Both AIM Sydney & AIM Melbourne are proud to have some of the best music, performing arts & entertainment management industry professionals available, on staff, anywhere in Australia.
Dr Alistair NoblePosition
Executive Dean of Academic AffairsCampus
Sydney & MelbourneStaff profile
Dr Alistair Noble
Executive Dean of Academic Affairs
Sydney & Melbourne
Dr Alistair Noble began his life in music as a pianist, studying with Isobel Grigor, Alan Jenkins, and Larry Sitsky. A subsequent interest in the work of Winifred Burston (a remarkable Australian pianist who had studied with Busoni in Berlin) led to a Masters Degree in musicology, based upon extensive archival research. Alongside this historical research, Alistair found that music analysis is a way to bring together many of his diverse interests in composition, performance, and critique of music. A PhD in this field, completed at the Australian National University, presented groundbreaking work on the music of American composer Morton Feldman.
Alistair taught in the School of Music at the Australian National University for some years, in musicology, music theory, analysis, composition, and chamber music. He served as Head of Theory and Convenor of Graduate Studies. As an award-winning PhD supervisor, he has enjoyed working with many graduate-level researchers in a wide range of music-related areas and also in cognate fields such as film studies. He has been a guest-lecturer in many places, including the University of the Philippines, the Colloquium of the Paul Sacher Foundation, UNSW, and National Taiwan University. While at ANU, Alistair served for three years as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences.
In 2013, Alistair published his updated Feldman research as Composing Ambiguity: the early music of Morton Feldman (Ashgate), which has been acclaimed internationally as a fundamentally important publication in this field.
During 2014, Alistair was an invited Visiting Associate Professor in the College of Music at the National Taiwan Normal University, teaching orchestration, composition, and graduate seminars in the analysis of pop music and the sociology of music. While in Taiwan, he had the opportunity to accompany colleagues on fieldwork trips to several remote indigenous villages during major festivals, in addition to experiencing first-hand a wide range of musical performances, including Beijing-style operas, Taiwanese Nanguan, and the interesting local noise/sound-art scenes (about which Alistair has since published articles).
In December 2015, he lectured on post-tonal music at the first Melbourne Music Analysis Summer School, held at Medley Hall, University of Melbourne. Recent compositions include the Glasteppich series (three pieces for piano, flute, and string orchestra) premiered by Arcko Symphonic with Michael Kieran Harvey and Kim Tan in December 2014, and Hauteurs/Temps (2015) for viola and percussion, to be premiered by Phoebe Green and Leah Scholes in 2016.
Deputy Head of Learning and TeachingCampus
Deputy Head of Learning and Teaching
Exposed from the earliest age to the sounds of Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington by a jazz loving father, turning to jazz was a natural progression for Greg. In 1992 he took up a Bachelor of Music majoring in Jazz Piano at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, feeling for the first time that he had found his true musical path. He graduated with distinction in 1995, together with a first place finish in that year’s Sydney Youth in Jazz competition.
The formation of the ‘Coffin Bros’ with saxophonist brother Sean in the early 1990’s was Greg’s first public exposure as a composer and arranger and established him as a serious young jazz pianist. With its skill and maturity, the band’s high energy music has impressed audiences and critics from the outset. 13 years later the brothers are still wowing audiences in Sydney’s premier jazz venues, with Simon Barker on drums and Brett Hirst on bass. Greg’s creative focus was shifted to the sophisticated sounds of The Java Quartet in 1996. The release of their first album “Glow” received national and international acclaim, prompting a European tour and an invitation to perform at the prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1997, alongside such jazz greats as Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. The band has since released 3 more albums, “Passages”(1998), “Dark Garden”, (accompanied by a national tour in 2001), and “Deep Blue Sea” in 2005. Greg’s album credits also include recordings with renowned trumpeter Simon Sweeney’s Sextet, “Emerald City Blues” (2002), singer/trumpeter Neilsen Gough’s Quartet (2002), and vocalist/composer/arranger Scott Walker’s soon to be released album on the ABC label, “My Kind of Lonely”.
Although jazz and vocal accompaniment has been his focus in recent years, Greg’s strength as a musician lies with his versatility. He played keyboards and provided background vocals in popular 90’s covers band “The Firm”, pop band “Swoop” and the well known funk band “Professor Groove and the Booty Affair”, with national tours for the latter two in 1998 and 1999. 2002 saw Greg playing the Fender Rhodes with bassist Steve Hunter’s “9 Lives”, while more recently, Greg played both in Sydney and interstate to critical acclaim in drummer John Pochee’s highly regarded “Space Cadets”. As proof of his formidable adaptability as a musician, Greg turned his talents to cabaret in 2003, performing in Canberra’s National Press Club as solo accompanist for Natalie Gamsu - two time winner of New York City’s MAC Award for Excellence in Cabaret Performance. In 2004 he also turned his hand to Musical Theatre as pianist/musical director for the musical “Footloose“.
With a reputation as one of Sydney’s foremost jazz pianists, Greg is in regular demand for concerts and gigs at many of Australia’s leading jazz clubs, bars, restaurants and festivals. He was the resident pianist at Sydney’s Four Season’s Hotel, before taking up a residency in Japan in 2004. Has since moved back to Australia where he teaches and performs on a regular basis.
Dr Gary HolgatePosition
Head of Learning and TeachingCampus
Dr Gary Holgate
Head of Learning and Teaching
Gary Holgate’s credentials are many and varied.
His Associate Diploma Jazz Studies featured majors in both electric bass and double bass, and for his Master of Music degree he focussed on jazz performance while also studying classical bass techniques. Gary has performed and recorded with many acclaimed jazz artists including Kevin Hunt, Grace Knight, Bill Risby, Joy Yates and Dave MacRae, and Jazz Nouveau.
His doctoral project focussed on interactions in improvised music and his research interests include live jazz performance and qualitative research methodologies.
Sam began playing guitar at age 9, studying privately and also completing an Associate Diploma of music at AIM in 1995.
He was a founding member of the nine piece band “Hipnosis” performing, coordinating and arranging a wide cross section of music from 1992 to 2002 in venues, corporate functions and weddings in a full time capacity. Since 1990 Sam has been teaching guitar privately, in Secondary Schools and Community Colleges in both one to one and group settings.
In 2006 he completed his Bachelor of Music as a mature age student at AIM. Sam has also been involved in writing and arranging original music. Most recently one of his compositions was featured in a short film that was selected in the final round of the Academy affiliated short film festival “Flickerfest.”
Dr David FentonPosition
Dr David Fenton
David brings a wealth of scholarly, pedagogical and industry experience to AIM. With a background as a practitioner in the dramatic arts, David has directed over sixty-five professional theatre productions throughout his thirty years in the industry. David’s scholarly and teaching work is extensive. Originally trained as a drama and history teacher, he has a Masters of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy from QUT, where he also completed a practice-led Ph.D. in Performance Innovation in 2007, for which he won the Philip Parsons Prize for ‘Performance as Research’ from The Australian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies. Significant positions David has held have been artistic, academic, managerial and executive. Most recently David was CEO of Metro Arts and before that Head of Performance Practices at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). Additionally, David was the General Manager of Quality and Product Development and a senior facilitator for ‘Message Train Communications’ teaching in the Adult Learning and Development sector.
When speaking about his new role as Program Leader responsible for the Scholarship Portfolio David said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a genuine impact on the quality of our teaching and learning scholarship and most importantly an opportunity to enhance the student’s learning experience across the whole institute.”
Creative vocalist Josh Kyle’s varied approach to music-making has seen him involved
with many different musical experiences and settings. He has released four albums under
his own name “Possibilities” (2010) “Songs of Friends” (2014), “I Hear, Here I” (2018) and
finally “Trombone Song Cycle” (2018) music for four trombones and voice, with
compositions by Kyle and arrangements by Andrew Murray.
Over the past four years Josh has worked extensively with cross disciplinary art/theatre
makers Chamber Made Opera, and RAWCUS a company of performers with and without
disability. “Permission to Speak” (Chamber Made Opera) premiered at Arts House in
November, 2016 and showcased at APAM Brisbane in 2018. “Song for A Weary Throat”
(Rawcus) had its premier season at Theatre Works, St Kilda in Nov 2017 and 2018
Melbourne International Arts festival, Arts Centre Melbourne.
Josh is a long-time member of Gian Slater’s improvising vocal ensemble Invenio who
Andrew Murray’s ATM15 featuring on recordings “Standards and Sudden Death” & “New
He was a finalist in the James Morrison Generations in Jazz Vocal Scholarship as well
as The National Jazz Awards, Voice. In 2014, he was nominated for a Bell Award in
the Best Vocal Album category. He was a participant in the 2015 Banff International
Workshops in Improvised and Creative Music and The Australian Art Orchestra’s 2016
Creative Intensive. Josh has presented various projects at the Melbourne, London,
Stonnington, Perth and Wangaratta Festivals of Jazz as well as various clubs and
theatres around the world.
Peta Downes is a theatre director, producer and tertiary arts educator of over twenty-five years’ experience.
She is a PhD candidate with the Performance Studies department of the University of Sydney, where she is currently researching the intersection between creative entrepreneurship and independent theatre practice in Australia. Additionally, she holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing (QUT), a Bachelor of Arts – Honours -1A in Directing and Educational Drama (QUT) and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management (UTS).
Prior to her appointment as Program Leader – Dramatic Arts with AIM, Peta was the Course Manager - National Short Courses for NIDA's Open Program (2010-11) and Executive Coordinator - Creative Industries for University of Western Sydney (2011-2013).
As an actor, she trained extensively in the Suzuki and Viewpoints Methods and performed with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre Company in Brisbane, before she was invited to work and train with director Anne Bogart and the SITI Company at their Summer Intensive in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1999. She has directed for La Boite Theatre Company, the Queensland Theatre Company and the Bell Shakespeare Company and has developed and produced new theatre works with the Brisbane Powerhouse, Metro Arts (Brisbane), Darlinghurst Theatre and the Seymour Centre (Sydney). Additionally, she has trained acting and directing students and directed multiple productions for the Queensland University of Technology, University of New South Wales, National Institute of Dramatic Art, Central Queensland University (Rockhampton), Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga), Actors Centre Australia and Actors College of Theatre and Television.
Whilst at AIM, Peta has directed productions of Her Naked Skin by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (2014), 13 by Mike Bartlett (2015), Twelfth Night (2016) and Romeo and Juliet (2017) by William Shakespeare, Anna Karenina by Helen Edmundson (2016) and Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale (2017).
As a school student Michael Bardon studied cello, oboe and clarinet performing as a member of the Pacific School Games Symphony, NSW Public Schools Symphony and the Sydney Olympic Marching Band.
Accelerated into university at age 17 he holds degrees from the Musikhochschule Luebeck (Germany), Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz (Germany), University of Newcastle (Australia) and professional orchestral training as an academy graduate of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany). His principal teachers include Professors Diethelm Jonas, Nick Deutsch and Anthea Scott-Mitchell, and he has received master class and chamber music instruction from international artists including Professors Sabine Meyer, Christiane Edinger, Stefan Schilli, Angela Firkins, Jaques Tys, Jochen Muller-Brinken, Markus Möllenbek and Thomas Brandis.
After basing himself in Germany for almost 7 years he returned to Australia in 2011 having performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in countries including Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Israel, Korea and Sweden.
Michael was a member of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra Academy, Neues Kammerorchester Bamberg (now Orchester M18), the wind quintet ‘Pentaphonie’, Sydney Symphony Sinfonia and has performed with orchestras including Oper Frankfurt, Sinfonietta Baltica, Neue Philharmonie Hamburg, Mainzer Kammerorchester and the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra. He is a recipient of many awards including a prestigious German DAAD prize, a scholarship from the north German Possehl Foundation and a Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now scholarship.
Additionally he held the University of Newcastle William Bowmore Prize for Postgraduate Studies in Cello and was the 2012-14 Young Ambassador for the Manning Winter Festival.
An initial teaching position in Hamburg has led to further appointments at Newington College, the University of Newcastle Conservatorium and the Australian Institute of Music. Michael is an enthusiastic pedagogue, with student success including the Music Captaincy of Newington College, scholarship holders at both the Newcastle Conservatorium and Grammar School, frequent high distinction candidates in AMEB examinations and tertiary graduates of the University of Newcastle and Australian Institute of Music. Michael is also employed as an orchestral mentor by the NSW Department of Education and Training for their productions of Star Struck.
Holding performance master’s degrees in both cello (Newcastle) and oboe (Luebeck), Michael maintains a busy career performing, teaching, researching and administrating. He has performed frequently as guest principal cello in the Darwin Symphony, is a regular collaborator with the Australian National College of Dance, has broadcast for ABC Classic FM Sunday Live and in 2016 became a permanent member of the Sydney Metropolitan Orchestra.