||Jenna Murphy - Piano, Guitar, Composition
Jenna is an accomplished songwriter, musician, performer, and teacher. She grew up in the midlands of Ireland playing piano and guitar from a young age. Jenna completed an Honors’ Degree in Music from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2008 and graduated with a distinction in piano performance and composition. Her mentors include the Irish composers Eric Sweeney and Marion Ingoldsby and the great Irish pianist, Finghin Collins.
Jenna ran her own private teaching studio in Ireland where she was a registered teacher of the Royal Irish Academy. Since coming to Australia 7 years ago she has taught for a variety of schools, the most recent being Allans Billy Hyde where she also acts as co-director.
She not only specialises in classical piano and the full range of the AMEB syllabus but also teaches a more contemporary/pop approach with a mix of composition and playing.
Jenna especially works well with people or children looking to write and understand their own music, delving into the fundamentals of chord writing and arranging and of course, singing and playing. She has been playing and teaching guitar for many years and also focuses on the principles of songwriting, with emphasis on playing in unusual tunings and singing.
Jenna is a busy performer and her own music can be found at www.facebook.com/jennamurphymusic. She released her first EP Ancient Sea Warrior in 2010 and is in the process of releasing her 2nd EP this year.
For the past 2 years, she has co-run a respected open mic night, The Sunset Sessions, in Sydney’s inner west with Zana Rose. The night is designed to give both local and touring songwriters a stage to share and promote their music.
||Zana Rose - Piano, Voice, Composition
Zana Rose is an experienced performing and recording artist, songwriter, musician and teacher. Surrounded by music she began learning piano, guitar and singing from an early age. She then went on to complete her Honors degree in Contemporary Music at UWS.
Zana began teaching with the Allans Billy Hyde Academy in 2009 before moving to London where she performed regularly, and worked as a music teacher and tutor. She spent 2 years running small and large scale piano and vocal classes throughout East London schools, all the while writing and recording her self-titled EP at Studio 19. She returned to Sydney in mid-2012.
Zana is very active in Sydney’s live music scene. She regularly performs her original music in a range of different formats - as a duo, and as a high energy 5 piece incorporating live electronic elements. Zana also plays covers gigs and hosts The Sunset Sessions with Jenna Murphy - a successful open mic night in Redfern which nurtures original music, providing a supportive stage for new to more experienced musicians of all genres.
She finished recording her second EP (ZA NA) at the end of 2014 at Echo Creative, which is due for release early 2015. A music video for her single ‘Sketch’ was released late 2014 preceding the new EP. Zana is now embarking on her 3rd EP to be released late this year.
Zana’s expertise lies in contemporary piano, vocals, aural skills, songwriting and performance. She enjoys teaching all ages and works especially well with students who are looking for a more modern approach to playing and composing. She has twice completed Levels 1 & 2 in Estill Vocal Mechanics (June 2014 and January 2015) and teaches the full range of the AMEB syllabus. Zana co-ordinates the Alexandria Academy with Jenna Murphy.
||Denny Kesic - Jazz Guitar
Denny began playing guitar over 17 years ago, going on to further his music education by completing a Bachelor of Music at the Australia Institute of Music in 2012. He majored in composition and music production. It was also here that Denny’s interest in jazz and improvisation began, which now influences his teaching style.
Denny has almost 10 years of experience teaching all ages and abilities, and each lesson is customised in order to completely cater to each student's musical interests. He is a warm and personable teacher who has maintained a large student base for a number of years.
Denny is currently playing in a Gypsy acoustic duo, as well as band leading another group, which covers a wide range of musical styles through his original compositions.
Meet Denny Kesic
||Simon Dawes - Guitar & Bass
Simon received formal lessons in guitar, piano, drums and vocals, within his first years at primary school. Coming from a musical household (his parents played flute and piano and siblings violin and guitar), Simon's first instrument was cornet for the kindergarten school band. An interest in keyboard and pop music saw him take piano lessons throughout primary school, while an attraction to more technical music drew him to guitar as he entered high school. Simon studied under acclaimed international classical guitarist, David Martucci, for three years learning advanced music theory, with a strong emphasis on physical technique, hand and wrist mechanics, as well as development of sight reading skills and an understanding of harmonic and modal application.
A short time later, Simon was teaching professionally at the Central Coast International School of Music whilst pursuing lessons through the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music with prominent jazz guitarist, performer and educator Don Andrews, renowned for his work with George Golla and contributions to the Australian television orchestras and Film Australia. Now with over ten years' experience teaching guitar, bass, banjo and piano from various great-Sydney-area-academies, Simon has developed a wealth of knowledge in vastly differing musical genres and playing styles, and a broad repertoire of material which he shares with his students through creative lessons in a fun environment.
Simon is currently a member of several improv-based groups in Sydney's progressive, alternative and avant-garde music scene, and is known for his passion and enthusiasm for sharing music with friends and students alike.
Meet Simon Dawes
||Preston Peachey - Drums
Preston has recorded and toured with local bands for over 18 years playing various styles from funk to punk rock, folk to country to progressive rock! He’s currently gigging with alt-country act Fanny Lumsden and The Thrillseekers, who have supported the likes of Henry Wagons, Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Daniel Merriweather, Adam Harvey, The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Davidson Brothers and toured with Sui Zhen!
Preston’s lessons are tailored to each students’ aspirations while focusing on reading, musicality, playing songs and rudiments. He is inspired by jazz, rock, hip hop, funk and his favourite drummers are Tony Williams, Chris Dave, John Bonham, Questlove and Dave Grohl.
Preston enjoys teaching as a means of sharing his knowledge and passion for music and drums with his students.
||Evan McGregor - Drums
Evan started learning drums over 16 years ago from renowned Sydney Jazz drummer, Ron Stanton, who encouraged Evan to start teaching drums only two years later. He has been teaching students of all ages and abilities ever since. Evan has also spent time studying with legendary U.S. rock/jazz drummer, Danny Heifetz.
Evan has played in numerous bands (genres ranging through rock/ heavy rock, pop, hip-hop, progressive, avant-garde, electronic and improvisation) and has toured extensively throughout Australia, U.S.A, Canada and the UK. Evan recently returned from the UK where he resided for over 5 years. In the UK, he played in folk, jazz, reggae/dub, gypsy and Klezmer bands, performing at many popular music festivals including Secret Garden Party, Stanford Calling and Tandem Festival.
Evan now lives in Sydney, again playing in various groups, one being a new 7-piece Afrobeat Latin band, Fat Yahoozah, who have recently teamed up for a show with New York Jazz saxophonist Lisa Parrott, as well as playing last year’s Newtown Festival.
Evan teaches all ages, and tailors lessons depending on his students’ goals and abilities. Lessons include a mixture of learning beats, fills, rudiments and other fundamentals, as well as written exercises and reading and playing along to a variety of songs in any genre.
Meet Evan McGregor
||Katherine Finch - Violin
Katherine has been playing the violin for 16 years and has achieved a high level in both violin performance and music theory. She is enthusiastic towards music education and gains immense satisfaction engaging and developing student progress.
She recently completed a Bachelor Degree in Music at the Sydney Conservatorium, a student under Russian born violinist Evgeny Sorkin, as well as studying violin performance and pedagogy under Goetz Richter, Alice Waten, Robin Wilson and Neal Perez Da Costa.
Katherine’s desire to pass on her knowledge organically developed at an early age; she now has over 9 years private teaching experience with students aged 3 years to 50+ Between practice and studies, Katherine actively pursues her own development in stringed instruments by studying and experimenting in violin luthiery, something she hopes to develop further in the future.
Katherine is very passionate about every aspect of music, whether it’s performing, learning, or teaching. She strives to give the best possible learning experience to every student, to instill a musical appreciation and overall, inspire.
||Jeremy Tatar - Flute
Jeremy is a skilled music tutor with several years’ experience teaching the flute at a variety of levels and age groups. He has successfully prepared students for both AMEB exams and HSC Music recitals, as well as school performances and assessments, band auditions, and performances within the community.
In 2014, Jeremy completed his Bachelor degree through the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (University of Sydney) majoring in Performance, and in 2015 is returning to undertake a Master’s degree in Musicology. He has played in masterclasses for some of the most highly regarded flute players in the world, including Emily Beynon, Paul Edmund-Davies, and Aldo Baerten, and has been a member of the Sydney Youth Orchestra and AISOI in Hobart.
In addition to regular performances around Sydney at venues including the Opera House and Town Hall, Jeremy has performed in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.