In 2020 we are celebrating our region with three great programs.
We kick off in March with the world premiere of a new work by Elena Kats-Chernin, who was voted favourite Australian composer in ABC’s countdown, along with favourite local composers.
In June we feature celebrated didgeridoo performer William Barton and local Indigenous musicians and composers.
In September we return to our “brand” as a classical chamber orchestra with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” performed by brilliant young soloist Emily Sun, bookended by JS Bach and an Australian composition.
"....the members of Steel City Strings are outstanding examples of hard work, enterprise, enthusiasm and dedication. They reach for the stars and beyond. More power to these wonderful people."
Richard Gill AO -
Conductor & Australia’s greatest music educator
2020 SEASON PROGRAM
"CELEBRATING OUR REGION"
Having won the 2019 APRA National Award for Excellence in a Regional Area, in 2020 Steel City Strings will continue to enrich our regional communities with the transformative power of live music.
Series 1: The Composer is in the Room
Features the world premiere of a new work by Elena Kats-Chernin who was voted number one favourite Australian composer in the recent ABC Favourite Composers countdown.
It is a great honour for our region to premiere this work, which was commissioned by a local philanthropist specifically to be presented in our region by Steel City Strings.
Other Australian works, by Ann Carr-Boyd, Andrew Ford, Moya Henderson, Matthew Hindson and Frederick Septimus Kelly, have also been chosen for their audience appeal.
Series 2: Earth Connections
Features William Barton, widely recognised as Australia’s finest didgeridoo player.
William says "I want to take the oldest culture in the world and blend it with Europe's rich musical legacy.”
Steel City Strings will reach out to William, his friends, and local Indigenous artists in a program of shared creations.
Series 3: Seasons
With Seasons, Steel City Strings returns to its “brand” identity as a classical local Chamber orchestra that earned us our 2019 APRA National Art Music Award for “Excellence in a Regional Area and Commitment to Performing Australian Music”.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will be bookended by works by JS Bach and an Australian composition.
Featuring brilliant young violinist Emily Sun, 2018 ABC Australian Young Musician of the Year and multi international prize-winner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ABOUT STEEL CITY STRINGS
Steel City Strings (SCS) is a vibrant string orchestra showcasing the professional talents of players from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven Region. The orchestra provides 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 Carr-Boyd, Sculthorpe, Ford and Grainger as well as local composers Michael Barkl and Adrian Whitehall. The orchestra also features the talents of exceptional local solo musicians.
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.