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Member Profile - MG
Date of birth
Mary Guzelian, was born 10th May,1965 in Australia,of Armenian descent. She began composing from an early age writing her first symphony at the age of 10. She played a number of instruments at an early age and studied Violin,Piano,Flute,French Horn, Tuba,Trombone,Drums, Clarinet,Oboe, Saxophone,Guitar,Sitar and Digaridoo.
As a child, she regularly performed in a number of orchestras, performed solos and duets with her brother Agon for the G.A.M.A Orchestra, as well as Theatrical Productions , National Music Camps, tours and recordings including for jazz flute. She performed in numerous Master Classes. By the age of 10 she won a major open age competition performing the Carnival Of Venice on flute. In 1977 she won the Leslie Barklamb Scholarship with her composition "Armenian Fantasy" composed in 1976 and was later arranged for ensemble and performed in 1984.
She continued to compose prolifically in her youth,with one of her highlights -"The Dance of The Hunt" a Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A flat major , composed in 1978, which had made the qualification rounds for the finals of an international competition in 1981. Unfortunately the finals were cancelled as the hall in Russia had been bombed.
Her father a composer and musician and mother a lyric soprano taught Mary from a young age Sacred Armenian Music and Armenian Folk Music on voice and Shevi (an Armenian Flute)and she performed them regularly for the Armenian Church and community as well as numerous concerts.Her father was the founder of the Armenian Church Choir, Concert Choir as well as another Armenian Society in Victoria,Australia.
Mary studied flute under her father`s instruction until she was 10 and Vernon Hill for A.Mus.A on flute and later with Mary Nemet for A.Mus.A on violin. A year later she studied violin with Nathan Gutman,and Andre Hadjes and was involved in many master classes. She also undertook lessons from Spiros Rantos, master classes with Eric Price, Don Burrows on jazz flute and also performed with Eric Price and Tony Gould four years later at a convention.
At 15 she was accepted by audition to learn opera under Dame Joan Hammond, and later with Dame Rhonda Bruce. She participated in musical tuition with Tony Gould and Thomas Pinchoff at the Victorian College of the Arts two years before enrolling and was still at school at Matthew Flinders Girls High School.
She auditioned at the Victorian College of the Arts for all three major study areas and was accepted on each one; the classical, jazz and opera streams. Normally one stream is accepted for study. She then transferred to Melbourne University to complete a B.Ed (sec).
Whilst at Matthew Flinder Girls High School in 1980 Mary also taught music at Geelong Grammar School for nine years and Geelong College for five years up to 30 hours a week after completing her Licentiate Diploma.
In 1981 Mary was the first person in Australia to formally introduce and implement the study of Jazz into schools as part of the music curriculum.She has made recordings with various international artists in a number of musical styles. In 1988 she was offered the position as Director of Music at Geelong Grammar School,but had then decided to get married and had left for Queensland. Unfortunately after this period of time, extreme hardship was endured and she was forbidden to compose or play her compositions on her instruments and had to do this secretly. Eventually she divorced. In recent years, her house had burnt down losing most of her music but was left with a few boxes of her early childhood compositions and recordings where she has been restoring them as well as continuing to compose her new works.
She is also a surreal artist and has had exhibitions with her paintings. The title of her favorite painting is called "The Musicians Forest". Currently she is teaching music in schools and has been involved in recording for artists and played Tenor Saxophone in the Glen Miller Tribute Band and the Violin in the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra.
She regularly composes music and for her students. She has also been writing children`s music books.
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