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Rising Stars - Clara He and Ava Pudney  

14-year old Clara He is a Year 9  student at Pymble Ladies’ College, where she holds a full academic music scholarship.  She received her first piano lessons at the age of five and three years later was accepted into the “Rising Stars" program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, to study piano with Kirill Monorosi. 


In 2018 she successfully auditioned for entry into the SCM's “Rising Stars” organ program and was awarded a scholarship from the “Richard and Doreen Wilson bequest” to study with Philip Swanton.

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image@ Iris Zhang.

Clara made outstanding progress on the instrument in a very short period of time and passed her AMEB Grade 7 organ exam with High Distinction just 7 months after starting lessons. She was also a participant in the 2020 Sydney Organ Competition (Junior Section) in October. 

In 2017 (aged 10) she won second place in the “Most Outstanding Pianist” section of the Ryde Eisteddfod and by 2018 had won over 10 prizes at Sydney, St George and Ryde eisteddfods. She gained her AMusA diploma in piano in 2019.  


Alongside playing the piano and organ, Clara also plays the flute. She maintains a busy schedule of solo and chamber music performances and also plays an active role in community service events and her school chapel services. She is thrilled to be invited as a Rising Star performer alongside her friend Ada Pudney.

Winner of the 2020 Sydney Organ Competition (Junior Section) and recipient of the Ron Roberts prize for the best performance of a Baroque work, fourteen-year-old Ava Pudney started her musical studies at the age of six. As a student of Christine Logan, she gained her AMusA Diploma in Piano Performance in 2019 and is now working towards her piano Licentiate exam.

Her great love of music led her to take up yet a third instrument at the start of 2020 – the pipe organ – for which she was awarded a Richard and Doreen Wilson Organ Scholarship through the “Rising Stars'' program at 

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image@ Ada Pudney

the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she learns from Philip Swanton. After a little over half a year at the organ, Ava passed her Grade 7 AMEB organ exam in October with a High Distinction. She now has her sights firmly set on yet another AMusA exam in May!

Alongside the piano, Ava began learning harp when just eight years old. A pupil of Louise Johnson (Principal Harp SSO 1985-2019), she was awarded first place in 2017 and 2019 at the biennial Sydney Harp Eisteddfod and is currently preparing for her AMusA on that instrument.


In addition to juggling and excelling at all three instruments, Ava is Harpist with the Sydney Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. She has given numerous performances in the Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Music Series, the Galston Concert Series and also for the Roseville Music Club. She is looking forward to her debut at the Bowral Autumn Music Festival in 2021.

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