Music excellence awarded with fellowship 


Charles Darwin University PhD candidate Sarena Wegener has been awarded a prestigious 2012 Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship for her pursuit of excellence in the Performing Arts.

Miss Wegener is one of six Territorians who have been awarded a 2012 Churchill Fellowship to undertake a diverse range of research projects that aim to enrich the knowledge and practice across fields as diverse as education, justice and policing, film making and music.

With an average value of more than $20,000 per Fellowship, recipients have the opportunity to travel overseas to further their passion and return to Australia to implement their findings and share them with others.

Miss Wegener will spend six weeks travelling to music conservatoires throughout Europe to receive specialist training on diverse styles of traditional teaching methods for Renaissance and Baroque woodwind instruments.

“I intend to learn what specific instruments (replicas of 17th and 18th Century originals) are appropriate to certain age groups,” she said.

“With the knowledge I will gain in specialised teaching methods of these instruments, I plan to demonstrate a variety of early woodwind instruments to students in the NT across various age groups.”

As part of her Fellowship Miss Wegener will network with and interview some of the most experienced musicians, lecturers and historians in the field.

“I will have the opportunity to meet instrument makers to learn the art of reed making (Baroque oboe and shawms) and to learn correct maintenance techniques of early woodwind instrument replicas,” she said.

“A highlight of my trip will be to attend the Greenwich Early Music Festival. It is the largest festival of its kind. There will be about 100 different instrument maker exhibitions, demonstrations, concerts and master classes by expert musicians in the field of Early Music.”

Miss Wegener is one of 115 Australians that have been awarded a 2012 Churchill Fellowship. She will travel to Europe in November. Her itinerary will include the Greenwich International Early Music Festival, Greenwich, London; Royal Academy of Music, London; Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Holland; Paris Conservatory, France; University of Music and Theatre Leipzig, Germany; Conservatory of Milan, Italy.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which was established after the death of Sir Winston Churchill in accordance with his final wishes, has now funded more than 3700 Fellowships for Australians.

The 2012 Fellowships this year are valued at more than $2.2 million and cover the broadest range of topics as applicants design their own Fellowships in their field of expertise. For the full list of recipients and for more information visit