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About the NBO
The NBO is a community orchestra for musicians of AMEB Standard Grade 6 and above (strings), and AMusA (wind and brass). The Orchestra is a not-for-profit organisation providing opportunity for both professional and amateur musicians on the Northern Beaches to excel musically, enhancing the cultural life of the local community.
Since the ensemble’s inception, there has been a strong focus on youth music education, and musicians of the Northern Beaches Orchestra are proud to support and mentor our flourishing junior orchestras - the Northern Beaches Youth Orchestra, for players of Standard AMEB Grade 3 to Grade 6, and the Northern Beaches Childrens’ Orchestra for our youngest musicians, with 6 months playing experience to AMEB Grade 2 level. Player Information packs are available for these ensembles.
NBO rehearsals are held every Wednesday evening from 7:15pm to 9:15pm during school terms, with players arriving by 7.00pm to set up and warm up. The rehearsal venue is the School Hall at St Luke's Grammar School, 210 Headland Road, Dee Why (easiest entrance is via Tango Avenue).
The NBO performs each term, with the annual concert cycle including the Gala Night of the Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival and the Manly Christmas Carols. The full rehearsal schedule and concert dates are provided to members upon joining the orchestra.
The NBO Conductors and Tutors
DR MARTIN HARDY is the NBO Musical Director. He has worked professionally in a variety of musical genres and as a conductor he has worked with many of Australia’s finest ensembles. Martin has been employed as a music educator and Senior Education Officer by the NSW Department of Education and Training. In 1995, Martin’s commitment to teaching music to young people was recognised when he received the Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has also been employed as a lecturer at The University of Western Sydney lecturing in Conducting, Instrumental Pedagogy, Instrumental Philosophy and Instrumental Education.
STEPHEN BUCHANAN graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music majoring in performance studies on the double bass. He then proceeded to play professionally for many years as a bassist across most genres and styles. As a Musical Director Stephen has worked on radio and television, he has also recorded with many Australian artists ranging from orchestral playing through to jazz, rock and pop. Stephen has 20 years’ experience in the field of instrumental tuition and has been working as an ensemble conductor for half that time.
LISA BUCHANAN spent six years at the Conservatorium High School before completing her Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium. During this time Lisa was invited to play with Camerata Australia and was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra participating in tours to Europe and the Atlanta Olympic Games. Lisa has performed with the Victorian State Opera, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Royal Ballet. She has worked as a string tutor and violin teacher for over 20 years.
KAREN LEIMBACH is a conductor, cello teacher and film composer. Fifteen years ago she initiated and continues to develop a very successful string program on the Northern Beaches. Karen currently conducts 5 local String youth orchestras including Newport School Orchestra and Pittwater High School String orchestras.