Our Staff

Music For Canberra's Dedicated Team of Tutors, Conductors and Administrators

Our staff here at Music for Canberra are an interesting and diverse group, see our staff bio's below with their past and present accomplishments!

Our Tutors

Patrick Quinn Quirke

Guitar Tutor & Amplified Coordinator


Richard Manning

Electric & Acoustic Guitar Tutor

Michelle Forman

Drum Kit, Amplified & Mixed Abilities Tutor


Hayden Fritzlaff

Drum Kit Tutor

Hayden has been a drum tutor since 2013, and regularly teaches students ranging from five to 40 years old. He has taught in group lessons, and with mixed ability classes.
Hayden teaches a range of styles including rock, jazz, funk, R&B and folk, and has experience with orchestral and world percussion.
Hayden graduated from ANU with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Music in 2016, and since then has also performed with a number of music groups, including: Moaning Lisa, Azim Zain & His Lovely Bones, Helena Pop, A Town Called Panic, Agency, ANU Jazz Collective, Belle Whyte, bengamindrury, The Zoopagoo Funk Experience and many more!
Hayden also writes for a range of local media outlets including BMA, Scissor Paper Pen and Red Magpie, and has inerviewed artists such as Paul Kelly, Boy & Bear, Peking Duk and Ball Park Music.

Barbara Jerjen

Flute, Recorder and Music Play Tutor

Acclaimed music teacher and performer Barbara Jerjen has been working with people of all ages and abilities for over 40 years.  Her fields of expertise range from early childhood music education over individual tuition to leading ensembles and conducting orchestras. Over the past 20 years Barbara has been majorly involved in community music work and peripatetic music tuition at several schools in town. Barbara is one of the main tutors of Music For Canberra, where she teaches the classes of the MusicPlay programme, the various recorder courses for children and adults as well as a large part of the flute curriculum. Barbara further conducts the CREMS recorder orchestra, she is a regular tutor at music workshops around Australia including the annual Orpheus summer courses in Armidale (NSW), and she runs several community ensembles.

Barbara studied flute and recorder at the conservatory of Basel, as well as musicology, pedagogy, languages and cultural anthropology at the university of Basel, Switzerland. Married with 4 children she moved to Canberra in 1995.

Mary Firkins

Guitar, Violin, & MAP Tutor

Mary is an accomplished guitar player, who has been in many established bands throughout Canberra over many years. Mary has tutored at Music for Canberra for a number of years. She has tutored privately, and in groups, and has also been part of the Mixed Abilities team at Music for Canberra.
As well as tutoring at Music for Canberra, Mary plays the fiddle and guitar in the  Paverty Bush Band

Zach Raffan

Zach Raffan

Brass Tutor

Zach is a musician, actor, and composer. He has tutored all brass instruments privately and in ACT schools since he was 18.
He began playing trumpet at 8 in Tasmania, where he grew up, then moved to Canberra in 1998 where he began studying with Daniel Mendelow.
Zach’s proudest orchestral achievement was being appointed principal trumpet with the Australian Youth orchestra two years running (2003-2004).
Since 2016, Zach has performed with his band The Zackerbilks, an eight -piece Dixie band that plays jazz from the 20s-50s, which continues to go strong today.
Currently he focuses more on Jazz in his own playing, but predominately teaches classical to his students as he believes its an essential part of learning any brass instrument. His philosophy is to teach students how to teach themselves, in order to speed up the process of achieving independence as a musician.


Belinda Whyte

Belinda Whyte

Vocal Tutor

Belinda Whyte is a voice tutor from Gosford, New South Wales. She has been teaching vocals for six years, and also plays the piano.
Belinda is also part of the Belle Whyte Duo/Ensemble. More information on Belinda can be found here: www.facebook.com/bellewhytemusic

Our Conductors

Shilong Ye

Shilong Ye

James McCusker Orchestra Conductor

Shilong Ye was born in Shenzhe, China, and began playing the piano at four. He began conducting at the age of 12, and took up the oboe and viola before he finished primary school.
Shilong joined the concert band and orchestra in high school, where he found a passion for conducting.
He came to Australia in 2005 and finished his final years of high school in Canberra, then began his degree at ANU, majoring in Viola, while also studying conducting from 2007-2009.
Later in 2009 Shilong was asked to fill in for a conductor of the James McCusker Orchestra and Canberra Youth Orchestra, and is currently the conductor for the James McCusker Orchestra.

Leonard Weiss

Leonard Weiss

Canberra Youth Orchestra Conductor

Leonard Weiss was the 2016 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Youth Arts and Multimedia and an ACT Finalist for 2016 Young Australian of the Year. He has recently been invited to participate in the 2018 Australian Conducting Academy, which will see him study under Johannes Fritzsch and conduct the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at the start of next year.

In addition to CYO, Leonard is the Musical Director/Conductor of the National Capital Orchestra, the ANU Choral Society and the Canberra Qwire. His remaining commitments for the year include conducting Handel’s Messiah with the Canberra Choral Society on 25 November, previewing Ian Batterham’s new musical Camelia, and a family concert including Peter and the Wolf with the National Capital Orchestra on 9 December. Leonard is looking forward to many exciting opportunities in 2018; as well as working with more of Australia’s top soloists, his schedule will include conducting in the famed Munich Philharmonie and as part of the Canberra International Music Festival.


Administrative Staff


Jarod Esposito

Administrator Extraordinaire

Jarod joined the Music for Canberra team in January 2017 as the Administration Officer. Jarod first stumbled across MFC as a Horn player in CYO from 2011- 2016.
Originally from the Southern Highlands, Jarod relocated to Canberra to study Music (hons) and Arts at the Australian National University focusing on musicology, French horn performance, History and Music Business.
He has a passion for music education across all levels, abilities and genres and enjoys organising concerts and events. He also currently performs with the Canberra City Band, Canberra Experimental Studio and can often be found in musical pits.
Jarod is thrilled to be part of the MFC community and is excited to help build this amazing organisation.