Some of our staff

Meet some of our staff! We have about forty instrumental tutors, plus the office staff, the librarians, the conductors, the composer-in-residence, the Camp Mums and Dads and the camp doctor. Here are a few of them.

What do people say about them?

'I've been on other day camps before & this stands out as the best because of the enjoyment the tutors & staff seemed to have - it wasn't just a job'

'Great group [of] music teachers who work well together'

'Great tutors, great conductors, great experience'

Steven Hillinger
Conductor, Davis Symphony Orchestra

Steven Hillinger

Conductor, Davis Symphony Orchestra

Steven has conducted at Border Music Camp since 2006, firstly as the conductor of Alexander (2006 and 2007) and since then as conductor of Davis. Over the last 20 years, Steven has predominantly worked with school, youth and university orchestras and bands, including the Sydney Youth Orchestra. He has also worked as Assistant Conductor with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. At present, Steven is conducting the Ascham School Symphony Orchestra, North Sydney Girls High School Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra, St. Aloysius College Senior Concert Band, University of New South Wales Wind Band and the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra. When not at Border Music Camp, Steven enjoys his sleep and currently manages to get somewhere between 6 and 8 (if he’s very lucky) hours a night.
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Richard Mason
Conductor, Alexander Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Richard Mason

Conductor, Alexander Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Richard Mason graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1995, later returning to complete a Masters degree in both clarinet and bass clarinet. He has won several scholarships and awards, including the Willem van Otterloo Scholarship, enabling him to study in Amsterdam with the renowned Dutch bass clarinet virtuoso Harry Sparnaay. Richard has extensive professional experience in orchestral music, avant-garde chamber music and recording for radio and film. He is currently a sessional lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and his expertise as an educator sees him highly active as a facilitator of secondary and tertiary performance masterclasses, ensemble coaching and conducting clinics. In his spare time, he exercises his Border Collies who always let him know that they haven't played enough!
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Aaron Dohse
Conductor, Hardie Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Aaron Dohse

Conductor, Hardie Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Aaron Dohse is a teacher, conductor, performer, and administrator from Adelaide, South Australia. He graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music in 2005, where he studied clarinet with David Shephard. Aaron is a multi-instrumentalist who regularly performs on the clarinet, saxophone and piano. He is a former member of the South Australian Music Camp Association. Aaron has been a regular staff member at Border Music Camp since 2005: he first conducted the Hardie Symphonic Wind Ensemble in 2018, having previously been a saxophone and clarinet tutor. Aaron is currently the Coordinator of Co-curricular Music, Arts & Activities at Saint Ignatius’ College, Adelaide.
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Therese O'Brien
Conductor, Newman Chamber Orchestra

Therese O'Brien

Conductor, Newman Chamber Orchestra

Therese O’Brien is an experienced cellist and cello teacher from Adelaide whose love for her instrument of choice knows no bounds. She is a trained Suzuki teacher and has a thriving private studio where she teaches students ranging from those for whom you won’t believe they make cellos small enough, right through to adults, and all the ages and abilities in between. Therese genuinely loves teaching and her joy and dedication to quality education attracts students from all over Australia. Therese tutors at various AUSTA events, is an invited guest teacher at several annual interstate Suzuki Conferences and regularly tutors for the Adelaide Youth Orchestra. In Adelaide Therese also works as a classroom music teacher, coordinates and teaches school string programs, conducts school ensembles and in her spare time performs around Adelaide’s vibrant music scene. Growing up in Alice Springs, Therese’s main connection to the musical world was through her attendance at interstate music camps. The thrill she experienced in her own life at these camps – of living and breathing music all day – has never left her and was in fact integral in her decision to pursue a career in teaching music. Some of her happiest childhood memories were formed on these music camps, alongside some of her longest friendships, and she considers it a great privilege to provide students with the same opportunities that inspired her own love of music.
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Ed Ferris
Conductor, Pringle Wind Ensemble

Ed Ferris

Conductor, Pringle Wind Ensemble

Clarinet maverick Ed Ferris is rapidly creating a name for himself as an exciting performer, teacher, and conductor of young ensembles in Australia. As a performer, Ed is versatility personified. Blending breakneck virtuosity, soulful musicality and a larrikin charm, Ed has given sold out performances with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, junk-yard-gypsy folk band, Eyal & the Skeleton Crew, and the avant-garde Forest Collective.

Ed is also a sought-after teacher, conductor and clinician. He has worked with young musicians at Border Music Camp, Melbourne Youth Orchestras and in numerous Victorian schools. Passionate about music education, in 2016 Ed toured regional Victoria with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s education team, delivering workshops and performances to primary and high school students. In 2018 Ed toured regional Victoria again performing 'Once Upon a Tune' with Morna and the Minims for Regional Arts Victoria.

Ed currently juggles teaching duties at Eltham High School, clarinet performances, and running the Melbourne Sea Shanty Society.
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Emma Wade
Conductor, Cran String Ensemble

Emma Wade

Conductor, Cran String Ensemble

Emma hails from Sydney and first attended Border Music Camp as a violin tutor in 2000. In 2009, Barbara Cran handed over the reins to Emma as conductor of Cran - most appropriately, as Emma had studied the King of Instruments with Barbara before completing a Bachelor of Music (Hons) in viola performance at the University of Newcastle. She then returned to Sydney and worked as a peripatetic music teacher and performer, setting up several primary school string programs, string ensembles and Celtic ensembles. In 2006-08, Emma completed a Master of Music with Specialist Strings Study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK), while performing across the concert halls of northern England in a dazzling array of ensembles. Emma now lives and works in central Victoria, where she has established two new school string programs in local primary schools, plays with her quartet Conspirito and together with colleague Heather Cummins has begun the student string orchestra Resonance.
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Alex Pringle
Conductor, massed choir

Alex Pringle

Conductor, massed choir

Alex graduated from the Australian Institute of Music in 2001, where he studied violin with Alice Waten. Since then he has freelanced with ensembles including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and entertainers such as Barry White. As a participant in the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program, Alex conducted the Melbourne, Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, the Queensland Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. In 2010-11 Alex studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK) for a Master of Music in Conducting. Alex is a passionate educator and has directed orchestras, string enembles and choirs at Sydney Girls, Fort Street and Killara High Schools. He has also worked as conductor to the NSW Education Department Arts Unit Symphony Orchestra, and as the assistant director to the Schools Spectacular. Alex is the longest-serving Camper. He attended his first Border Music Camp at the age of eight, and has tutored violin and conducted Newman, Pringle and Cran. Along with his mum and dad (who have been on the Committee all that time), he was made a Life Member in 2010.
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Andrew Aronowicz
Composer-in-residence

Andrew Aronowicz

Composer-in-residence

Andrew Aronowicz is a Melbourne-based composer whose music is imbued with fantasy and colour, woven into beautiful and abstract sound pictures. He has been composer-in-residence at Border Music Camp for four years. He has worked with a number of major Australian ensembles and performers including the Melbourne, Tasmanian and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, as well as Syzygy Ensemble and Arts Centre Melbourne, among others. He was recently announced as one of the composers in the SSO's prestigious Fifty Fanfares program. His music has been performed in concerts and festivals around the world, including in the Metropolis, SoundSCAPE and Darmstadt festivals. In 2016, Andrew’s orchestral work Strange Alchemy was chosen as the Australian Under-30 entry in the 2016 International Rostrum of Composers. In 2019, his song cycle The Abbotsford Mysteries, a setting of poetry by Australian poet Patricia Sykes, was premiered by contralto Liane Keegan and Plexus Ensemble to great acclaim. Andrew is also a passionate teacher, writer and speaker about classical music, and produces radio full-time at ABC Classic.
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Alastair McKean
Director

Alastair McKean

Director

Alastair comes from Wangaratta, and went to Border Music Camp as a student from 1989 to 1991. He was then a violin tutor, concert manager and deputy director, before becoming Director in 1997. He was educated at Wangaratta High School and subsequently attended the University of Sydney, where he gained a BMus (Hons) in composition, studying under Peter Sculthorpe and Ross Edwards. He worked at the Australian Youth Orchestra from 1997 until 2000, when he was appointed Orchestra Librarian for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 he was invited to take the newly created position of Library Manager at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Alastair has written program notes and given talks for, among others, the SSO, the MSO, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and ABC Classic FM. He has sung in choirs for many years, and highlights of his on-stage career include terrifying small children with his narration of Peter and the Wolf, page-turning for the great composer Thomas Adès, and playing cannon in the MSO’s performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Alastair would like everyone to know that the Viola is the KING OF INSTRUMENTS.
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Joel Dullard
Deputy director

Joel Dullard

Deputy director

Joel is a saxophone specialist who teaches woodwind and conducts ensembles at secondary schools in Melbourne. He has a BMus and a BTeach from the University of Melbourne, where he studied saxophone with Barry Cockcroft, Ian Godfrey and Michael Lichnovsky. He has performed extensively in Australia, Asia (Malaysia, Japan) and Europe (Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom) in both classical and jazz styles. His broad musical interests span from early music to contemporary electronic music. Joel first attended Border Music Camp as a student in 1995, and it was at this Camp that he met his future wife Bronwen. Their baby daughter, who is adorable, owns a T-shirt that says 'Dad met Mum at Border'. Since joining the staff in 2005, Joel’s roles have included tutoring saxophone, leading the Experimental Music ensemble, conducting Pringle, being deputy director, and, of course, inventing the word DWOTOG.
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