29 September 2010

Gillian Williams
Gillian Williams

Gillian Williams plays the French Horn on works by classical composers such as Strauss and Brahms, but often as not she is listening to pop music on Triple J.

"For me, all music genres are important. They serve different needs at different times," comments the 19-year-old second year performance student at The Con, and a member of the institution's acclaimed Chamber Orchestra.

"It is fair to say that if we didn't have centuries of classical music, we wouldn't have today's rock music.

"People who say classical music is boring are missing out big time because it can be everything from calming and soothing to mightily uplifting - in the same way as rock and pop can work their magic."

Williams, of the Upper North Shore, freely admits that she only started playing an instrument when she found out in primary school that it was a bona fide way of getting out of school work.

"I couldn't start learning about brass instruments fast enough, and the interest stayed with me into high school, where playing the trumpet in the school band landed me several overseas trips, including to Hawaii, Germany and Chicago," she says.

That early training and performing has put Gillian in good stead for the biggest concert tour of her career - three major performances in the USA as part of the 34-member Chamber


It is the first time a collective of musicians from The Con has been invited to undertake collaborative performances with an equivalent number of American students in New York, San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado.

The joint orchestras will perform modern American music and modern Australian music, under the batons of Australian Maestro Imre Pallo and American Maestro James DePreist.

"This is pretty stunning to be going to such formidable music schools, and to know that the joint concert with Juilliard in New York's revered Lincoln Center has such historical significance," comments Gillian.

"The pressure will be on, but I'm sure we'll learn a lot as well as pass on a lot.

"Having Maestro Pallo leading the way will bring out the best in us all and also put us at ease - there is no one better to make sure you face the challenges head-on and at the same time have fun."

Gillian likes to jog in her spare time, and competed in the recent Bridge to Bridge run.

"It is the best way to clear the head and help gain focus," she says." I will definitely be joining with other students in jogging around all three cities…you can only practice so much."


  • 18 October, Lincoln Center, New York
  • 22 October, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • 26 October, College of Music, University of Colorado, in Boulder

There will be a live stream of the Lincoln Center concert at The Con at 11am, 19 October.
RSVP for this event by 4 October is essential:

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 052f5608571f1f0a5f330a02054116412321033c0c7a333413613442