Phil Braithwaite began his musical education at the Christchurch School of Instrumental Music, as a participant in New Zealand's inaugural Suzuki Method program. As a school aged pupil, Phil studied Violin, Recorder, Piano, Voice and Clarinet before settling on the flute as his main instrument and obtaining his L.T.C.L. Diploma at the age of 16. Phil went on to study with Roger Buckton and Rolf Just (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and after arriving in Australia continued with Prue Page, Toshio Takahashi (Suzuki Method) and Linda Vogt.
After a varied careers in set building and construction Phil became the National Sales Manager at the Flute Tree(Woodwind Group Pty Ltd) in 1994, where he also trained as a repair technician.
Since 2005 Phil has been based at the Mitchell Conservatorium in Bathurst, teaching flute, woodwind instruments, directing school bands and performing across a range of genres. He has been a member of a number of orchestras, chamber music ensembles and other groups and appears regularly as a soloist and ensemble member in the Blue Mountains and Central West.
In 2014 Phil became Associate Director of Mitchell Conservatorium where he looks forward to enabling a vibrant future for regional conservatoriums in Western NSW.
Hollie Coleman has been involved in music since she was 6 years old when she started playing the Recorder. She then began learning Clarinet which she has been playing since the age of 8. During this time she has completed Trinity and AMEB exams including her ATCL Recital Diploma in 2005. She attended the University of Newcastle Conservatorium in 2008 where she started her Bachelor of Music degree. Upon returning to Bathurst in 2009 Hollie joined the staff at MitCon and has continued her studies by distance education since 2010. After taking some time off studying while having her 2 children she successfully completed her Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Clarinet in 2016. She also completed the Jerry Nowak Conducting Course in 2010 which she found to be one of the most rewarding educational experiences she has had.
Hollie learnt Flute, Saxophone and Oboe while in High School and a few years ago decided to learn Trumpet for a little while. Hollie’s love and passion for music and performing is evidenced in the many shows that she has been involved in, such as the Carillon Theatrical Society productions both on stage and in the orchestra. She has performed in many community ensembles over the years including the Bathurst City and RSL Concert Bands, CTS Show Band, Macquarie Philharmonia, and in High School with Swing Factor.
Hollie also loves conducting and had a very exciting opportunity in 2014 when she conducted the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra accompanying the amazing flautist Jane Rutter. Hollie loves teaching and hopes to inspire her students and continue developing her performance and teaching career.
Rhonda studied through the University of Southern Queensland, achieving her Diploma in Music Teaching in 2002. She also holds a CMusA (piano) and has completed AMEB 8th Grade on Flute. Rhonda has been teaching Piano since 1998 and since commencing work at the Mitchell Conservatorium in 2010 teaches both Piano and Flute. She teaches at many schools both in Lithgow and Bathurst. She is the Musical Director of the MitCon Piccolinas, who perform regularly at many different community events and competitions including the Carols by Candlelight and the Bathurst Eisteddfod. She is a member of the Bathurst City & RSL Concert Band and has played as an orchestra member in a number of Carillion Theatrical Society musical and she regularly accompanies for exams, eisteddfods and studio concerts. Rhonda thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing music with her students.
Samantha completed a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music with Richard Gill as the the Dean in 1991. During her time in Perth she performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, she was accepted into the Franz Liszt Hochschule fuer Musik in Weimar, Germany to complete further studies with Professor Robert Winn, former Principal Flautist of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London. In 1997, Samantha moved to Berlin to study Music Therapy. On returning to Australia in 2004, she decided to combine her experience as a music therapist with education and completed a Diploma in Secondary Education and now works as a specialist classroom music teacher and music therapist at Katoomba Public School.
This year she was invited by Department of Education Arts Unit to be a mentor in the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program NSW. Samantha runs the band program at Mt Riverview PS and Katoomba PS, is choir conductor for the Upper Blue Mountains Music Festival involving 11 schools and conducts a senior recorder ensemble at Katoomba HS. In 2014 and 2015, she was invited to conduct the recorders for the Festival of Instrumental Music at the Sydney Opera House. Samantha also teaches flute at Kinross Wolaroi School and Orange Anglican and runs a private studio in Katoomba.
World renowned multi instrumentalist/composer/educator,Dr Jason ThorntonBMus(Hons.), DipEd, MMus, PhD, has been at the forefront of the music industry for the last three decades, touring the world with the historical elite.
His playing credits include;
Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, James Taylor, Gloria Estefan, Cher, Cat Stevens,The Troggs, 1927, Matt Finish, and The Masters Apprentices. Most recently he has been working with Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Steve Kilbey (The Church), Ian Moss (Cold Chisel), Craig Calhoun (Temptations), as well as many local acts.
As an Educator;
The Australian Institute of Music, Australian International Conservatorium of Music, Capilano University (Vancouver), University of Western Sydney,Southern Institute of Technology (NZ), Edinburgh University (Scotland), Mitchell Conservatorium.
Dr Thornton is primarily a saxophonist but plays the following;
Sopranino Sax, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Piccolo Flute, C Flute, Alto Flute, EWI, Piano, Bass and Guitar.
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.