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Meet our Conductors

Andrew Mathers - Concert Band Conductor

Dr. Andrew Mathers

Conductor - Southern Area Concert Band

Andrew grew up in a family of musicians, where both his parents were singers. Andrew admits "failed attempts at piano and guitar" but he played several other instruments and developed an interest in conducting during his high school years. Andrew's tertiary education began with a Bachelor of Education in music from the Melbourne College of Advanced Education. He then traveled to the United States to pursue a Master of Music Education degree in instrumental conducting at Florida State University. While studying there, he trained under James Croft and Rodney Eichenberger, focusing on instrumental and choral conducting, respectively. Upon his return to Australia, Andrew pursued his passion for music further and earned a Ph.D. from Monash University. In addition to lecturing in Conducting and Applied Music at Monash University, he taught as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Music - Conservatorium. Andrew is currently Head of Ensemble Music at St Kevin's College, Melbourne.

Ryan Parks

Conductor - Southern Area Wind Ensemble

Ryan Parks is an accomplished conductor and music educator based in Melbourne. Originally from the United States, he moved to Melbourne in 2017 after completing his Bachelor of Music Education. Currently, he is the Director of Bands at Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill and also serves as the low brass tutor at Glen Waverley Secondary College. While he is most comfortable playing his primary instrument, the Bass Trombone, he is equally adept at conducting and regularly takes on that role in his professional life.

Band music is Ryan's primary passion, and his love for the genre was nurtured during his time in the US. He is dedicated to sharing his passion for band music with musicians and audiences alike in the greater Victoria community. With his impressive credentials and deep enthusiasm for music, Ryan's contribution to the Melbourne music scene is sure to leave a lasting impact.


Drew Wright

Leader - Southern Stars Stage Band

Drew Wright assumed the position of SSSB Leader in 2018 when his father, Darryn Wright, who was previously the Musical Director, passed away. Drew has been interested in music since he was five, starting with the piano and the flute two years later. However, his love for jazz and big band music was sparked when he learned to play the saxophone at thirteen. Drew has played the tenor and baritone saxophone in various big and jazz bands, performing in some of Melbourne's premier venues and festivals. He has also played the woodwinds in pit orchestras for numerous musical theater productions.

In 2012, Drew founded "Willow Jam," a souls/blues band that performs at weddings and corporate functions in Melbourne and Victoria. With his passion for big band jazz music, Drew plans to take the SSSB to new heights, hoping to make it one of Victoria's top community big bands.  His aim is to elevate the group's profile and showcase the beauty of big band jazz to a wider audience.

Our Committee

The band's committee is responsible for behind-the-scenes administration and organisation of the band, performances and other activities.

Committee members are elected each year at the AGM around April.


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