Alumni Profile: Hayden Burge

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows will be conducting Masterclasses at WollCon, and the Fellows line-up includes Bassoonist Hayden Burge.

WollCon is thrilled to be continuing a partnership with Fellows from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra who will be engaging with WollCon students in various masterclasses over the weekend of April 6-7th. The new Fellowship members for 2024 which was recently announced, will be tutoring our string students, members of the symphonic band and the flute ensemble.

Sonia de Freitas from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra says that the partnership, which began with the 2023 Fellows, has been an encouraging and meaningful collaboration.

“It has given the Fellows the opportunity to develop their own mentoring and leadership capabilities by supporting budding musicians and sharing expertise with community groups. By the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and WollCon working together, we are able to amplify our impact to inspire the next generation of musicians.”

Sonia de Freitas

Head of Education and Communities, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

WollCon staff are particularly excited to be welcoming back Bassoonist Hayden Burge, a WollCon alumnus and who has been selected for the 2024 Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship program.

Hayden’s first experience at WollCon was learning cello with Ching-Wen Hsu after being gifted a cello for his 8th birthday.

“I loved learning the cello and was always keen to practice. After a while I was part of the junior string orchestra and then Bluescope Youth Orchestra playing cello. I loved being part of an orchestra and knew that was what I wanted to do for a career. Yes, I knew this at a young age. Ching-Wen guided, encouraged and supported my love of music. BUT she also knew I really wanted to learn the bassoon.”

Hayden Burge

Bassoonist Fellow, Sydeny Symphony Orchestra

Hayden Burge

Hayden’s love of bassoon came from when he first heard it played in a recording of Prokfiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’, when he was four years old.

“Everything I did in learning music was getting me closer to being big enough to play bassoon. I felt like my hands would never be big enough to reach all the keys to play, and then one day they were.”  – Hayden.

Hayden started bassoon lessons with Nigel Edwards when he was 14 and never looked back. As a result of Nigel’s expert tutoring Hayden was able to progress to playing bassoon in the BlueScope Youth Orchestra and for the Regional Conservatorium’s Orchestra. He eventually successfully auditioned to study music at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

“Nigel had a very unique way of teaching. It was a holistic approach. Nigel taught me that there was much more to learning to play the bassoon than just being able to play the notes. He taught me how to breathe, how external factors affected my playing, and correct posture.”

Hayden Burge

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Hayden Burge

“Throughout my time at WollCon apart from the tutelage from Ching-Wen and Nigel, one of my greatest supporters has been Tanya Phillips. Tanya has supported me in all music endeavours. She encouraged me to audition for BlueScope Youth Orchestra after my time in Junior Strings and supported the transition from cello to bassoon. WollCon has given me the opportunity to start as a student and progress through to now being able to tutor the wind section in the BlueScope Youth Orchestra and members of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.”

Hayden Burge

Interested in joining the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at WollCon?

Led by Suzanne Cowan and Des Cannings, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble is looking for more members: intermediate to advanced secondary school musicians playing a concert band instrument (flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, bass).

Last year the band competed at the State Band Championships and was awarded third place in their test piece, against some very tough competition. Students get to play music together each week, perform throughout the year and are tutored by Australia’s leading musicians.