Put the Melbourne in Melbourne Conservatorium

How to situate the Melbourne Conservatorium in the city it belongs to? That was the question with which we approached our latest photoshoot, starring our current students. 

By Kate Mulqueen, Marketing and Recruitment Manager, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music 

In December 2017, with the Australian photographer John O’Rourke, we created a concept and shoot that would situate our current Conservatorium students in Melbourne. Not performing in tails and evening dress at iconic locations such as Hamer Hall, Melba Hall or the Melbourne Recital Centre – all of which our students do beautifully – but in Section 8, a popular bar in Melbourne’s CBD, and the surrounding, street-art infused alleyways.

Melbourne Conservatorium violinist Amy You. Image by John O’Rourke.

Why? Well, several questions recur when discussing life at the Conservatorium with prospective students. Is it the place for me? What are the other students like? Is there a particular type of person who studies at the Conservatorium? Will I fit in?

Melbourne Conservatorium tuba player Alexander Jeantou. Image by John O’Rourke.

The answers to those questions are hopefully answered, at least in part, by the finished photos: students of all backgrounds, learning different instruments and studying different programs – but united by a passion and dedication to their craft, and by place.

Some 14 students from undergraduate and graduate levels in areas as diverse as Jazz & Improvisation, Interactive Composition and Music Performance offered their time, their patience and good humour, for which we are extremely grateful.

Melbourne Conservatorium students at Section 8, Melbourne. Front row, l-r: Sze Min Ng, Reuben Lewis, Keidan Morley, Rose Gonzalez, Alexander Jeantou. Second row, l–r: Natalia Edwards, Oliver Iacono, Alexandra Czarnecki-Roper. Third row, l–r: Emma Morrison, Brienne Gawler, Amy You, Rachael Richardson, Chiara Anderson. Back row: David Farrell. Image by John O’Rourke.

I’d also like to thank our stylist (Sally Kong), make-up artist (Kenneth Higgins), and two assists (Reuben Gates and Graham Alderton). As production coordinator, I worked with my colleague Susanna Ling to organise the shoot.

Melbourne Conservatorium students Oliver Iacono, David Farrell, and Chiara Anderson. Image by John O’Rourke.

Look out for more of these photos and student stories in the weeks and months to come.


Banner image: Melbourne Conservatorium students Keidan Morley, Reuben Lewis and Alexandra Czarnecki-Roper. Image by John O’Rourke.