Speak Percussion

Percussionists

Kaylie Melville

Percussionist

Kaylie Melville

Melbourne-based percussionist Kaylie Melville is a soloist and chamber musician dedicated to new music performance. Noted for her “extraordinary ability to impart a sense of musicality to even the smallest gestures” (Partial Durations), Kaylie performs regularly with many of Australia’s leading new music ensembles, including Speak Percussion, the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble, and the Argonaut Ensemble. She is a co-director of the chamber ensemble Rubiks, recognised by Limelight Magazine for their “superbly executed exploration of recent masterworks”, and the Artistic Director of the Bricolage percussion ensemble.

Festival appearances include the Metropolis New Music Festival, Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Salihara Festival (Indonesia), and the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention (US). Kaylie has also participated in a number of prestigious new music courses including the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music (Germany, 2016), Bang on a Can Summer Festival (USA, 2015) and So Percussion’s Summer Institute at Princeton University (USA, 2013).

Recent awards include an Australia Council Artstart Grant, the University of Melbourne’s Professional Pathways Scholarship, and the Australian National Academy of Music’s John and Rosemary MacLeod Traveling Fellowship. Kaylie was selected as a finalist in the 2015 ANAM Concerto Competition, and was a finalist for the 2016 Freedman Classical Fellowship.


Louise Devenish

Percussionist

Louise Devenish

Louise Devenish is a percussionist dedicated to the development of percussion in Western Australia through the performance, commissioning and teaching of new works for percussion.  A sessional lecturer at the WA Academy of Performing Arts and University of Western Australia, Louise has commissioned over 15 percussion works from Mark Applebaum (USA), David Pye (WA), Graeme Blevins (UK) and Michael Askill (NSW) among others.

Co-founder of contemporary duo The Sound Collectors and member of electro-acoustic new music ensemble Decibel, Louise also performs with contemporary, world and classical ensembles including the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Synergy Percussion (NSW), Speak Percussion (Vic), Clocked Out Duo (Qld), redfishbluefish (USA), Etica, the Astor Collective and was a core member of Tetrafide Percussion (2004-2010).  She is the WA Percussive Arts Society representative and Co-Director of the biannual Percussion Purity Festival.

Louise is currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Western Australia focusing on the development of Australian contemporary percussion music and has recently returned from six months in San Diego studying with Steven Schick.


John Arcaro

Percussionist

John Arcaro

John Arcaro has been a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 1990. He has also been a guest timpanist/percussionist with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa Japan, Malaysian Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. He has worked as a chamber musician and soloist with ensembles such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Synergy Percussion, Speak Percussion, Astra, Aphids, The Pokrovsky Ensemble Russia and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Performance highlights have included a critically acclaimed performance of Stockhausen’s Kontakte with pianist Michael Kieran Harvey in 1996. John has recorded numerous film scores and performed with a wide range of popular artists, including Frank Sinatra, Olivia Newton-John, KISS and Sting. John studied in New York and Philadelphia with leading orchestral percussionists and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) with high distinction. He is currently a member of staff at the University of Melbourne.


Leah Scholes

Percussionist

Leah Scholes

Leah is a percussionist with extensive experience across many areas of the performing arts. In addition to her regular involvement as a member of Speak Percussion, she is also composer and performer with Barking Spider Visual Theatre. Leah performs regularly with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. She is also an active chamber musician, appearing regularly with ensembles such as Arcko Symphonic Project and Beautiful Rubble. She currently teaches percussion and music theory at Melbourne Girls Grammar School.

In 2007 Leah completed her Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University, during which she was awarded the Professor’s Prize for the Most Outstanding Postgraduate Recital. She was also the recipient of the 2009 Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Traveling Fellowship (Music), which saw her travel to Basel, Switzerland, to study with renowned improviser Fritz Hauser.

In 2009 Leah attended the Roots and Rhizomes contemporary percussion masterclass with Steven Schick at The Banff Centre, Canada. She has also traveled to Senegal for intensive study of the djembe and sabar drums with renowned drummer Aly N’Diaye Rose in 2003.

Leah is currently pursuing the study and integration of theatrical elements in her work, focusing particularly on visual and physical theatre.


Peter Neville

Percussionist

Peter Neville

Peter Neville is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and was appointed Head Of Percussion there in 2000. Whilst he works across the range of musical styles he has a particular commitment to new music. As the percussionist of the ELISION Ensemble for twenty-three years, Peter has been involved with practically all their concerts, compact discs,  and international tours. Works including Chris Dench’s Driftglass, for percussion and ensemble and Richard Barrett’s abglanzbeladen- auseinandergeschreiben, have been written for and premiered by him. Peter is also a member of  groups including Jouissance, the David Chesworth Ensemble, The Raga Dolls Salon Orchestra and SPEAK Percussion and he has recorded and toured internationally with each of them.

His orchestral work has included tours to Europe with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Japan with the Melbourne Symphony. With that orchestra he was also part of the Australian premiere of Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony, in the presence of the composer, and he took part in their Australian tour with Elton John. He has performed in numerous musicals, including West Side Story, Cats and Company and in three Australian tours of the Broadway version of The Pirates of Penzance. He toured Australia as musical director of Tap Dogs. Other theatrical tours have included the Australia/China tour of Playbox Theatre’s Cho-Cho-San, and Richard the Third with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Within dance orchestras he has supported performances of the Bolshoi Ballet, the Russian State Ballet, the Nureyev Farewell Tour and the Netherlands Dance Theatre. With HumanVeins Dance Theatre he took part in the Australian premieres of Iannis Xenakis’ Oresteia, and was guest drummer with the Balanescu Quartet in their three Australian  seasons of Possessed with the Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre. Peter Neville appears on CD recordings ranging from pop albums by Peter Andre and Deborah Conway to the experimental industrial album “New Maps of Hell” by sound artist Paul Schutze.

In March 2006 Peter was Creative Director for the Commonwealth Games International Youth Masterclass In Percussion.


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