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Conservatorium Students celebrate HSC successes

13-Nov-2020

The Central Coast Conservatorium of Music applauds the success of our 2020 High School Certificate (HSC) music students.

We are delighted to announce that outstanding musicians, Sophie Kelly (flute) and Conor McGill (violin), are nominees for ENCORE.

ENCORE is a program of outstanding performances and compositions by students from the HSC Music examinations. This prestigious music program is a joint venture between the NSW Education Standards Authority and the NSW Department of Education.

Conor, who also gained an early entry offer to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Bachelor of Music – Performance, said, “I was excited, my dream was coming true”.

Sophie was also offered the opportunity to perform in ‘Reprise’ – a showcase concert celebrating outstanding achievement in HSC Music Performance for students in The Hunter and Central Coast Region.

Sophie’s HSC performance program ranged from 19th Century French to contemporary Australian pieces.

“Francesca da Rimini, for flute and piano by Paul Taffanel was my favourite”, said Sophie.

Sophie’s accompanist, Noah Peres, added, “it is possibly one of the most difficult accompaniments I have ever done, both in the sense ofthe technically difficult part, but also carefully managing the timing and balance with Sophie on the flute.

A fellow recipient of an offer to ‘Reprise’ is Abigail Butler (flute) who said, “I was shocked and happy. I didn’t think it was real when I heard it!”

Abigail was thrilled to receive an offer to study Bachelor of Music with the University of Newcastle.

“Ballade” by Carl Reinecke was Abbey’s favourite performance piece. “I enjoyed the feeling and freedom I felt when playing the piece. I felt I knew what the composer was feeling and felt I had the freedom to express that.”

Abbey is also a keyboard player with Peak Entertainment, with a line-up of gigs in Newcastle and the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre 2021. Inspired by her Conservatorium teacher, Rosalie Bourne, Abbey is pursuing a career as a high school music teacher. “She (Rosalie Bourne) had a big impact on my music career. She really helped me become who I am today.”

Aaron Cottle was offered early entry to the Sydney Conservatorium Bachelor of Music – Composition. A student at Gosford High School, and student of Mark Walton, Aaron began studying piano at the Central Coast Conservatorium with Lillie Naulu to learn how to write for the saxophone and to gain a basic ability to play piano.

“For my HSC I wrote three pieces. One for saxophone and piano and the other two are written for clarinet quintet, one clarinet and a string quartet.”

Vocal student Grace Mitchell was thrilled to receive an offer to study at The Australian Institute of Music, as well an offer to ‘Reprise’.

Grace aspires to pursue a career as a vocalist. “I want to sing with Opera Australia and perform in Sydney’s Opera House.”

Grace performed a full operatic program for her HSC program, including arias from Romeo and Juliet by Bellini and La Boheme by Puccini, as well as operetta.

“My love of opera comes from my experience of performing in the chorus of Central Coast Opera’s production of La Boheme”, said Grace.


Nick Bartley
(bassoon) received an early entry offer to Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Nick’s ambition is to gain a long-term spot with Sydney Symphony Orchestra. For now, Nick is keeping up his music with The Hunter Wind Ensemble and the Army Band rehearsals.

2020 HSC music students faced unforeseen obstacles caused by the pandemic in preparing for their exams. Lesson moved from face-to-face to online with government enforced shutdown. Performance opportunities were also limited, often to family-audience only.

Students and teachers worked together, enabling students to rise, to meet these challenges, to achieve excellent results.

Congratulations to all of our HSC Music Students this year. Student successes comes with hard work, commitment, passion, and a drive to deliver a great sound and solid performance.

“I am incredibly excited for all the HSC students, who through a difficult year, have managed to achieve exceptional outcomes in their music performances. I’m so proud of these talented young musicians and can’t wait to see where their musical journey leads”, said Artistic Director, Patrick Brennan.

If you have a success story you would like to share, please contact Rosalie Paino, Marketing Communications Coordinator E rosalie.paino@cccmusic.nsw.edu.au P  4324 7477.

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Term Dates

The Central Coast Conservatorium operates to NSW Department of Education School Gazetted Term dates

Term 1
Tuesday 28/1 to Thursday 9/4 
(Saturday Strings concludes 4 April)

Term 2
Monday 27/4 to Saturday 4/7 
(Saturday Strings concludes 27 June)

Term 3
Monday 20/7 to Saturday 26/9 
(Saturday Strings concludes 19 September)

Term 4
Monday 12/10 to Saturday 19/12
(Saturday Strings concludes 12 December)



Mission Statement

We seek to inspire our Central Coast community to engage in and value music as an integral part of life through comprehensive music education and artistic endeavour.