Martyn Cook

Martyn is a fulltime musician and has been playing the Celtic Harp professionally for over twenty years and has significant experience in different genres of music; (He also plays Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone and Trumpet), principally with Jazz Daiquiri and the The Kate Woolfe Trio.

Between the years 1983 and 2000 he was a musician in the band of the French Foreign Legion playing clarinet for eighteen months before switching to the flute and piccolo. He was then posted overseas where he played euphonium for two years. Upon his return to France he resumed service with the band as solo flautist.

Prior to his army service he played electric bass with a ten-piece dance band and used to ‘sit in’ with the local jazz bands where he lived in the South of England.

At school he played clarinet for four years obtaining a Distinction in his Grade V Exam, and a Pass of 138/150 in grade V theory.

Martyn has completed the Community Services Training Package, Mental Health Co-existing Needs Unit, has attained a medication assistance skill set and holds a Cert 4 in Community Services - Disability.

Martyn Cook, music therapy teacher, Bathurst

Graeme Hunt

Graeme Hunt has been playing guitar for 30 years, and teaching since 1992.
He joined Mitchell Conservatorium in 2004.

He is currently the guitarist for Sydney jazz funk band “Woodgrey”, which includes vocalist Julia Boehm (“Kaya”) and saxophonist Karen Booth (“Black Crow Band”).

Graeme has been composing and recording music since 1988. His composition “SNAP” was performed at Western Sydney’s Hybrid Waves Cultural Festival. He is currently working on a project with actor/writer Julian Garner (Bell Shakespeare Company).

Graeme teaches guitar at a number of local Bathurst schools and also teaches at both Bathurst and Lithgow campuses of Mitchell Conservatorium.

Samantha Schoeler-Jones

Teaching the flute at the Mitchell Conservatorium since 2007, Samantha completed a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music with Richard Gill(OAM) as Dean in 1991.
During her time in Perth she performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, she was accepted into the Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, Germany, to complete further studies with Professor Robert Winn, former Principal Flautist of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London.
In 1997, Samantha moved to Berlin to study Music Therapy at the Insitut für Musiktherapie. On returning to Australia in 2004, she decided to combine her experience as a music therapist with music education and completed a Diploma in Secondary Education. 
Between 2007 -2017  she worked as a classroom music specialist in the Blue Mountains with the Department of Education, teaching recorder ensembles across a number of schools in the Blue Mountains, as well as conducting choir and school band programs.
In 2016, Samantha was invited to become a mentor for the National Music Teachers Mentoring Program under the auspice of the late Richard Gill (OAM). A major highlight for Samantha during her employment with the Education Department, was to be invited to conduct 700 recorders for the Festival of Instrumental Music at the Sydney Opera House in 2014 and 2015.

Presently, Samantha divides her time between teaching flute and recorder at the Mitchell Conservatorium and being employed as a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) in South West Sydney, supporting vulnerable families and children and providing professional development in the early childhood sector. Further to this, Samantha specialises in early intervention supporting neuro-divergent children and children with disabilites 0-12yrs.

Gwenda Davies

Gwenda was born of a Welsh father and English mother. Since her childhood years growing up in Sydney, Gwenda took an interest in music from the British Isles. Her training in voice, piano and harp, led to a performance career of harp and song.

Gwenda spent several years in San Francisco, completing an MA in creative arts, then pursuing harp interests alongside promoting and establishing markets for Australian Wines in the US. Gwenda later studied traditional Welsh folk music at UNW Bangor, Wales. 

During the 1990’s Gwenda was employed by major hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area, playing harp during the lavish Sunday Brunch Buffets, including two years at the Top of the Mark, Mark Hopkins Hotel, and a year at the Berkeley Marriott Hotel. 

Since her return to Australia, Gwenda completed an MMus(musicology) at UNSW in 2000. She joined the teaching faculty at Mitchell Conservatorium, Bathurst in 2005.

Gwenda performs under the banner of Emlyn’s Harp, (solo or ensemble) for weddings, private functions and cultural events in the Bathurst region, with a repertoire that sensitively combines light classical, traditional and popular themes to suit the occasion and atmosphere. 

Performance highlights include a concert in Wellington Caves recorded by the ABC, Mitchell Conservatorium Bathurst Spring Recital Series, All Saints’ Cathedral Bathurst Lunchtime Recitals and Bathurst Autumn Colours series accompanying High Tea at Abercrombie House, Bathurst.

Karen Rayner

Commenced musical training at the age of seven. During my adolescent years, Karen pursued AMEB studies achieving an A in eighth grade pianoforte and undertaking Associate Diploma at age 17 years.

Karen has worked professionally in the music industry from the age of 18 years. I joined the Naval military band in 1994. She trained at the Defence Force School of Music in Melbourne developing secondary instruments, flute and piccolo. Obtained grade 3 qualification as a service musician in 1989, and was recognised as a solo performer on the piano. In 1992, she was one of the first female musicians to be assigned to the fleet band serving on the HMAS Jervis Bay.

In 1994, Karen left the military band to pursue a pioneering Diploma Course in Music Therapy. She was the first of three students to undertake this course in Australia. Karen specialised as a clinician working with adult congenital disability, autism and dementia for the following 13 years.

In 2009, she pursued a Bachelor of nursing degree, undertaking a two-year fast track course and achieving academic recognition with the University of Tasmania.

In 2011, relocated to Mudgee, NSW to consolidate her nursing training and career.

Since this time, Karen has balanced her nursing and musical life, continuing to play the piano locally.


We pay our respect to all First Nations elders both past and present from the lands where Mitchell Conservatorium students reside. In particular, we acknowledge the Wiradyuri and Dharug peoples of Australia, who are the traditional custodians of the land where Mitchell Conservatorium campuses are located.

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