Rising Stars - Testimonials Conservatorium Open Academy

Rising Stars - Testimonials

Rising Stars our story!

"Providing quality teaching, sensitive professional direction and fostering a serious learning attitude to encourage a high level of achievement, has always continued to be the aim of the Rising Stars at the Con program over the last 10 years.

Observing their artistic growth and escalating levels of instrumental excellence, these young musicians will play a significant role in the future of Australian cultural life.

I am committed and honoured to be the Artistic Mentor to the Rising Stars at the Con program."
Rising Stars Artistic Mentor, Joy Lee

2021 graduates

The Rising Stars program is an experience that will stay with me forever. In my two years – having started in 2019 – I have been offered countless opportunities: being able to perform, being able to study under Dr Paul Rickard-Ford, being able to learn about new genres of music in the seminars, and so much more. Having studied under the best, the program has allowed me to not only improve my music skills, but also my time management skills and work ethic. I enjoyed interacting with peers, gaining experience as both a solo performer and ensemble performer, and elevating myself to the best of my abilities under the expert guidance of my teacher. The memories and skills that I developed are priceless, and this experience is one that I’m extremely grateful for.
Andrew, Piano

Participating in the Rising Stars Program for 7 years has truly been a memorable experience. I have learnt many lifelong lessons that have made me become a confident and competent musician. I really enjoyed meeting other like-minded musicians with whom I could share my passion for music. The weekly concerts were also an essential platform for me to develop my performance skills. I would like to sincerely thank my flute teachers, James Kortum and Nicola Crowe, who have watched me grow over the years, as they have continually encouraged and inspired me to excel as a flute player and find joy in my instrument. I would like to thank the various teachers that I have had in Music Skills classes, who have nurtured my love for music and helped me to mature as a musician. Thank you also to the staff in the Rising Stars program, who have put so much effort in organising weekly concerts and chamber rehearsals. I will greatly miss being a part of the Rising Stars Program.
Nadia, Flute

Going to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and being part of the Rising Stars program has opened up so many doors for me. Music has always been at the centre of my life and being at the Sydney Conservatorium has enabled me to develop that and become the best musician I can be. I met my first ever composition teacher, Henrique Dib, at the Sydney Conservatorium as he was my Music Skills teacher. Mr Dib was so generous with his time in showing me the ins and outs of composing, whilst sharing bits of advice that I still use today. Mr Dib inspired me so so much and I definitely want to go see him again one day and have a jam session! My first piano teacher in the Rising Stars program was Alexandra Vinokurov who helped me break all of my bad habits in regards to my technique and playing. Her main catchphrases were, “slow practice” and “relax,” advice that I think about and put to use all of the time. My second and last piano teacher in the Rising Stars program was Dr. Kirill Monorosi. Dr Monorosi was such an amazing teacher and was so generous with his time, even when I didn’t practice enough. Dr Monorosi is the reason that I finally learned to enjoy classical music and the importance of writing my compositions out onto paper rather than keeping them in my head! I am so grateful for everything Kirill has done for me and I hope that we keep in touch! Lastly, the Conservatorium gave me the chance to work under the mentorship of both Richard Gill and Carl Vine, both of which have been so inspirational to me and have boosted my confidence in composition. Richard Gill was a great mentor in showing me the brilliance of composers such as “Uncle Johann” (Bach) and the other greats. I have been having lessons with Carl Vine for about two years now and his generosity and kindness has been unparalleled. Mr Vine has my utmost respect both as a composer and as a person. All of these amazing opportunities would not have been possible without attending the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Rising Stars Program. I will be attending Sydney Conservatorium next year for University so I’ll definitely be around to say hi to the teachers that got me where I am today. Thank you, Sydney Con and Rising Stars!
Bailey, Piano

Although I was only a part of Rising Stars for one semester, it was an enriching and unique program that I am grateful to have experienced. The opportunities to perform in the weekend concerts and gaining connections within Australia’s top music school are an invaluable asset towards one’s professional career. Moreover, my flute tutor, Michelle, has been vitally helpful towards shaping my tone, technique, and musicality in preparation for my HSC music exams and con audition. If you are looking to improve your musicology analysis, free access to the con library is also a great perk that comes with the program. I would highly recommend Rising Stars. Even just auditioning is a great opportunity to improve your stage presence and introduce yourself to the professionals of your field!
Katherine, Flute

2020 graduates

Being in Rising Stars was one of the most engaging experiences for me. It allowed me to work on my musical performance, instil discipline, write comprehensive essays, conduct musical analysis, and engage with the wonderful teachers and staff working there. I have very much enjoyed my two years of being in Rising Stars, and as I hope to pursue tertiary education, I am grateful to the Conservatorium for giving me The Richard and Doreen Wilson Organ Scholarship as a steppingstone towards it.
Makito, Organ

The Rising Stars Program heavily influenced my experiences as a young performer. Since joining the program at the age of 8, I have been able to develop my confidence when performing... Watching other people perform has also enabled me to experience different interpretations and that has influenced my own musical understanding. I loved being in the chamber music program and meeting some great people through this.
Natalie, Violin

Being in Rising Stars, has provided me with the opportunity to meet like-minded people and make lifelong friends. I am very grateful to have been able to work and learn alongside such talented, passionate and dedicated musicians, both students and staff. Participating in the music theory classes, instrumental lessons, advanced seminar lectures, chamber elective and the weekly performance platforms over the years has provided invaluable knowledge, insights and experience toward my growth as a performer.
Emily, Piano

2019 graduates

Rising Stars is an extremely rewarding program not only in performance development but also in musical understanding and development of curiosity. Everyone involved in the program is incredibly encouraging, professional and insightful. I am very grateful to have involved myself in such an enriching program.
Andrew, violin

When I first accepted the Richard and Doreen Wilson Rising Stars Organ Scholarship, I was excited to begin studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Rising Stars Program. To be in a highly professional environment was exciting for me… I enjoyed performing on the organ in Verbrugghen Hall. The experience of public performance was invaluable for my growth as an organ performer and making friends with fellow classmates, are memorable experiences for me.
Callum, organ

Rising stars has been an incredible and tremendous part of my life; the nerves before the first concert recital, first time playing chamber with my peers, finally completing musicianship and participating in Seminar. I’d like to say thank Joy Lee (Rising Stars Artistic Mentor), instrumental teachers and Open Academy administration for accompanying me throughout my musical journey and allowing me to gain such an in-depth musical and social experience.
Sebastien, cello

2018 graduates

I joined Rising Stars when I was nine, and I am so incredibly grateful for how well the program has nurtured my growth as a musician in all aspects: performance, music theory and music history. Rising Stars has encouraged me to immerse myself in music and meet other extremely dedicated and inspiring musicians, and because of that, I’ve been able to challenge myself to grow as a musician and performer.
Sarah, violin

Studying at Rising Stars throughout high school, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have met so many like-minded musicians around my age who continuously inspire and encourage each other to pursue their musical aspirations. Having been presented with many opportunities to explore different aspects of music through weekly Music Skills and Advanced Seminar classes, the electives Chamber Music and Composition, and recitals, I have not only grown as a musician but gained essential skills applicable to both artistic and academic pursuits.
Yitting, flute

The Rising Stars Program has been a major and vitally important part of my life since I was 13. I am very grateful for the vast amount of opportunities I have gained from the program – the student concert practices being useful in raising my confidence as a performer, as well as the Musicianship classes and Seminars helping to give me a greater musical knowledge. I am thankful to my teacher, for everything he has taught me over the past years. Through the Rising Stars Open Academy program, I have gained a number of experiences and friends that I will never forget.
Anastasia, violin

2017 graduates

Thanks to the Rising Stars program for the great opportunity for me to learn music in an environment with like-minded peers. I have gained a holistic understanding of different types of music through the music seminars, advanced my piano playing greatly through instrumental lessons with my teacher and refined my performance technique through multiple concerts. It has been a pleasure to participate in the Rising Stars music program. Thanks!
Tony, piano

One thing that I didn’t realise before I came to Rising Stars, is that players can be musically restricted by a poor playing technique. Although I am musical, I often struggled to play technically difficult pieces, and so I was not able to properly express my musicality. What I deeply appreciate about this program, is the amazing dedication and patience that teachers have for their students, ensuring musicality is maintained while preventing long term injury.
Kris, Viola

Thank you Rising Stars for everything you’ve done for me over the last few years. My time here has been one of the best experiences – which has only been made possible by the teacher’s hard work and dedication… thank you.
Stephanie, cello

2016 graduates

Chamber music is one of the most valuable programs in my opinion for young musicians as it really develops your ability to work with others and understand the idea of working as a team. Young musicians can understand that there is a much larger world than just playing solo. The performance opportunities are another amazing experience which give us opportunities to build our confidence on stage.
Rain, violin

I’ve had a wonderful three and a half years in the Rising Stars program through Open Academy at the Con. The weekly music skills classes have provided me with exposure to a wide range of music and musical concepts as well as opportunities to meet other young musicians.I felt the numerous performance opportunities that I had helped me to gain confidence and to learn proper performance etiquette and would like to thank the organisers, mentors and my particularly my teacher for their support and encouragement.
Kate, harp

Rising Stars has allowed me to grow as a performer and musician; it has provided me with countless opportunities to learn, and every Saturday has been so exciting!
Isabella, viola