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Conservatorium students play for regional NSW

Regional engagement program

Unearthing and encouraging musical talent throughout NSW
At the Conservatorium we've created a program dedicated to bridging the gap between city and regional music schools. Our students provide young musicians with support and mentoring – and gain valuable experience in return.

Regional tours

Our ensembles regularly tour to western, southern and northern NSW as part of our regional engagement program. See below for a list of dates and towns.

28 April to 6 May

  • Western Chamber Music Tour visiting Orange, Bathurst, Canowindra, Young, Molong, Lithgow, Forbes and Cowra

June

  • Southern Chamber Music Tour visiting Nowra, Mittagong, Goulburn, Cooma, Bombala, Wolumla, Narooma and Gerringong

August

  • Northern Chamber Music Tour visiting Hawks Nest, Nambucca Heads, Dorrigo, Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Forster, Kempsey, Taree, Kendall, Woolgoolga, Karangi, Kendall, Gladstone, Smithtown, Kinchela, Tea Gardens, Laurieton and Wingham Brush.

September

  • Modern Music Ensemble Tour visiting Newcastle and Hunter region
  • Jazz Orchestra Tour visiting Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Griffith

Contact con.community@sydney.edu.au for more information about hearing our musicians in your area.

The Richard Pulley Outreach and Regional Engagement Program

Sydney Conservatorium of Music established a buddy program in 2013 to bridge the gap between city and regional conservatoriums. This program involves teaching and mentoring to unearth and support musically talented students in regional New South Wales.

In 2016, a generous gift of $500,000 from the family of Sydney violinist and pianist Richard Pulley (1969-2014) has enabled the Con to expand the program’s reach. So far the program has enabled more than 100 students from the Con to work with 10 regional conservatoriums, and the donation will enable us to visit all 17 conservatoriums in NSW.

Students from the Con spend up to five days tutoring school students for concerts and festivals through workshops, individual teaching and performance training in schools and regional conservatoriums. They also visit small primary schools in remote areas to introduce young students to music and orchestral instruments.

The buddy program seeks to redress the imbalance in music resources in rural and more remote areas of NSW while cultivating the next generation of musicians from across the country
Head of School and Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Professor Anna Reid

"The program has allowed our talented tertiary students to work closely with our regional conservatoriums," says Professor Anna Reid. "They have proven a great resource in mentoring and coaching school students and helping these budding musicians to realise their music ability and the opportunities that lie ahead."

The program is also an elective unit of study that students at the Con can count towards their degree. "It is a great opportunity for our students to hone their teaching and communication skills, as well as to network and broaden their industry connections," Professor Reid says.

The gift behind the program

The Richard Pulley Outreach and Regional Engagement Program is enabled by a generous gift of $500,000 in memory of musician Richard Pulley.

"As humble as my cousin Richard was, we felt he would have been honoured to be associated with such a valuable and extensive music program," says Richard’s cousin, Louise Grinham, who is a director of the family’s foundation.

"As children, we were given many wonderful opportunities to enrich our lives through music. Together with the Con, my family hopes to provide today’s young musicians, particularly in regional areas, with an ample level of support and encouragement to assist them in developing their passion and aptitude for music."

The family’s gift will guarantee our buddy program’s future and substantially expand its reach.

About Richard Pulley

Richard Pulley grew up in Armidale NSW, and his musical journey began when he took up violin lessons at the age of five and piano at seven.

He was one of the first students in Australia to learn violin through the Suzuki method, and he was also tutored by Associate Professor Alice Waten at the Con under scholarship from the Australian Music Examinations Board.

At 15, Richard joined the Australian Youth Orchestra. He went on to play with some of Australia’s best orchestras, holding first violin and concertmaster positions with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra and the UNSW Orchestra.

In 1993 he was the founding concertmaster of the Occasional Performing Sinfonia, a position he held for 14 years. Richard passed away from multiple myeloma in 2014, aged 45.