Artistic Director 

Dr David Banney

A past winner of the ABC Young Conductor of the Year Award, David has conducted many of Australia's leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Queensland Symphony, Queensland Philharmonic, Opera Queensland, Queensland Ballet, Adelaide Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Queensland Youth Symphony and Sydney Youth Philharmonic.  David has collaborated with soloists such as Roger Woodward, Ian Munro, Tamara Anna Cislowska and Kathryn Selby (piano), Susan Collins, Tor Fromyhr and Graeme Jennings (violin), Sally Walker (flute), Amelia Farrugia and Hyesoung Kwon (soprano) and William Barton (didgeridoo).

His compositions include instrumental, choral and chamber music, and he has written for performers including Sally Walker and Jenny Duck Chong (flute and mezzo-soprano), William Barton (didgeridoo), the Christ Church Camerata (Newcastle) Anthea Scott-Mitchell (cello) and the Hunter Singers.  His works have been performed by orchestras including the Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, and recordings of his works have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM and Sydney's 2MBS Fine Music.

An important part of David's compositional output has been inspired by his work with Géza Szilvay, including many works for young string players and ensembles, and his collection of songs arranged for children's choir and strings - Tigers and Teapots - which has become a regular part of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's education program.  In 2016 David received an Honorary Certificate in Violin Teaching from Colourstrings International.  David is a passionate advocate for music education and has spoken at numerous conferences on Kodály-based music education.

 David is the Artistic Director of Newcastle's Christ Church Camerata, Co-Artistic Director of the Newcastle Music Festival, Director of the Newcastle Strings, and on the staff of the Riverina Summer String School.  David can be heard on-air each week on Newcastle's ABC1233 radio (available online) in The Banter, a discussion about music and life with host Paul Bevan, that reached its 250th episode in 2017.

David is active as a researcher in the area of symmetry and symmetry breaking in music, and his output has included collaborations with scientists including Giuseppe Caglioti (Politecnico di Milano) and Roger Smith (Hunter Medical Research Institute).  David is a member of the Executive Board of the International Symmetry Association.

Also a medical doctor, David is married to Cathy, a speech pathologist, and has two children, Matthew and Emma. 



Conductor 2024

Joanna Drimatis

Conductor Joanna Drimatis

Joanna Drimatis is currently Head of Strings at MLC School, Sydney and Musical Director of The Beecroft Orchestra.

After initial studies in Australia in Music Education and Violin Performance, Joanna completed a Masters in Music from the University of Texas at Austin in Violin performance and Orchestral conducting where she taught for the UT String Project and was conductor of the UT University Orchestra. Joanna’s experiences in the USA also included being a participant in the Conductor Seminar Program at Aspen Music Festival, the American Symphony League conductor workshops (Atlanta) and as violinist in the Boulder Philharmonic.

In 2009, Joanna graduated with her PhD in Musicology from the Elder Conservatorium of Music. Her thesis titled "A Hidden Treasure: Symphony No 1 by Robert Hughes" was awarded the University of Adelaide's Inaugural Doctoral Research Medal.

As well as regularly being engaged as a Guest Conductor, Joanna has held the positions of Music Director of the Christchurch Youth Orchestra (New Zealand) and Conductor for the Adelaide Youth Orchestra association. In these roles, Joanna initiated collaborations, commissions, premieres and selected performances have been broadcast on NZ Concert FM and ABC Classic FM (Australia).  As a violinist/violist Joanna has played professionally as an orchestral musician both in Australia and overseas and has performed in recitals and festivals in the USA, Germany, New Zealand and Australia that include the Aspen Music Festival (USA), Strawberry Creek Festival (USA), the International Institute of Music (Germany). Since moving to Sydney Joanna has worked as a sessional lecturer/researcher at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and conducted orchestras that include the Australian Doctors’ Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the Mosman Symphony, the Woollahra Philharmonic, the Beecroft Orchestra and the South Australian State Music Camp’s Bishop Orchestra. Her research projects and activities focusing on the music of Australian composers Robert Hughes and Raymond Hanson have been given national attention through radio broadcasts and in Peter McCallum’s book, “The Centenary of the Con” (2015).