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.
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.
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.
Jade Tinkler is a flautist and conductor who lives in the Blue Mountains. Jade holds a degree in flute performance from the University of Tasmania and a Masters degree in conducting from Sydney Conservatorium. At 26, whilst studying a Masters at Sydney Conservatorium Jade was the youngest competitor to be selected by Maestro Lorin Maazel to compete in his prestigious international conducting competition. Jade has worked with groups as diverse as Sydney Symphony, the London Chamber Orchestra, jazz choirs, the Wayside Chapel Choir, avant-garde music ensembles, an orchestra of newly invented instruments performing at the peak of Mt Wellington in Hobart and youth music initiatives of all shapes and sizes. Jade is currently using her classical training and jazz background to push the boundaries of Irish traditional music in her trio project Witches Leap.
Jade conducts the Advanced Band and teaches woodwind groups at Leura Public School. She is also available for individual lessons.