Our Staff

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

Office Staff

Dr. Stephanie Neeman

CEO & Artistic Director

Dr. Stephanie Neeman is an internationally acclaimed pianist and music educator. She has held positions as professor of piano professor at the University of Utah and Valdosta State University in the United States. She also teaches at ELMS Conservatory in Indonesia, where she is the Head of the Piano Department. She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati, MM and BM from Manhattan School of Music.

Stephanie’s virtuosic pianistic skills have earned her top prizes in the Empire State International Piano Competition and the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition, among others. Together with her husband, as the Neeman Piano Duo, she has performed across the US, Asia and Australia, including as a soloist with the National Capital Orchestra and the Canberra Youth Orchestra. The Neeman Piano Duo are known for their impeccable musicianship and unique onstage chemistry. Their arrangements of popular Classical and Broadway tunes for piano four hands have been performed by duet ensembles worldwide.

Stephanie is passionate about music education and pedagogy. Her piano students have been prize-winners at major competitions and have been accepted to prestigious programs worldwide. She has given masterclasses and lectures at universities and conservatories around the world, and is a frequent presenter at music teachers’ conferences in Australia and the United States. She writes a regular column for the Indonesian music education magazine STACCATO.

Stephanie is excited to join Music for Canberra as its CEO/Artistic Director and looks forward to working with the members, staff and board to continue to provide music education and performances for all Canberrans.

Zanele Ramsay-Daniel

Office Administrator

Zanele Ramsay-Daniel joined Music for Canberra at the start of Term 2 as an Office Administrator.

Zanele graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Music (Performance Classical Voice) and Bachelor of Arts (English and Ancient History) in 2013 and 2015 respectively. She performed in Pacific Opera’s “The Gondoliers” in 2014 as Vittoria, and in 2015 held a recital with her husband entitled “Romance with a Double Bass”. Zanele and her husband, Kyle, have also performed on numerous occasions as the Just Enough Jazz duo.

More recently, Zanele has been working extensively in the administrative field, beginning in 2015 as an Office Assistant, and ending most recently as an Executive Assistant at another not-for-profit in Canberra. In all her roles, Zanele has pursued excellence through her organisational skills, and determination to exceed expectations.

Zanele is greatly enjoying her time at Music for Canberra, as it allows her to combine her musical passion with her administrative skills.

Hayley Manning

Office Administrator/Marketing

Hayley Manning graduated from the Australian National University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Music and Science. Former Principal Double Bassist of the Canberra Youth Orchestra, Hayley now performs regularly with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra as of 2019. She has also toured regional New South Wales with the Macquarie Symphony Orchestra and often plays with Canberra Sinfonia and other chamber ensembles around Canberra.

Hayley has a strong interest in musical theatre, and has performed as a pit musician in several productions, including Beauty and the Beast, Heathers: The Musical, and The World Goes Round.

Hayley has only recently begun establishing her own teaching studio and works as a peripatetic music tutor at several schools around Canberra teaching double bass and electric bass.

She has been working in the Music for Canberra office since the start of Term 2, 2019.

Our Tutors

Elisha Adams


Elisha completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at ANU in 2016. A highlight of the time was participating in a university exchange to University College Dublin and touring Sweden with UCD Symphony Orchestra. Since then Elisha has been actively involved in Canberra Musical community. Elisha enjoys playing in pit orchestras for musicals and performing various gigs around Canberra. In 2017 she conducted the Bruch Violin Concerto with Maruki Community Orchestra and soloist John Gould. Elisha currently plays with Forrest National Chamber Orchestra.

Elisha has been teaching violin since 2015. She has training in Colourstrings and Kodály methodology, as well as experience with Suzuki methodology and AMEB Examinations. Elisha has experience teaching ages 4 to adult; at all levels of development. As an active member of the Australian String Teacher’s Association Elisha is constantly refining her skills and methods of tuition. Central to Elisha’s teaching philosophy is that the joy and love of music is the key to every student’s development.

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 Music Play program, the various recorder courses for children and adults as well as a large part of the flute curriculum. Barbara also 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 four children she moved to Canberra in 1995.

Marlene Radice

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone

Marlene is a classically trained clarinet and saxophonist. She studied composition at the ANU school of music and Monash University and she has since continued her studies participating in festivals in New York, Italy and the UK. As a performer she specialises in contemporary electro-acoustic compositions and has played in venues across Australia. She specialises in teaching Clarinet and Saxophones which she first began studying and performing in Sydney where she was a part of the NSW State Wind Band before moving to Canberra, where she chose to focus on smaller solo and chamber performance. Marlene began teaching at MFC in 2018. She is passionate about supporting new music in Australia and is also on the board of the Tilde New Music and Sound Art Festival held biannually in Melbourne, Australia.

As a teacher she encourages her students to play music they enjoy and to listen as widely as possible to all types of music from different genres, eras, and cultural heritages. She believes music is meant to be enjoyed by everyone and loves teaching people of all ages and abilities and encourages everyone to challenge themselves to try music they might not already be familiar with and to play and gig as much as they can!

She currently is available for private tuition in Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Saxophone, and runs Kaleidoscope, MFC’s adult woodwind ensemble!

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.

Kyle Ramsay-Daniel

Sinfonietta Conductor
Guitar, bass guitar, double bass

Kyle Ramsay-Daniel is a professional double bassist, guitarist and bass guitarist based in Canberra. He completed a Bachelor of Music with 1st class honours in 2011 and since then he has gained a wide range of experience in music performance and pedagogy, and is equally comfortable performing in solo, duo, band, and full orchestral contexts.

He has maintained a busy teaching schedule since 2007, teaching at Radford College, Canberra Grammar, and both tertiary and pre-tertiary students at the ANU School of Music. He is currently a conductor in MFC’s String Stream, bass guitarist with local prog rock band Second Sun, regularly performs as Principal Double Bass with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and also performs in the jazz duo Just Enough Jazz.

Kyle’s influences as a guitarist cover many genres, and include players such as Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Pass, Joe Satriani, and more modern guitarists such as Plini, Tosin Abasi and Yvette Young.

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. 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

Dylan Slater

Acoustic and Electric Guitar

Dylan first picked up the guitar aged 10 and was immediately hooked. After 17 years playing he is now in his second year of a Bachelor of Music at the ANU majoring in Jazz Performance. Dylan can be seen around Canberra playing anything from jazz to indie rock to bluegrass. He has played in many musical productions including Canberra Philharmonic Society’s stagings of Rock of Ages and Jesus Christ Superstar and has performed at the Merimbula Jazz Festival, the Moruya Jazz Festival and the National Folk Festival. Dylan has been teaching guitar for the last 6 years.

Our Conductors

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

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.