Passing the Torch: Music for Winds
MCM Winds at St Ambrose Hall

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14-16 Templeton Street, Woodend, Victoria 3442
St Ambrose Hall

Beethoven Octet in E-flat Major Op. 103
Raff Sinfonietta for 10 wind instruments, Op. 188

The Beethoven Octet is a key work in the small wind ensemble repertoire. Though it was composed in 1793 (and reworked in 1795 to become his first String Quartet, Op. 4), the Octet itself was published posthumously in 1834 which accounts for its high opus number. It is part of a tradition of Harmoniemusik which was popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries as background music at dinners and social events. Joachim Raff’s Sinfonietta, composed 80 years later in 1873, was intended to take this tradition of writing for smaller wind groups popularised by Mozart’s Serenadesand continued with the Octet of Beethoven and turn it into something even more impressive: Thus, the work is written for a fully doubled wind quintet. The Sinfonietta was composed during “the cultural high point” of Raff’s life and the piece attained significant popularity at the time of its composition. Though Raff’s music was widely known and admired in his time (even surpassing Brahms in popularity!) it is now rarely performed.

The MCM Winds is a staff / student ensemble, featuring leading wind faculty members from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, David Griffiths, Derek Jones, Lyndon Watts and Carla Blackwood, performing alongside the talented students of the MCM.

  • Carla Blackwood, horn
  • Derek Jones, flute,
  • David Griffiths, clarinet,
  • Lyndon Watts, bassoon,
  • Briana Leaman, Oboe
  • Oscar Gillespie, Oboe
  • Matthew Mulherin, flute
  • Kristopher Nash, clarinet
  • Jes Broeren, clarinet
  • William Hanna, Bassoon
  • Kina Lin-Wilmoth, bassoon
  • Rosemarry Yang, Horn
  • Stefan Grant, Horn



Derek Jones: Derek Jones has enjoyed an extensive performing career throughout Australia, Europe USA, and Asia. His performing career includes solo performances with the Melbourne Symphony, The Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the latter involving solo appearances in Carnegie Hall, New York. Derek has toured Europe and Asia with recital performances in Manchester, Dublin, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Italy.

He has also performed as soloist for ABC Radio in live broadcasts and has recorded recitals for ABC Classic FM. Derek has released his CD Sun Down Moon Up, in 2008, a collection of his own compositions and improvisations. He has also released CDs with the Australian recording label MOVE.

His career includes principal flute positions with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra; Orchestra Victoria. Derek has been invited to audition for principal flute positions in Europe. He has made guest teaching appearances at the Paris Conservatoire, the Geneva Conservatoire, Trento Conservatoire, The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Boston University, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and the Taiwan Flute School.

Derek is currently the Head of Performance, and Head of Woodwind at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Briana Leaman: As an international artist, Briana Leaman has studied, performed, and taught throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.  She works with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music’s oboe and chamber music studios as part of the prestigious Academic Assistantship program while pursuing her PhD in Music Performance at the University of Melbourne for which she is a Graduate Research Scholarship recipient.  Briana alsoteaches oboe at Loreto Mandeville Hall and serves as the Victorian State Representative for the Australasian Double Reed Society. ​​

A native of South Carolina, Briana completed her Bachelor’s of Music Performance with Dr. Rebecca Nagel at the University of South Carolina and her Master’s of Music Performance with Sébastien Giot and Christian Schmitt at the Haute École des Arts du Rhin in Strasbourg, France. Since the success of her first professional audition at the age of 21, Briana has performed with many orchestras in the U.S., France, and Australia including the Greenville and Charleston Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Opéra National du Rhin, and Orchestra Victoria. Briana is also an active chamber musician and has given performances alongside saxophonist Joseph Lallo as Duo Obax in the United States, Singapore, Adelaide, and Melbourne. Many works have been written for and commissioned by Duo Obax including And other lines by Luke Severn which Joseph and Briana recorded for the ABC Classics label with pianist Yasmin Rowe in February 2021. Briana is proud to be a Rigoutat Artist and plays on a model ‘J’ oboe.

David Griffiths: David Griffiths is Associate Professor of Music (Performance – Clarinet) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne. Originally from Armidale NSW, he studied at the Canberra School of Music with Alan Vivian before completing his Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music under the direction of Charles Neidich, Ricardo Morales, Alan Kay and David Krakauer.

He has appeared with the Goldner, New Zealand, Tinalley and Flinders String Quartets, New York Wind Soloists, the Southern Cross Soloists, members of the Cleveland, Shanghai, and American String Quartets. He has also collaborated leading singers and instrumentalists, performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Port Fairy Festival, Woodend Winter Arts Festival, and Pacific Music Festival (Japan). He worked extensively with the Australia Ensemble @UNSW before taking on the role of resident artist in the group in 2018. David has held positions with the Melbourne Symphony, Macau, and Shanghai Radio Orchestras, and has appeared as Guest Principal with the ACO and all of Australia’s major symphony and opera ballet orchestras. He has performed with the 2000 National Repertory Orchestra (US), Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, New World Symphony, New York City Opera, National Company, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, China Philharmonic, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.

Lyndon Watts: Australian bassoonist Lyndon Watts’s playing has been described as possessing “an ideal balance between utmost precision and wild spontaneity” (Heinz Holliger). Lyndon became principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of twenty-two, working closely with chief conductors Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Christian Thielemann and James Levine, as well as principal guest conductor Zubin Mehta, and performing in all the major concert halls of the world. After holding this position for eighteen years, in 2016 Lyndon chose to move back to his home country Australia, where he is now based in Melbourne. In July 2018 he accepted the position of lecturer in bassoon at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM), Melbourne University. Since the beginning of 2020 he has also been coordinating the MCM Early Music Studio.

Throughout his career Lyndon has performed either as a soloist or guest principal with numerous German and Australian orchestras (Australian World Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, West German Radio Symphony Orchestra etc.), and on historical bassoon in many leading period instrument ensembles. Lyndon is also an active supporter of contemporary composers and has given many first performances of solo and chamber music works in collaboration with composers from Munich and Melbourne.

Carla Blackwood: Carla Blackwood is Lecturer in Music (Performance – French Horn) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. Originally from Bathurst, NSW, Carla moved to Europe in 2004 where she pursued a successful career as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, and soloist.

Upon moving to Europe Carla pursued studies with Christian Lampert, Hector McDonald, Horst Ziegler and Radovan Vlatkovic on modern horn and Thomas Mueller and Glen Borling on natural horn. Following her studies she held contracts in a number of Orchestras across Switzerland, Germany and Sweden. From 2012 until 2018 Carla was principal horn of the Tiroler Symphonie Orchester Innsbruck, Austria, where she was also the Professor for Horn at the Tiroler Landeskonservatorium. Carla has performed as guest principal horn with the Radio Symphonieorchester Wien, SWR Sinfonie Orchester, Camerata Salzburg, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Swedish Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. Carla has performed regularly on classical and baroque horn with ensembles including the Australian Haydn Ensemble, Ensemble Corund (Switzerland), the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and the Pinchgut Opera. Carla has performed as soloist with a number of orchestras in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Australia. A passionate chamber musician and exponent of new music, Carla co-founded the Icarus Trio and contemporary horn and steeldrums duo Hornamente in Innsbruck. Carla has a strong interest in performance psychology and the physical and psychological aspects of being a musician. She has pursued some studies in psychology to deepen her understanding in this area and benefit her teaching.