Monash Bachelor of Music lecturer to be the first Indigenous musician to conduct a State Symphony Orchestra in concert
Monash Bachelor of Music Assistant Lecturer, Aaron Wyatt, will be the first Aboriginal musician to conduct a state symphony orchestra in concert, in Australian history. This Wednesday, at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Wyatt will conduct the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as well as members of Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chamber ensemble, Ensemble Dutala.
As an acknowledgement to the people of Bunjil’s River Country, the orchestra will perform ‘Long Time Living Here’, written by Monash Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance Professor, Deborah Cheetham AO. Professor Cheetham will sing in her traditional language, Yorta Yorta.
“Not only is Aaron standing in front of that orchestra, conducting a work by a First Nations composer, [but] that composer is standing on stage singing, and in the orchestra are several members of Ensemble Dutala," Professor Cheetham says.
Professor Cheetham, 2019 Melbourne Prize for Music winner, and composer of Australia’s first Indigenous Opera, Pecan Summer, mentors Monash Bachelor of Music students.
Equipping students with advanced skills and knowledge across different areas in music, the course gives students the unique opportunity to study with advanced teaching staff.
Wyatt, who has previously conducted the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal workshops, explains “conducting the choir, and working with chamber music groups are definite highlights.”
Passionate about education, Professor Cheetham says that “the reason that I invest time in University, is because this is where we build the future of our nation.”