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Highlands Music Collective
Artistic Director, Myee Clohessy

The Highlands Music Collective is excited to be presenting the closing concert of the Bowral Autumn Music Festival 2023 with the young violinist Cedar-Rose Newman as their soloist in Piazzolla's fiery Four Seasons.  

Cedar-Rose's journey as a musician has been nurtured by many over the years. Three particular influences in her life have been her piano teacher Gian-Franco Ricci, (with whom Cedar gained her Licentiate Diploma for Piano Performance in 2020), her violin mentor Ass. Prof. Goetz Richter at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and her first violin teacher Sarah Hindson in Wollongong. Cedar-Rose's passion for music led her to New York at a young age, following an invitation to study with legendary Russian violinist Albert Markov. She is currently on a President’s Scholarship, studying for a Bachelor of Performance Degree at the Manhattan School of Music with Lucie Robert.

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Image © Paco Montañés 


In 2019, Cedar won the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College String Concerto Competition and has been a successful participant in several national and international competitions. In 2022 she was selected to attend Music at Menlo in San Francisco, a specialist chamber program for young string players from around the world.

Cedar has given many recitals in Australia, the United States and Europe, made solo appearances with the Steel City Strings, performed Lalo’s Symphony Espagnole with the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra, and was a Young Recitalist at the 2017 Bowral Autumn Music Festival, performing at the Mittagong Playhouse.  When not practising or performing, Cedar is most likely to be found rock climbing, cooking or training her loving dog Benjie.

Highlands Music Collective

The Highlands Music Collective was formed in 2019 by violinist Myee Clohessy from her passion for playing chamber music and bringing her musical friends in the Southern Highlands closer together.

Since their successful debut at the Mittagong Playhouse in September 2019, more than twenty local musicians have participated in the Highlands Music Collective concerts over the years. They have presented concerts at St Jude's Church for the Bowral Autumn Music Festival, at the Rose Recital Room in Burradoo and the School of Arts in Burrawang. Being a 'Collective' enables the ensemble to be flexible and alter its formation and perform music for strings with wind, brass, voice and piano. To date, the ensemble has changed in size from duets to piano trios and quartets, from a brass sextet and horn quintet to a clarinet trio and flute quartet, as well as including arias with soprano and orchestral works for large string ensemble. 
Myee Clohessy - artistic director/violin

Myee's early years were spent growing up in the Southern Highlands, beginning violin lessons with Ernest Llewellyn when she was ten. She won several competitions, including the QYO National Youth Concerto Competition, and as a full scholarship student, furthered her violin studies in Hong Kong with Alice Waten at the Academy of Performing Arts, before moving to London to study with Prof. David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Myee's overseas experience included yearlong contracts as both Principal 2nd Violin and Assistant Concertmaster with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra; Artistic Leader of the Arctimus Piano Quintet; performing with the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra (at festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen, Lucerne, Frankfurt, Oslo and Bergen); jointly winning 1st Prize at the Royal Overseas League Competition and performing in many of the world's greatest concert halls as Concertmaster of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra for two years (in Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw, Ottawa and Barcelona).  

Image © Chris Donaldson

Upon returning to Australia in 2003, after living overseas for 14 years, Myee toured and recorded with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, performed in numerous Pinchgut Opera productions, and from 2010 to 2022, whilst playing with the Acacia Quartet, Myee recorded eleven albums and collaborated with some of Australia's finest performers and composers. In 2015, Myee became the Artistic Director of the Bowral Autumn Music Festival and returned to the Southern Highlands. She subsequently formed the Highlands Music Collective and the Roma Strings in 2019 and is part of the Music Department at Oxley College.


Lisa Kawai - piano

Lisa began learning the piano at the age of four. Owing to her father’s work, she spent her early childhood in Tokyo and Toronto and her senior high school and university years in Sydney. She obtained her L.Mus.A. shortly after graduating from Sydney University with a Science degree, majoring in Pure Mathematics.


In 2006 Lisa and her family moved to the Highlands where she has been blessed with many varied musical opportunities. It was in the Highlands that she discovered the joys of playing chamber music as well as the thrills of performing piano concertos with the local orchestras.  Wanting to experience more music by being part of the orchestra herself, she started learning the cello in 2013 with Catherine Barnett. 

Lisa is very excited to be joining Myee and Catherine to perform these two piano trios, both written by living female Australian composers.


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Image © Chris Donaldson

Catherine Barnett - cello

Born in Ballarat, Victoria, Catherine Barnett commenced her musical studies at age six with the piano, and then the violoncello at age eleven. She studied 'cello externally at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne with Miriam Morris. She graduated from La Trobe University, Melbourne in 1995 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology). Catherine was a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra and the Chamber Strings of Melbourne, which included an exciting tour of Europe and Russia. Moving to NSW in 1995, she performed with the SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra in Sydney from 1996-1998. During this time in Sydney, she had ‘cello lessons with Susan Blake.


Based in Oxford and Wells in England (1999-2001) Catherine gained the Associate Diploma in Violoncello Performance from Trinity College, London in 2000 and the Licentiate Diploma in Violoncello Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London in 2001.


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Image © Peter Hislop

Since returning to Australia in 2002, Catherine has done freelance performing with a variety of orchestral and chamber ensembles including Steel City Strings and WIN Wollongong Symphony Orchestra. She has been performing with the Macarthur String Quartet since 2002. She is currently the Principal cellist with the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra and was soloist in the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto in A Minor.


Catherine now teaches cello privately in Bowral, at Bowral Public School, Oxley College and Frensham School. 


Renae Zink - violin
Born and bred in the Southern Highlands, Renae Zink has returned home after travelling the world exploring her passion for lifelong Music Education. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Education / Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Renae has since taught across the full spectrum of educational facilities including proudly fostering the emerging generation of new teachers, lecturing and tutoring in Music Education (Early Years, Primary and Secondary) at the University of Wollongong (UoW) for over ten years.


As an accomplished professional Pianist and Violinist, Renae manages and performs in a range of ensembles, operating a very successful chamber music business and writing and producing children’s shows to introduce them to a life-long love of music.



Kate Malone - viola

Kate Malone was born in Scotland and came to live in Australia at the age of two, where she then attended schools in the Sydney area. Kate began learning the violin at the age of nine and completed Year 7 at the Sydney Conservatorium High School in Sydney before returning to the UK and ultimately studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under Dennis Simons. Subsequently, she decided to return to Australia and completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of North England in Armidale. 

For almost 25 years, Kate was a member of the Macarthur String Quartet and for many years supported both amateur and professional 'shows in the pit'. She continues to perform regularly with the Steel City Strings and a range of music ensembles, including the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra and the Highlands Music Collective. For the last 30 years, Kate has been a classroom music teacher in the Macarthur and Southern Highlands areas. With her greatest love being making music with little people, these days she is a committed instrumental teacher and school's string ensemble educator. 


Image © Translucent Photography

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Image © Peter Hislop

Samuel Malone - double bass

Sam was born into a musical family of eight, which sparked his passion for the double bass and kept him busy for the next 15 years. He has played with numerous orchestras, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for their premier of Bernstein’s ‘Candide’, as well as with the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra’s Young Mannheim Symphonists program. 

Sam was fortunate to be selected to tour the UK with the Sydney Youth Orchestra in 2019 and played alongside members of the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Hallé Orchestra. For the past two years, Sam has been studying a Bachelor of Music performance through the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, whilst working as the Music Engagement Co-ordinator at an aged care facility where he was responsible for implementing music programs.


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