From Student to Director
The Journey of a Queensland Conservatorium Alumnus
A degree from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University can take you down many career paths. From Eurovision finalists Kate Miller-Heidke and Dami Im to Tim Davies, who orchestrated the music for La La Land and Frozen, many of the Conservatorium’s graduates have found remarkable success. We are highlighting the journey of Professor Scott Harrison who came to the Conservatorium as a singer and guitarist and worked his way up to the Director of the Queensland Conservatorium. Scott shares his journey and advice to students looking to study at the Conservatorium.
Why did you come to the at Queensland Conservatorium to study?
The Conservatorium has always been recognised as the best place to study music and once I decided to pursue music, it was a logical choice to audition for a place.
Do you have any memorable moments from when you were a student?
I had the great privilege to have phenomenal experiences here as a student.
A real highlight that impacted on the rest of my life was an international tour we undertook in 1982 with the Conservatorium Singers. It was my first-time outside Australia and we sang throughout Europe and the UK.
How did the Conservatorium help you get to where you are today?
I think it was about the connections, the musical skills, the relationship building, team work and collaboration. Also, about the way music and performing arts can change lives.
Tell us about your journey from performer to Director.
My career is often viewed as a logical, linear step-by-step progression from one thing to the next. It’s not like that. I’ve had many opportunities and set-backs along the way. It’s important to recognise the people who help you to attain your goals, and also to know when to take an opportunity and when to decline.
I’ve had great mentors, and wonderful experiences. My hope is that our students will have the same opportunities.
Any significant venues you have performed at?
I had the opportunity to sing in the opening concert in the Conservatorium Theatre in 1996. I could never have imagined then that I would be Director now.
Having performed as a rock guitarist and having sung with Opera Queensland for 20 years, what made you take a turn and fixate on a career in music education rather than continuing with performance?
I’ve always had a concurrent career as an educator and performer.
I recognised that there was an enormous opportunity to influence generations of students through the teaching profession.
I’ve been fortunate to see many students across my career who have flourished, and I’m pleased to have played a small part in their development.
What’s your proudest moment as a Director?
Having two Conservatorium alumni in the Eurovision finalists, Dami Im and Kate Miller-Heidke, in four years.
What advice would you give to current or commencing Conservatorium students?
- Be kind
- Work hard
- Take risks
- Enjoy yourself