Andrew French-Northam

Acoustic, Electric

Andrew French-Northam teaches contemporary and classical guitar, music technology, composition and Music Industry Studies. He is also an accomplished horn and trumpet player.

His musical journey began when he was captivated, not by a guitar performance, but by a glorious horn solo performed by Clary Mellor, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s First Horn. Clary later became his teacher and mentor. But Andrew is equally passionate about the guitar. Since those early days he has developed a fulfilling career as a regionally based performer, composer, educator and arts administrator.

As a musician, Andrew describes himself as “a multi-disciplinariest with a chameleon’s musical attitude.”  In 2010 he participated in The Progeny Project, a collaborative cross-art form initiative by Orange Regional Conservatorium, for example, to present three public music and visual art events called Provocation, Process and Reflection.

Andrew has performed jazz with the “infamous” Bellingen-based trio ‘The Ferals’, swing with trumpeter Brett Iggulden, improvisation with saxophonist Sandy Evans and several other genres with other well-known musicians. He has also served as a director and artistic administrator with the Bellingen Jazz Festival, Armidale Jazz Camps, and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

Andrew graduated with three music majors from the University of New England Armidale, and was awarded the J. Albert and Sons Scholarship. His teachers and mentors have included Don Andrews, George Golla, Paul Palister, Steve Tafra and many other musical luminaries.

In the years since then Andrew has developed a fulfilling career as a regionally based performer, composer, arts administrator and educator. As a teacher he is especially proud of introducing new teaching and education programs in Music Industry Studies at Orange Campus of TAFE to develop the professional skills of new artists, as well as their demanding first album. 


Peter Armstrong

Electric, Acoustic

Pete Armstrong is a singer/songwriter based in Blackheath, who specialises in using music to revive good memories, recent and past.

Pete sings and plays a variety of music, drawing on the influences of country, bluegrass, old rock and roll and jazz with a swing flavour. Pete plays at a number of events and venues around Australia. This includes performing and competing at a number of festivals, where he has collected a number of awards. Pete’s new 4 track solo EP has been released September 2017, and is available now, featuring his original track My Grandpa.

The late Audrey Auld-Mezera wrote of Pete, “If I could clone him, I’d have the perfect band… He’s professional, reliable, keen, friendly and most importantly he loves and knows music”.

In addition to his solo work, Pete Armstrong’s versatile music skills see him collaborate with a number of other musicians. Pete still enjoys working with others to create music as a sideman, backing vocalist or backing musician. Currently, Pete is working with: The West Brothers (guitar); The Parson’s Sons Jazz Band (Drums); Gary Daniel and the Tru Country Band (tour drummer); and singer/ songwriters Bev Branson, Paul Crowder and Melissa Robertson (regular guitarist). 

Peter Armstrong, guitar teacher, Bathurst

Graeme Hunt

Acoustic, Bass, Electric

Graeme Hunt has been playing guitar for 18 years, and teaching since 1992. He joined Mitchell Conservatorium in 2004. He is currently the guitarist for Sydney jazz funk band “Woodgrey”, which includes vocalist Julia Boehm (“Kaya”) and saxophonist Karen Booth (“Black Crow Band”). Graeme has been composing and recording music since 1988. His recent composition “SNAP” was performed at Western Sydney’s Hybrid Waves Cultural Festival. He is currently working on a project with actor/writer Julian Garner (Bell Shakespeare Company).

Graeme teaches guitar at a number of local Bathurst schools and also teaches at both Bathurst and Lithgow divisions of Mitchell Conservatorium.


Graeme Hunt, guitar teacher, Bathurst

Mark McLaughlin

Acoustic, Bass, Electric

Born in Holland of English and Scottish descent, Mark moved to Australia in the early 70s. He first played guitar at the age of 9 to the sounds of his brother's drumming. By the end of primary school, Mark was playing bassoon in the school band. After leaving school and moving to Sydney, Mark played bass guitar in a heavy rock band in Surry Hills for 12 months before focusing on the guitar. His early 20s found Mark developing his playing skills and the philosophy of his music.

Mark has played in a variety of genres - duos, bands and so on, including 'Saddletramp' a 50/50 country rock band with Australian hall of fame inductee Barry Johnston (who was once a support act for Johnny O'Keefe). Mark has also performed with one of Australia's finest saxophone players Roy Ainsworth and Peter Bolton who is the ex-keyboard player for Tommy and Phil Emmanuel. Mark has also performed at Lismore Folk Festival, Cedar Country Music Awards with Owen Blundell and the Brisbane Rock and Roll Convention - Tivoli Theatre with Saddletramp alongside "Gator"(guitarist from 1980s band The Radiators).

Mark has been working for Mitchell Conservatorium since 2006 and also teaches guitar at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.


Mark McLaughlin, guitar teacher, Bathurst

Anna Ossig-Bonanno


Anna Ossig-Bonanno Classical Anna trained in Germany mainly in the Orff-Schulwerk approach. Anna has been teaching at Mitchell Conservatorium in Bathurst since 1992. She initiated Early Childhood Classes at our Lithgow Division for 3 to 9 year olds in 1995, including tuned percussion and recorder. She has prepared children for instrumental demonstration concerts. Anna completed her Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the University of New England in 2003.   Anna teaches recorder and classical guitar and is the Director of Mitchell Conservatorium's Recorder Ensemble.


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