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Conductors at GSMC 2024

Kate Notini Ensemble Director

Djilang Singers  Choir for all ages and experience levels


Kate has been involved in Geelong community music as a performer, facilitator and director for over two decades. She has performed in various orchestras for local musical theatre groups, community orchestras, concert, jazz and pop bands. Her employment at Christian College Geelong, over the past 20 years, has included teaching instrumental/classroom Music, English, Creative Writing; concert band and choral direction. She has worked as a Musical Director with several local theatre companies, receiving recognition from the Theatre Guild of Victoria on many occasions.
Kate has a passion for helping to build a strong sense of community in the off-line world and loves to connect with people, particularly through music. Working weekly with different people in a variety of settings, from kindergartners to seniors, ensures there is rarely a dull moment!

Michelle John Ensemble Director

Otway Strings  String orchestra for developing string players

Michelle has degrees from the Victorian College of the Arts and the University of Tasmania, where she studied cello with Christian Wojtowicz.  She has been a guest cellist with Orchestra Victoria for 15 years, playing for Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet.  She has also performed with Six Degrees, Chambermade Opera, Sinfonia of Melbourne, Arcko Symphonic Project and the Melbourne Bach Choir. 

She has performed at festivals in Paris and the UK with The David Chesworth Ensemble and toured over 20 countries with the Como Quartet.  Michelle has made more than 40 recordings, and has played live for ABC radio and TV, RRR and 3MBS.  She has composed and performed with Circus Oz and co-written the soundtrack for the award-winning documentary ‘Salt’. 

Michelle has over 30 years teaching experience including at the University of Melbourne (VCA), Geelong Grammar, Scotch College and Yarra Valley Grammar.  As Head of Strings at Melbourne Girls Grammar, she conducted string orchestras and chamber music. 

Michelle is delighted to be conducting the Otway Strings for a second year, and is looking forward to working and having fun teaching orchestral skills to the 2024 campers.  She attended the first camp with a very small cello, and has been involved with many GSMC camps since!

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Ari Farrar Ensemble Director

Bellarine Concert Band  Concert band for developing band musicians


Hailing from Shepparton, Victoria, Ari fell in love with music through his high school music program and local brass band.  He moved to Melbourne to pursue his musical studies and upon graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2002, has worked as a professional trumpet player and vocalist with a range of orchestras, ensembles and bands, both nationally and internationally.  Highlights have included The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Dancing with the Stars Orchestra, Australia’s Got Talent, The TV Logie Awards, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, The Cat Empire, Human Nature and Tex Perkins.  In 2006, Ari completed his postgraduate studies in education at The University of Melbourne, and in 2015, graduated from their Master of Music programme. 

Ari has worked as a music educator at a variety of schools including Scotch College, St Michaels Grammar School, Caulfield Grammar School and Geelong Grammar School, where he presently holds the position of Director of Music.  Ari has directed concert bands, stage bands, choirs and contemporary music groups within schools and community music programmes such as the Melbourne Youth Music Summer School and the Geelong Summer Music camp.  Ari is very excited to be directing the Bellarine Concert Band for the upcoming 2024 Geelong Summer Music Camp.

Edward Fairlie Ensemble Director

Surf Coast Symphonic Band Concert Band for advanced band musicians

Edward Fairlie (b. 1982) grew up in Geelong. Known as a composer and arranger of great versatility, he composes and arranges music for wind band, orchestra, big band, choir, brass band and chamber ensembles. His work is performed regularly throughout Australia and the United States.

As a performer he has toured and recorded playing trumpet, keyboard and singing with many prominent artists, including ARIA award winning singer/songwriter Julia Stone, and ARIA/ Grammy award winning artist Gotye. He has also sung with the a cappella vocal jazz group The Idea of North, including a concert backed by The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Edward has also played trumpet in the pit orchestras for several productions, including Aladdin, Evita, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Frozen. He also performed with Orchestra Victoria for the Australian Ballet’s 2021 production of Volt, and played principal trumpet in the live orchestra that accompanied screenings of the film The Princess Bride at Hamer Hall in 2023. Edward is also the regular fanfare trumpeter for the Melbourne Cup.

Edward has taught trumpet, composition and arranging in many different institutions, including Eltham High School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Polytechnic and Box Hill Institute. He is also sought-after as a clinician, guest lecturer and adjudicator at the high school and tertiary level. specialising in wind bands, big bands, orchestras and choirs.

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Trish Timmins Ensemble Director

Swan Bay Strings  String orchestra for advanced string players


Trish Timmins is a passionate and vibrant string educator, working at The Geelong College as Strings Co-ordinator. Her energy and passion in the classroom, ensemble rehearsals and instrumental lessons, encourages and inspires productive and highly engaged students.

Trish has been fortunate to be mentored and tutored by Sr. Catherine of Sienna in Ballarat, Jean Lehmann, and Spiros Rantos. Trish is particularly grateful for the opportunities and encouragement her teachers provided.

Trish has completed a Bachelor of Secondary Education (Music) and AMusA (violin). She commenced her teaching career at Ballarat High School, moving to Castlemaine to teach and then became Head of Strings at Girton Grammar Bendigo. Trish was fortunate to work with Kate Cebrano and Mark Seymour as part of the Forever Young Girton Grammar String Orchestra. Trish now resides on the Surf Coast, where she is relishing the opportunity to continue to encourage and inspire her students at The Geelong College. She is looking forward to working with the Swan Bay strings at GSMC 2024.

 Sean Rankin Ensemble Director

Balyang Big Band Stage Band for advanced jazz performers

Sean is a passionate educator and musical director, drawing from his extensive performance and teaching career to inspire a love for music amongst all ages. After many years serving as a full time Musician in the RAAF, Sean returned to his full-time teaching roots to take up position as Head of Brass at Christian College Geelong, directing ensembles and tutoring all brass instruments offered in the music program from year 2 to year 12.  For over 20 years Sean has been directing award winning concert bands, stage bands and brass ensembles in primary and secondary schools throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and is frequently involved in guest tutoring and directing ensembles at specialist music camps and community concert bands. Sean brings a unique and dynamic approach to appreciation and participation in all genres of music.  

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Sean has performed, toured and recorded with many internationally acclaimed artists including David Helfgott, Renee Geyer, Marina Prior, Olivia Newton-John, Jimmy Barnes, Jon Stevens, George, Katie Noonan, Resin Dogs, Casey Donovan and the Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne Symphony and Aussie Pops Orchestras. He has also performed at major festival events such as Big Day Out, Vibes on a Summers Day, Homebake, Splendor in the Grass, Blues and Roots Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Wangaratta, Manly and Sydney Jazz festivals. He has both headlined and supported bands such as The Roots, Jamiroquai, Grand Master Flash and Black Eyed Peas and has appeared in live televised bands including the ARIA’s, Channel V and Dancing with the Stars. Sean is looking forward to sharing his groove and jazz ideals with the Senior Stage Band and tutoring the Trumpet students this year at GSMC.

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