In 2011 Christopher began his conducting studies with Chris Van Tuinen, a former Opera Australia conductor. After completing his Bachelor of Music in clarinet at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with WASO Principal Clarinet Allan Meyer, and winning the WA Youth Orchestra’s Woodside Concerto Competition in 2011, he decided to shift his focus and is currently working towards an honours in conducting. Christopher is a member of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program through which he has worked with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia, under the guidance of course director Christopher Seaman.

Christopher’s profile as a conductor is expanding internationally. Last year he was invited as a conducting fellow to the Pacific Music Festival in Japan by Fabio Luisi, the Principal Conductor of The Metropolitan Opera. This year he will be participating in numerous courses overseas including the Järvi Winter Academy in Estonia, with Leonid Grin and a master class in the Czech Republic with Jorma Panula, former head of conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy.

Christopher has firm roots in WA community ensembles and is Musical Director of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the South Side Symphony Orchestra, OperaBox and the Leeming Area Concert Band. For the first half of 2013 Christopher will be conducting the WA Youth Orchestra’s Philharmonic Orchestra as well as WAAPA’s Faith Court Orchestra. In 2011 he co-founded his own orchestra, the Swan Philharmonic, an orchestra that combines professional players with the next generation of orchestral musicians.
The Assistant Conductor position is supported by the Simon Lee Foundation and Symphony Services International.

The cast of ABC TV’s ‘Redfern Now’ with their Logie award last night.
WAAPA graduate Shareena Clanton (2011) is pictured in the purple dress

Redfern Now honoured at the Logies
ABC series Redfern Now won the Most Outstanding Drama Series Logie and actress Shari Sebbens won the award for Most Outstanding New Talent for her role in the series.

One of the producers, Darren Dale, says the win highlights the work of Indigenous people in the television industry.
“I’m so happy to stand here on this stage, with great Indigenous writers, actors and blackfellas suddenly on prime time,” he said.
“That is what makes Redfern such a great show, that finally at 8:30 at night on the public broadcaster on the ABC you see black faces, and I’m so proud of that.”

On Monday night, 6th September, graduates from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts took out several categories of the prestigious Helpmann Awards.

The Helpmann Awards®, established in 2001 by Live Performance Australia (LPA), saw the presentation of awards in 42 categories. In addition Tony Gould AM and Brian Nebenzahl OAM RFD were honoured as the recipients of the prestigious JC Williamson AwardTM that recognises their outstanding contribution to the Australian live performance industry.

Acting graduate, Ewen Leslie (2000), took out the coverted Best Male Actor in a Play award for his dazzling portrayal of the title character in Melbourne Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed production of Richard III.

The Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production award went to Western Australian dance graduate Richard Cilli (2008) for his performance in, We Unfold by Sydney Dance Company where he is a company member along with five other WAAPA dance graduates. Raphael Bonchachela (Artistic Director SDC) has nothing but praise for the quality of WAAPA’s dancers. “The polished professionalism, the charisma, the confidence, and riveting performance qualities from these young artists are outstanding.”

Best Presentation for Children went to Sonya Hartnett’s Thursday’s Child produced by Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People. This company’s two Artistic Directors are both Acting graduates, Sandie Eldridge (1991) and Tim McGarry (1987).

Classical Voice graduate, Emma Matthews (1992) was presented with the award for Best Female Performer in an Opera for Opera Australia’s production of La Sonnambula and Music Theatre graduate, Christina O’Neill (2005) won Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her work on the hilarious musical comedy Avenue Q, produced by Arts Asia Pacific and Power Arts. Coincidentally the Executive Producer of this touring show, Jarrod Carland is a Music Theatre graduate from 2000.

The Helpmanns are a celebration of the very best in live performance in Australia. They also serve as a reminder of the central place live performance takes in the lives of so many Australians, whether it be a child attending a live concert for the very first time, a young Australian attending a concert by their favourite band or comedian, or one of the millions of Australians who attend our major musicals or performances by our extraordinary performing arts companies.