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Ms Sue Carson

Associate Lecturer

School of Creative Arts (Conservatorium)

Career Summary


Musician Sue Carson is a musical whirlwind, a musical explorer and a musical all-rounder. She has displayed her versatility over more than 23 years in opera, contemporary pop, country, folk, rock and musical theatre.

Since winning the Newcastle Conservatorium Doris Smith Scholarship for classical voice in 1997, which enabled her to study for a short time in London, Sue has shown her musicianship in Hunter region performances of opera, oratorio, musicals, jazz concerts, orchestras.

Sue’s coloratura soprano performances include Mozart’s Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Strauss’s Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and Cunegonde in Bernstein’s Candide. She played Heloise in the debut performances of local original production Abelard and Heloise by Ross Fiddes and Paul Kavanagh. In music theatre she has played Mrs Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Carrie in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Her pop/Celtic/bluegrass/rock turn-outs are Sligo Maid (to 1999) and current bands The Sue and Mikey Show and Love That Hat.

As a member of the award-winning Bob Corbett and the Roo Grass Band, Sue plays fiddle and mandolin, and sings backing vocals. The band has four Golden Guitar nominations, tours nationally and has had extensive radio airplay on Country Music Channel and top ten songs on the CMC country charts. She is in demand as a session musician for recordings, most recently Steve Edmonds and Jess Holland, and performs her own original material.

Sue completed a Bachelor of Arts in French and Drama in 1992 and L.Mus.A in Singing in 2010. She is currently studying for a Master of Philosophy (Music) exploring the cross-over of classical and contemporary vocal pedagogies. Sue teaches singing at community and tertiary level at the Newcastle University Conservatorium. She has conducted workshops for school students, university students and at regional music camps.

Sue was nominated for several CONDAs (City of Newcastle Drama Awards) including best professional actress as Beatrice in Hunter Valley Theatre Company’s The Venetian Twins (1996), Susanna in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (2004), and best supporting actress as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute (2009). Sue was also chosen as one of 16 singers nationwide for The Ronald Dowd Summer School for Singers, 2000 Advanced Singers Mastercourse with tutors Victor Morris, Christa Leahmann and Geoffrey Chard in Sydney and won the ABC Newcastle Music Award for Best Female Vocalist in 2003.

Research Expertise
Recent empirical evidence in the area of tertiary music vocal performance suggests that students want to learn more than one singing style. My creative performance work involves the parallel exploration and combination of a variety of singing and instrumental styles including, opera, music theatre, pop, rock, jazz, soul, folk and bluegrass. Through this approach to performance and also through years of teaching multiple genres of voice, I have developed a vocal technique and pedagogy that is at the centre of my research. I am constantly evaluating the challenges inherent in the rare practice of singing a variety of styles on a regular basis and how to convey this knowledge to my students. Further research may contribute to: determining what genres and approaches teachers would ultimately prefer to include in their practice, the perceived advantages and disadvantages of teaching single or multiple genres, and the future development of a collaboratively designed model for voice pedagogy that specifically addresses the inclusion of multiple genres.

Teaching Expertise
Associate Lecturer of voice and popular music to BMus Voice teacher to Conservatorium community students Manages and conducts small ensembles, group voice techniques and improvisation classes. Several group workshops, music camps, masterclasses and coordination of showcase concerts.

Administrative Expertise
Course coordinator and lecturer in Popular Music Performance.


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
  • Licentiate of Music, Australian Music Examinations Board


  • Contemporary violin styles
  • Cross-genre vocal performance
  • Cross-over music
  • Instrumental pedagogy
  • Popular Music
  • Popular music education
  • Singing technique
  • Vocal pedagogy
  • Voice

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
130103 Higher Education 30
190406 Music Composition 10
190407 Music Performance 60

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Creative Arts



Year Award
2014 Golden Guitar Nomination
Country Music Association of Australia
2013 Golden Guitar Nomination
Country Music Association of Australia
2012 VNCMA
Victorian and National Country Music Awards


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Allan C, Carson SL, 'Finding the synergies: Adapting a curriculum to encompass classical and contemporary singing in a university vocal techniques class', Performer's Voice 2nd Symposium "Horizons Crossing Boundaries" (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Christopher Allan

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 3
Total funding $26,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20151 grants / $1,000

Singing Futures: Pedagogies, Practices and the Digital Age, Hobart Australia, 24-27 September 2015$1,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Ms Sue Carson
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1500805
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

20131 grants / $15,000

Contemporary Music Touring Program$15,000

Funding body: Australia Council for the Arts

Funding body Australia Council for the Arts
Project Team

Bob Corbett

Scheme Contemporary Music Touring Program
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS

20091 grants / $10,000

Contemporary Music Touring Program$10,000

Funding body: Australian Government

Funding body Australian Government
Project Team

Bob Corbett

Scheme Contemporary Music Touring Program
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS

Ms Sue Carson


Associate Lecturer
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Casual Non-Tertiary Music Teacher
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone (02) 4921 8952


Location The Conservatorium
Cnr Laman and Auckland Street
Newcastle, NSW 2300