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Staff Profile


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.



  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle, 08/05/1993
  • Licentiate of Music, Australian Music Examinations Board, 31/12/2010


Research keywords

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

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.

Fields of Research

190407Music Performance60
130103Higher Education30
190406Music Composition10



2014Golden Guitar Nomination
Country Music Assiocation of Australia (Australia)
Golden Guitar Nominations for Bob Corbett and the Roo Grass Band for "Instrumental of the Year".
2013Golden Guitar Nomination
Country Music Assiocation of Australia (Australia)
2 Golden Guitar Nominations for Bob Corbett and the Roo Grass Band for ""Instrumental of the Year" and "Alternative Country Album of the Year".
Victorian and National Country Music Awards (Australia)
Victorian and National Country Music Awards Nominations for Bob Corbett and the Roo Grass Band for "Instrumental of the Year" and "Blue Grass Award".


Administrative expertise

Course coordinator and lecturer in Popular Music Performance


Teaching keywords

  • Popular Music
  • Voice

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.



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

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Conference (1 outputs)

2012Allan 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", Singapore (2012) [E3]



Grants and Funding


Number of grants2
Total funding$25,000

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

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2013 (1 grants)

Contemporary Music Touring Program$15,000
Funding Body: Australia Council for the Arts

Contemporary Music Touring ProgramInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2009 (1 grants)

Contemporary Music Touring Program$10,000
Funding Body: Australian Government

Contemporary Music Touring ProgramInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.


Ms Susan (Sue) Carson

Work Phone(02) 4921 8952
PositionsAssociate Lecturer
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Casual Non-Tertiary Music Teacher
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaConservatorium
The Conservatorium
Cnr Laman and Auckland Street
Newcastle NSW 2300