Speak Percussion


Elizabeth Tupper – Chairperson

Elizabeth has more than 25 years working in the creative industries and is currently the principal at Creative Capacity, which works with organisations to build creative and innovative business solutions. She is currently researching how conflict influences creativity and key drivers influencing the advancement of women in the workplace at the Melbourne Business School. Elizabeth has worked in senior executive roles within cultural organisations, including as Managing Director of Orchestra Victoria, and as Director of Strategic Projects and Government Relations at Musica Viva. For 15 years she developed and implemented arts policy at the Australia Council and the Federal Department of Arts, and lectured drawing at the Canberra School of Art.  Elizabeth has been a member of the Speak Percussion Board since 2009 and is also a Board member of Substation and Volleyball Victoria.

Owen McKern – Deputy Chair

Owen McKern has been involved with Melbourne’s arts and music community for close to 2 decades.  For 14 years Owen produced and presented the influential music program ‘Delivery’ on 3RRR and he has also presented radio programs for ABC Classic FM, 3MBS and PBS 106.7.  Owen has held management positions at both 3MBS and PBS where he is currently the Program Manager.  As an arts producer he has produced projects for The City of Yarra, Conical Gallery Inc., JOLT Arts Inc., The Click Clack Project and The Melbourne Recital Centre.  Owen is currently the Deputy Chair of Speak Percussion.

Andrew Hillier – Secretary

In his role as Secretary, Andrew brings experience in both music and law. He is currently a solicitor with the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. Prior to that, he was a Judge’s Associate at the County Court of Victoria. Outside of the law, Andrew is a cellist, having completed a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne. He has taught cello at both primary and secondary school levels and he continues to play cello in an amateur orchestra.

Peter McCoy – Treasurer

Peter joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1983 where he was involved with the creation of the Concert Music Division of the ABC. In 1987 he was appointed Accountant, with the responsibility of creating and maintaining the business model and practices for the newly created Victorian Concert Music Division. 1998 he was appointed Business Manager and Company Secretary of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2008 he acted as the Financial Director for the Melbourne Theatre Company for a year before taking a position as the Director Corporate Services for the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2010. After 3 years Peter began financial consulting for clients such as the Australia Council, the National Theatre and Orchestra Victoria. Peter held the board treasurer position with Lucy Guerin Inc for 9 years and is currently the Treasurer of Speak Percussion.

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.

Ruth Bain

Ruth has worked in the arts for over 30 years across private and public institutions, and more recently the education sector.  She has held roles at Gertrude Contemporary, ACCA, the Next Wave Festival, and Experimenta Media Arts; and was a Director at Anna Schwartz Gallery, a leading contemporary art gallery in Melbourne.  She has consulted for the City of Melbourne and City of Port Phillip, and sat on advisory committees for Arts Victoria (now Creative Victoria).  Currently Ruth is the Faculty General Manager for Monash Art, Design & Architecture.

Eugene Ughetti

Eugene Ughetti is an award winning percussionist, composer, conductor and artistic director of Speak Percussion. His work focuses on new chamber music and hybrid-arts collaboration. Eugene has worked with many of Australia’s leading new music ensembles including conducting ELISION in the world premiere of Richard Barrett’s CONSTRUCTION in the 2011 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.He has worked with some of the world’s finest composers including Steve Reich, Pierre Boulez and Sofia Gubaidulina and with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, James Levine and Charles Dutoit. He has been a concerto soloist with the Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and has given solo performances throughout the world. He has composed works for Speak Percussion, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, ABC and Bionics Institute.



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