Events & NEWS


Mitchell Conservatorium string ensembles in concert

Don’t miss the next concert by Mitchell Conservatorium string ensembles Stringendo, Bella Forte and the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra, at 2.30pm on Sunday 11th August 2024 at All Saints’ Cathedral. As well as music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and others, our special guest artist is pianist Elena Day-Hakker in a performance of Haydn’s spirited Piano Concerto in D-major. Join the players and conductors David Hood, Frances McLeod and Nicholas Newell for a winter’s afternoon of great music. Scan the QR Code below or contact Humanitix at Further details: Mitchell Conservatorium Office, 6331 6622.

Mitchell Conservatorium brings to you ... The Swing Factor Black Tie Ball

The Swing Factor Black Tie Ball returns to BMEC for another year, brought to you by Mitchell Conservatorium. Save the date! – Friday 9th August 2024, with doors opening at 5.30pm. Prepare yourselves for a huge night of dining, dancing and jazz music. The evening will include performances from Denison College of Secondary Education Bathurst High Campus’ own Swing Factor, with an opening performance from the Mitchell Conservatorium CONnections Big Band.

Ticket prices include a 3-course meal (delivered alternate drop) as well as live entertainment for the evening. If you have dietary requirements, please note these when booking. Click here to book.

Alexander Technique lessons now available at Mitchell Conservatorium

You can experience the transformative power of Alexander Technique lessons at Mitchell Conservatorium. Elissa Jones (our Early Childhood Music teacher) has started teaching lessons at Mitchell Conservatorium supported by Greg Holdaway from BodyMinded Alexander Technique. The lessons take a holistic approach to the mind and body and thinking and moving. You can learn to minimise stress or pain, enhance performance, and move with ease. Bring any activity, question or skill you wish to improve to your lessons and discover the impact of mindful movement on balance, coordination, and well-being. Elissa and Greg are offering 45 minute-long lessons on the following Fridays this term: 14th June, 21st June, 28th June and 5th July. Lessons can be booked by contacting Elissa through, or via the Conservatorium office on 6331 6622 or


2024 Big Band Blast takes off

On the 23rd May, Bathurst’s mini Jazz festival, the “Big Band Blast”, struck again with Mitchell Conservatorium at the helm partnered with John Morrison and Jacki Cooper. Over a huge 3-day weekend, many teachers and students of MitCon had the opportunity to attend incredible concerts, get involved in workshops led by industry professionals and, most importantly, to strut their stuff across a three-stage venue and show off their performing abilities. Alongside the Navy Band, MitCon’s CONnections Big Band opened the weekend with a set of cracking swing tunes. The event concluded with a grand concert at BMEC with this year with dozens of local and state schools in attendance. MitCon Executive director Andrew Smith is keen to expand the event next year, making it more accessible to the public and providing more people with the opportunity to perform in a professional setting.

Conservatorium string ensembles kick off 2024 performing year

2024 kicked off with a bang for Mitchell Conservatorium string ensembles with a concert at Bathurst Uniting Church on 23 March featuring the performing groups Bella Forte, Stringendo and the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra. MitCon violin and viola teacher Nicholas Newell conducted Bella Forte in a rendition of the ever-popular Colors of the Wind, and was then joined by student Gabrielle Pallister on viola in a performance of the first movement of Telemann’s Concerto for Two Violas and Strings. Frances McLeod then directed (from her viola desk!) MitCon’s adult string group Stringendo in performances of four pieces – including moving arrangements of the Skye Boat Song and the Newfoundland traditional melody She’s like a swallow – which were well received by the 100-strong audience, who braved the heavy rain to hear friends and family members play. The Bathurst Chamber Orchestra conducted by David Hood played music by Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Elgar, and the concert concluded with the groups combining to perform Patrick Doyle’s music from Brave.

Congratulations to our 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Paris Masters, harp; Janelle Lindsay, voice; Charles Croaker, piano; Thomas Jordan-Downes, trumpet; Toby Gough, voice; Olivia Bellamy, voice; Augustine Cox, piano; Sophie Lindsay, violin; Benji Naylor, flute; Ash Dineen, clarinet; Theodore Gowans, piano Encouragement Awards: Shelby Davey, violin; Aarav Shah, guitar

MitCon piano students shine in recital

Congratulations to all Mitchell Conservatorium students who took part in the 17th March 2024  recital in Studio 1 at our Havannah Street campus, to our teachers (Michelle Griffin, Carolyn Miller and David Hood) who prepared them so well, and to parents and friends who supported them is so many ways, including filling the studio with a large and very appreciative audience! Participants ranged from the very young to the adult, and from beginner to advanced, and listeners enjoyed an incredible range of enjoyable music. This was the first time many of the students had played in public, and all did so well … these recitals will be a regular event at MitCon, so watch out for the next one.

November 2023 Concerto & Aria Showcase

Despite intermittent rain and some impressive thunder, about 50 music lovers came along to All Saints’ Cathedral on Sunday 26th November to hear the Mitchell Conservatorium’s Concerto & Aria Showcase. Featuring the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra and its conductor David Hood, the program showcased the instrumental and vocal skills of five MitCon students: Sophie Lindsay (violin), Bprem Zakaria (baritone), Josephine Smith (trumpet), Janelle Lindsay (mezzo-soprano) and Robert Saville (piano) (all pictured), performing arias and concerto movements from works by Bach, Bellini, Mozart, Gluck and Telemann.  
Also featured was MitCon violin and viola teacher and orchestra concertmaster Nicholas Newell (pictured with Sophie Lindsay) in a moving and spirited rendition of Telemann’s justly famous viola concerto. Nicholas was later joined by associate concertmaster Bruce McGarity as the soli violinists in Handel’s Concerto Grosso in G major. The orchestra also played the Andante movement from Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, and finished the concert with a face-paced and exciting performance of Haydn’s Symphony No 44 in E minor.

Did you hear our Ukuleles in concert - twice?

The Conservatorium ukulele group UkeCons is staving off the winter cold by keeping busy!

As part of the Bathurst Winter Festival, on Sunday 9 July the group kept themselves and the audience warm by playing some hot jazz at the Bathurst Railway Museum. Everyone present enjoyed the music-making, the beautiful acoustic of the historical venue and its excellent central heating!

Less than two weeks previously, UkeCons presented a free singalong concert for everyone to come and enjoy at the MitCon studios in Havannah Street. Director Michelle Griffin had everyone clapping along and singing the tunes – even our office staff got involved!

MitCon newsletters

Big Band Blast lives up to its name

The Bathurst region Big Band Blast Festival opened on 26 May 2023 and MitCon CONnections Big Band was in the thick of it right from the very beginning. After a huge day of setting the stages and working alongside musical legends Jackie Cooper and John Morrison, CONnections members took to the stage with a performance that showcased everything from the talent of MitCon teachers and adult students right through to how much fun a performance can actually be!

A highlight for many participants was the rhythm section workshop on 28 May run by MitCon Executive Director Andrew Smith which 80 people attended. In fact, hundreds of big band and jazz enthusiasts from all over NSW attended the three-day spectacular, and support for a repeat in 2024 is strong!

Bathurst Chamber Orchestra performs music by Vivaldi, J.S. Bach and others with the Allegri Singers at Lithgow and Bathurst

All in all, nearly 160 people attended two concerts by the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra and the Allegri Singers on the weekend of 6-7 May 2023 despite very wintery weather. The first concert was presented at Hoskins Memorial Uniting Church in Lithgow, the second at Bathurst Uniting Church.

The program included the famous Vivaldi “Gloria”, with William Moxey conducting, soloists Bethany Carter-Sherlock (soprano) and Amelia Bland (mezzo-soprano), the Allegri Singers, and the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra, the latter led by violinist Nicole Hammill.

Vivaldi’s musical genius was also on display with a spirited rendition of the Concerto in C for Two Trumpets, with MitCon teacher David Hood and MitCon associate teacher Laykus Woods as trumpet soloists.

The audience was also treated to three pieces sang by the Allegri Singers: Gerald Finzi’s “Feat no more the heat o’ the sun”, Tomas Luis de Victoria’s “O Magnam Mysterium”, and American composer Frank Ticheli’s moving “Earth Song”. Luke Moxey ably accompanied.

Flautist Emma Knott featured in J.S Bach’s Suite No 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067, with the orchestra led by Dr Nicole Hammill.

Photographs from the 6-7 May 2023 Bathurst Chamber Orchestra concert

Strong MitCon representation at inaugural Bathurst Performance Exchange, Keystone 1889, 30 April 2023

On Sunday 30 April 2023 Mitchell Conservatorium vocal students joined by Conservatorium singing and piano teacher Michelle Griffin took to the stage at the inaugural Bathurst Performance Exchange at Keystone 1889, Keppel Street, Bathurst. This was an opportunity to showcase local talent and to perform and promote upcoming shows in a friendly and relaxed setting.

The Conservatorium students got to close out the show and brought down the house with rousing performance numbers from the Con’s two upcoming Cabaret evenings on 21 & 22 July 2023 at Keystone.

Enjoy these photographs taken on the day!

CONnections, Concert Band, Mitchell Young Voices & Vox at the Festival of Bells, 29 April 2023

Bathurst Chamber Orchestra performs Bach, Handel, Rimsky-Korsakov and others at Palm Sunday Concert at Bathurst Uniting Church

Threatening rain did not stop a crowd of more than 50 people attending the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra’s Easter concert on Sunday 2nd April at Bathurst Uniting Church. The acoustic and atmosphere of the church provided a wonderful venue for the gorgeous sounds of a string orchestra and solo flute, the latter played beautifully by former MitCon teacher Emma Knott. 
It would be hard to pick a highlight from the varied program presented by the players, but if one were to have a go, it might be the moving spiritual “Were you there?”, or perhaps the justly famous and well-loved Suite No 2 in B minor by J.S. Bach, with its sonorous string textures blending beautifully with the solo flute. Although Baroque music is always a favourite with both players and audiences, the inclusion of “Were you there?” in addition to excerpts from Haydn’s moving “Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross” and an arrangement of the rousing Russian Easter Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov provided a wonderful contrast of tone and mood. And the orchestra delighted the audience with an encore of an arrangement of the famous Beatles song, “Lady Madonna”.
The orchestra, directed and led by Nicole Hammill, included Conservatorium staff members Nicholas Newell on violin and Robyn Godfrey on cello. On the whole, though, it was very much a student affair, and all players, young and less young, experienced and not so experienced, rose to the occasion and provided an exciting and satisfying afternoon’s music. And the program was given direction and context by the knowledgeable and erudite MC Monica Morse.

Photographs and videos from the BCO Easter Concert

Click on the video to hear the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra play “Were you there?” at the 2 April 2023 concert.

Click on the video to hear the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra play the Sarabande from J.S. Bach’s “Suite No 2 in B minor” with Emma Knott as flute soloist.

Congratulations to MitCon singing teacher Alyson Laver who was a finalist in the 2023 Bathurst Regional Songwriting Competition. Alyson performed her song, Four Walls, to a capacity and enthusiastic audience at a gala event at Keystone 1889 on 23 February 2023, with a fabulous six-piece backing band. We hope to hear more songs from Alyson over the coming year!

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