Luke Spicer first conducted Steel City Strings in its March 2016 concerts at Kiama Pavilion and Wollongong Art Gallery. Luke was appointed Resident Conductor of Steel City Strings for its 2017 season of six concerts.
Growing up in Picton NSW, Luke began musical studies at the Wollongong and Sydney Conservatoriums during his secondary school years, and after completing tertiary studies at the Sydney Conservatorium, Luke is now making his mark as a symphonic and operatic conductor.
Graduating with a Masters of Conducting from the Sydney Conservatorium, he has furthered his studies in Freiburg, and Manchester; and attended the Fondazione Musicale Chigiana, Siena, working under Maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti. Luke was also a participant in the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program during 2016, conducting the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symhony Orchestra, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
In 2014 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, and has been the assistant conductor of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra for several years. Luke made his operatic debut in 2015 with Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, as part of the Spectrum Now Festival, with Silvia Colloca singing the principal role and Shannon Murphy Directing. Other recent Conducting engagements include Walton’s Façade, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, and a sell-out production of Puccini’s il Tabarro.
In February Luke joined Opera Australia as Music Director of the NSW schools tour, and has commenced the 2017 season with the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra.
Karella Mitchell is an experienced solo cellist, ensemble member and teacher located in the Shoalhaven region of the NSW South Coast. With over fifteen years of professional experience, Karella teaches all ages and levels.
Completing a Bachelor of Music at the Conservatorium of Sydney studying with George Pedersen, she went on to graduate with Honours from the Conservatorium of Newcastle where she was the cellist for the Conservatorium String quartet. Karella also holds a post-graduate Diploma in Music Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Karella studied with esteemed teachers including George Pedersen, Anthea Scott-Mitchell, Dorothy Sumner and Tim Bloomfield and performed in orchestras conducted by Richard Gill, John Harding, Steven Hillinger, Professor Wolfram Christ, Simon Kenway, Denis de Coteau and Larry Rachliff.
Karella is currently performing with Wollongong’s Steel City Strings and teaches in both Nowra and Wollongong.
Joanna completed her A Mus A in violin and went on to study viola with Alex Todicescu and violin with Scott Taggart. She has performed as a soloist with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic and South Coast Orchestras as well as playing in numerous chamber groups and orchestras, namely the Sydney Lyric Orchestra, Shoalhaven String Trio, Vatiliolis Quartet and Wollongong Symphony Orchestra.
Joanna was selected for the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) and Camerata Australia, a small chamber group made up of AYO players, as principal viola and soloist in a concert broadcast by ABC Classic FM from the Eugene Goosens Hall, Ultimo. She shares her love of music with the younger generation through violin teaching in Nowra schools and conducting the Junior Strings of the Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra.
In 2013 Joanna received a nomination for an Australia Day Citizen award for her work with youth organisations in Nowra.
Steel City Strings is honoured and delighted to announce that the distinguished composer Andrew Ford has accepted their invitation to be Patron of the Orchestra.
Andrew has been active at the University of Wollongong and in the Illawarra region, specially the Southern Highlands. After previewing Tony Williams’ (Four Donkey Films) documentary Steel City Strings – The Passion of Music, Andrew “was very impressed” by the orchestra, and “just as importantly, I also liked all the people on the screen”.
As Steel City Strings plays music and Andrew writes it, we look forward to a fruitful and enjoyable relationship.
Jacob first began to play music when he was 4 years old, learning to play the piano from a lady who lived down the street. Once he started learning to play the violin at age 9 however, he realised that the violin was his preferred instrument.
From then on he pursued this passion, playing in community youth orchestras and major music camps before leaving school and moving on to study a Bachelor of Music (Music Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Since completing this degree in 2011, Jacob has been teaching strings and running string programs and ensembles at several different primary and high schools in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands.
Now, in addition to performing with the Steel City Strings, he is the Musical Director of the Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra and the Shoalhaven Junior Strings. Music is not Jacob’s only passion however. He has also been a pilot since 2012 and is a member of the Australian Aerobatic Club and regularly competes in nation wide aerobatic competitions.
Kyle Little completed his Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Dalhousie in 2006. He graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2010 with a Graduate Diploma in Education and in 2013 with a Masters in Education – Research.
Prior to moving to Australia, Kyle was music director at the British Academy of International Arts in Kuwait and music teacher and jazz band director at the American International School in Kuwait. He has received a number of awards for academic and musical achievement, including the Canadian Millennium Scholarship (2006), Kiwanis Canadian National Grand
Prize (2002), the Royal St. George’s Society Prize (2004) and the Bornoff/Garamie String Scholarship (2005).
Kyle is currently on the violin teaching staff at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and is instrumental ensemble director, vocal ensemble director and teacher of the mandatory music program years 7-10 at Campbelltown High School of Performing Arts. He has taught at Woonona High School, Wollongong High School of Performing Arts, and St Mary Star of the Sea College.
Kyle has been highly involved in music across New South Wales. He was the head string tutor for the Southern Stars 2011 – 2013 season, member of the Vatiliotis String Quartet, former concert master of the Wollongong Community Orchestra, and member of the former Wollongong Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed with the Sydney Lyric Orchestra and the Sydney Concert Orchestra.
Kyle re-formed Steel City Strings, engaging local professional and talented string players, in late 2014, and the orchestra gave its first performance at the Wollongong Art Gallery on 25 October 2014.
Join our SCS Illawarra Rising Stars - teams of junior chamber strings players.
WHO WE ARE
Steel City Strings is a vibrant local string orchestra from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven Region. The orchestra consists of professional musicians and talented amateur players from the area’s local music community.
We provide an important platform:
- for local musicians to come together to play exciting music
- to inspire young local string players
- to feature local soloists
- to support and showcase talented Australian composers
Concerts have featured compositions by Australian composers Sculthorpe and Grainger, as well as local composers Michael Barkl and John Spence.We also feature the talents of local artists and performers – past concerts have included folk-singer Rebecca Moore and violinist Anna Da Silva Chen.
Mentoring and developing young local players through coaching and providing opportunities to play and perform with the orchestra is an integral part of our strategy for developing the orchestra and its members.
Book your 2018 Season Pass
2018 brings a massive program for Steel City Strings. We have three programs for you covering Dvorak, Mendelssohn and more. We partner with Con Voci for works with choir and orchestra and finish off the year with the return of eminent Australian composer Matthew Hindson to Wollongong.