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Dr Susan Collins


Our Board and Patron

Newcastle Youth Orchestra Board

 Tony Dockrill Chair and President


Marilyn Bailey Sainsbury Public Officer


Jason Butler Treasurer 





Brett Kelly

One of Australia’s leading resident conductors, Brett is also Principal Trombonist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In recent years his engagements have included the Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian, Queensland and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, The Auckland Philharmonia, the Southern Sinfonia (Dunedin, NZ), the Victorian Opera and ChamberMade Opera. Between 1989 & 2004 he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of The Academy of Melbourne, a chamber orchestra drawn from among his colleagues in the MSO and widely regarded as one of Australia’s outstanding musical ensembles. Since 2003 Brett has been Resident Conductor of Chamber Made Opera. 


Brett has conducted many CD recordings for NAXOS, Tall Poppies and ABC Classics, with his recording of the Rodrigo Concertos featuring Slava and Leonard Grigoryan being nominated for a 2006 Aria Award. For The Hive by Nicolas Vines (Chambermade Opera - 2006) he received a Green Room Award nomination as Best Conductor of an Opera in Melbourne. Brett has also conducted the orchestral scores of over twenty five feature films, including The Railway Man Felony, Cloudstreet, Beneath Hill 60 (2010), Knowing (2009) and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia (2008). 

As a young musician in Newcastle, I was fortunate to have many musical opportunities come my way, but playing in a vibrant and enterprising Youth Orchestra wasn't one of them.  The advent of the Newcastle Youth Orchestra is an exciting, and actually essential, addition to the Hunter's rich msuical life.  The sense of exhilaration young musicians feel after grappling with great orchestral repertoire is a powerful character builder; its influence stays with them throughout life. 


To all those involved in this wonderful enterprise I offer my congratulations and best wishes. I look forward to hearing future performances and feel great confidence that Newcastle Youth Orchestra will become one of the region's most significant musical organisations. 


- Brett Kelly

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