An even brighter future for The Conservatorium of Music at the University of Newcastle is planned under the stewardship of the recently appointed Chair of Music, Professor Richard Vella.
Professor Vella last night delivered his lecture 'The 21st Century Conservatorium', outlining his vision to strengthen the position of 'The Con' with musical trends.
"Popular music, improvisation, jazz, and folk instruments are now part of the mix," he said. "The future is about embracing innovation and developing new audiences and contexts. A diverse musical culture prepares the music graduate for the real world.
"We need to train musicians who are creative, technically adept, entrepreneurial, savvy about marketing, and able to play in any context, be it Mozart, film music, contemporary dance music or a tango band.
"Flexibility, options, specialisation, innovation and empowerment - this is the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music in the 21st Century."
Professor Vella said the Conservatorium of Music had played an important role in Newcastle's vibrant music community, training musicians, singers and teachers for national and international careers, since its establishment in 1952.
"We need to keep up with technology," he said. "The microphone is now an extension of the instrument and musicians are acknowledging the important role of technology in recording.
"While traditional career paths in music are diminishing, there are new opportunities, with more than 140 different types of music jobs ranging from promotion and performance to song writing, music management, composing and music production."
Professor Vella said in today's competitive music industry, it was time to broaden the focus of The Conservatorium to include a wider range of music choices and experiences.
"A conservatorium's relationship with communities is a partnership. We're building on the expertise, knowledge and skill base The Con has developed in the local community over the last 55 years to preserve our traditions and open up to innovation."