Brass Trio at Four WInds
(L-R) Amanda Tillett, Rebecca Luton, Sheena Boughen (Chair of Four Winds), Sarah Henderson and Paul Dean.

ANAM Brass Trio comprising Sarah Henderson, Rebecca Luton and Amanda Tillett have relished their opportunity to reside in Bermagui as part of the Four Winds Festival. ANAM and Four Winds Artistic Director, Paul Dean says the experience has been life changing for these young musicians. “I was amazed at the incredible confidence that has developed within the students in just under a week. Their concert on Saturday night in Bermagui will be a cracker!”

We spoke to ANAM Trombonist Amanda Tillett about her experience at the Festival.

How did this opportunity come together?

ANAM and Four Winds have a great partnership in that students are selected to be a part of the community in The Bega Valley Region with the main goal of sharing music. The three of us were approached by ANAM staff, so we formed as a group specifically for this opportunity!

What was the highlight of being in residence at the Four Winds Festival?

The educational programs for young kids has been really inspiring and thought provoking, as well as genuine fun. Teaching kids a bit about music and brass specifically through story and interaction was a little bit of a challenge at first but I think we all fell into it naturally. Watching them all react positively in different ways and realising how simple it is to share such a special thing with others was quite an uplifting thing in itself, and it takes the spotlight off yourself as ‘an elite musician’ in a refreshing sort of way.

What’s the Four Winds Festival and Bermagui like for those of us who haven’t been there before?

It is something very difficult to explain! The Four Winds site itself is very simple yet quite amazing – the main building and the outdoor stage or ‘sound shell’ as they call it both have really wonderful acoustics and provide a great working space for musicians in such an amazing part of the country. Everywhere you look is either a nice lake, thick bushland or kangaroos! It really is just a group of people in a small community who are passionate about music and trying to bridge the gap between performers and the audience. Whether that be through education, participation or just general conversation, it’s a learning experience for everyone (including musicians!) in a very casual and down to earth setting. I think what we’ve been doing here has given us a much more ‘real’ scenario and shown us what we can do other than fussing about in a practice room or stressing out on a stage.

Playing in all female brass trio will be an inspiration to young female musicians, no doubt. How does it feel be in an all female lineup at Four Winds?

I don’t think much of the fact that it happens to be all female as it’s not really any different to working with males, however coming from an all girls school with very few brass players I think it is important to show young people that women do it too. There seems to be a bit of a stereotype that perhaps needs to be broken regarding the kinds of instruments we can or should play, (brass is too loud and indelicate, right?) but it’s also interesting seeing the reaction of the general public here when they find out who we are. They often seem pleasantly surprised!

From an individual perspective, what’s coming up in the near future that you’re looking forward to?

Outside of chamber music there will be a few job audition opportunities coming up in the next couple of years which is very rare for trombone, particularly in this country. Maybe I can channel some of my newfound diligence and productivity brought about from the picturesque setting of Bermagui to my excerpt practice at home!

You can hear Amanda perform, along with Sarah and a host of other wonderful ANAM musicians, at the upcoming performance of Australian Voices. The last instalment of this series will feature the works of Alan Holley, curated by Dave Elton.

Thursday 5 November 6pm
Melbourne Recital Centre Salon

HOLLEY Canzona for Ligeti
HOLLEY Ornithologia
Loaded With Dream
HOLLEY The Estuaries of Time
The Winged Viola

Dave Elton trumpet, curator
ANAM Musicians

Melbourne Recital Centre31 Sturt Street,
(0)3 9699 3333



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