtyard
  • 12.30-1.15pm, Graffiti Tunnel
  • 2-2.45pm, Front Lawns

Emily Palethorpe, Jane Stanely and Leo Kram create beautiful music for all occasions drawing from their sustained success and longevity at the forefront of fine string music in Australia.

Emily, Jane and Leo's work encompasses experience with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra.

Jane Stanley (BMus’02) has played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and has worked alongside popular recording artists like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Buble, Wu-Tang Clan, Harry Connick Junior, John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John. Jane has appeared in several music videos and television productions including The Voice, and recorded soundtracks for films including Peter Rabbit and Ladies in Black. 

Leo Kram (BMus ’02) has played with the Sydney Opera House Baby’s Proms Orchestra, the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra and the Darwin Symphony. He was Principal viola in the Phantom of the Opera Lyric Orchestra, the Cologne Philharmonie Orchestra as Principal viola and the Australian Art Quartet.  

Emily Palethorpe (GradDipMus(Perf) ‘03, MTeach ‘08) is a professional cellist and cello teacher at Barker College and PLC Pymble. She has performed with artists such as Delta Goodrem, Michael Bublé, Jessica Mauboy, John Farnham, Harry Connick Junior, Sarah Blasko, Human Nature, Tina Arena, Lior, James Morrison, Il Divo, Dami Im, Michael Bolton, Kylie Minogue, David Helfgott, Thirsty Merc, Emma Pask and Marina Prior, just to name a few. She regularly appears in TV productions including The Voice, The Today Show and Sunrise and plays with the electric string trio 'String Sirens'.   

James Audet playing classical guitar

James Audet

  • 10.30-11.15am, SCA Courtyard
  • 11.30am-12.15pm, Chau Chak Wing Museum
  • 12.30-1.00pm, Western Garden

James Audet (BMus(Perf) (Hons)‘15) is a professional classical guitarist currently undertaking a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Following the completion of a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2014, James was accepted into the Master of Music course at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, where he studied under Professor Marco Tamayo. He has since returned to the Conservatorium to undertake a Doctor of Musical Arts, researching the music of Giulio Regondi.

In 2021, James was awarded the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Albert Scholarship and the University of Sydney Postgraduate Award for academic excellence. He has received numerous prizes throughout his performance career, including:

  • 1st in the Bosnian IMKA Music Competition
  • 3rd in the Vilnius International Guitar Competition
  • 2nd in the 2022 New Zealand International Guitar Competition

John Lawrie and the Welcome Strangers

  • 2.45-3.30pm, Graffiti Tunnel (Stripped back set)
  • 3.45–4.30pm, Western Tower, Quadrangle
  • 4.45-5.30pm, Western Tower, Quadrangle

John Lawrie and the Welcome Strangers are a four-piece indie-rock, 'bluegaze' band from Sydney. 

John Lawrie (BMusStudies(Hons) ’20) and the Welcome Strangers hit hard with their high energy live sets. With John’s crooning bass-baritone voice, and their unique blend of 80’s synths, shoegaze and the blues (bluegaze if you will), their mix of introspective, existential lyrics, dreamy atmospheres, and up-tempo rock beats will have you feeling deep on the dance floor.

Mel Ertler standing on the waterfront

Mel Ertler and the QC Collective

  • 3-3.45pm, Front Lawns
  • 4.30-5.00pm, Front Lawns
  • 5.15-5.45pm, Front Lawns

Mel Ertler (BMus(Hons) ‘22) is a singer, instrumentalist, educator and recording artist, performing with the QC Collective featuring Tom Bootes on trumpet.

Mel Ertler is a passionate performer who gigs regularly and writes and records soul/funk music under her stage name “Melita”. Her Alumni Festival performance will be accompanied by QC Collective, featuring Tom Bootes on trumpet.

Tom is a current Engineering student and has a strong connection to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he regularly performed in Verbrugghen Hall with Sydney Youth Orchestra. He also briefly studied at the Conservatorium, doing Bachelor of Music (Performance) in classical trumpet.

Mel Ertler is a singer, instrumentalist, educator and recording artist who graduated from the Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in 2022. She is a passionate performer who gigs regularly and writes and records soul/funk music under her stage name “Melita”. 

At the Alumni Festival she is performing with the QC Collective featuring Tom Bootes on Trumpet. Tom is a current Engineering student and has a strong connection to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he regularly performed in The Verbruggen Hall with Sydney Youth Orchestra. He also briefly studied at the Conservatorium, doing Bachelor of Music Performance in classical trumpet.

Nazli and Samantha seated with their instruments

Nazli E. Sendurgut and Samantha Knutsen, Cello Duet

  • 10.30-11.15am, Western Garden
  • 11.30am-12.15pm, Graffiti Tunnel
  • 12.30-1.15pm, SCA Courtyard

Accomplished cellists Nazli E. Sendurgut (BMusStudies ’14, MMusStud(Perf) ‘16) and Samantha Knusten  (BMus(Perf) ‘14) performing a beautiful duet. 

Nazli E. Sendurgut believes that music is a powerful tool to help others and raise awareness for important causes. She performs regularly with Ensemble Twelve88 and Willoughby Symphony, as well as in orchestras across Sydney, and teaches cello. While she has played in venues like the Sydney Opera House and the Weiner Kammeroper in Vienna, much of her work has involved performance outside of traditional concert halls, including in schools, a cancer clinic, regional Australia, a detention centre and the most poverty-stricken part of Colombia.

Samantha Knutsen began studying cello in the Blue Mountains with Barbara Woolley. She has performed across Sydney in orchestras and chamber ensembles, including with the Blue Mountains Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra, and in a collaboration between. Opera Australia and Penrith Symphony Orchestra in 'Opera in Paramatta Park.' She is also the newest member of Sydney’s 5-piece Baroque band, ‘Balmain Baroque’. Her performances have also appeared in broadcasts, including the Peter Schulthrope memorial concert on ABC Classic FM, and the Town Hall Sunset Festival on ANZAC Day 2023 on Channel 7.

Riley Irwin

  • 10-10.30am, MacLaurin Piano
  • 10.45–11.15am, MacLaurin Piano
  • 11.45am - 12.15pm, MacLaurin Hall Landing

Riley (BMus(Perf)(Hons) ’20) is a Sydney-based pianist and accompanist. 

Riley graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a performance degree majoring in Collaborative Piano in 2020. He has worked with a wide range of Australian musicians, including Julian Smiles, Barry Ryan, the Rejoice Gospel Choir, and has even done a stint playing the piano inside out as a performance artwork with Kaldor Public Art Projects.  

Tiffany Lam with her hands on her head staring past the camera

Tiffany Lam

  • 1-1.45pm, Front Lawns 
  • 2.45-3.30pm, Western Tower, Quadrangle

Tiffany Lam (BMus '23) is an Australian-Hong Kong musician who uses a blend of city pop and RnB to write synth, RnB and electronic pop music that tells the story of embracing change, learning and growing.

With her lavish keys, catchy melodies, and intimate lyricism, Tiffany's music captivates and showcases emotions of love, sadness, happiness, fear, and anger. Taking inspiration from artists such as, The Weeknd, Lee Hi, Jackson Wang, and various city pop artists, she builds a sound palette that creates richness in simplicity, building her world of diamonds and neon lights.

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Amelia Thompson looking over her shoulder with the sky in the background

THOM (artist, Amelia Thompson)

  • 12-12.45pm, Front Lawns
  • 1.30-2.15pm, Chau Chak Wing Museum 
  • 2.45-3.30pm, SCA Courtyard

THOM's (BMus'23) unique sound bounces between indie and pop with some added spice from the dance world.

Conservatorium graduate THOM (Artist: Amelia Thompson) has always known that music would be the place to find sanctuary. From an early age, she would be watch music videos with her father and think, "That's what I'm going to do too".

Drawing inspiration from all parts of life, THOM's primary goal is to make people feel something when they listen.

Zaki Duo holding their instruments and looking into the camera

Zāki Duo

  • 1.30-2.15pm SCA Courtyard
  • 2.30-3.15pm, Chau Chak Wing Museum
  • 3.45-4.30pm, Graffiti Tunnel

The Zāki Duo are a Sydney-based ensemble, comprised of musicians Isabel (MMus(Perf) ’22)  and Ariel, who play an eclectic mix of world, classical and popular music.

Zāki Duo have performed across Sydney and surrounding regions including a recently sold-out show at Pigeon Lane Gallery ONE88 and a MiniMusica concert.

Isabel attained her Master’s degree in violin performance from the Sydney Conservatorium in 2021 and her thesis and recital centred around Kurdish and Persian folk music and violin/ kemanche music. Her recital included her own transcriptions from the genre as well as some more standard western music that was influenced by the east.

Ariel is one of Australia’s leading classical guitarists. His debut album of guitar duets entitled ‘Alchemy’ was released on ABC Classic and reached #2 on the ARIA classical music charts. Ariel studied the guitar the Australian National University, under the guidance of Timothy Kain, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Music with first class honours.