Staff News - Edwina Tolhurst

Gunnedah Conservatorium farewelled teacher Edwina Tolhurst this week who has relinquished her teaching duties and will continue to focus on her musical and teaching career in the Newcastle area.

Edwina (known as Miss Tolhurst by all her students) joined the Gunnedah Conservatorium in July 2012 teaching violin and piano. She quickly developed a strong studio with her students receiving outstanding results in Eisteddfods, Exams and Assessments and being acknowledged through the Conservatorium’s Scholarship Program.

Edwina also worked hard to develop a culture of students playing together and founded a string ensemble as well as working with some students on improvisation and performance skills.

In a similar vein Edwina worked with teacher Joel Picket to encourage collaborations between guitar and violin students.

Theory was also a strong focus for Edwina and she helped her students successful sit their AMEB Musicianship Exams with excellent results.

Away from teaching, Edwina was a keen performer and combined with Joel Pickett to bring unique interpretations of popular music to life. As a duo Edwina and Joel performed at a number of community events and were often invited to perform for visiting delegations as well as provide entertainment for conference is the Gunnedah Shire.

For many years Edwina travelled from Tamworth and then continued to travel from Newcastle to maintain her studio.

In 2017 Edwina commenced teaching her studio via Video Conference – remaining dedicated to her students while wanting to pursue her own teaching and performance career in Newcastle and beyond.

At the end of 2017 Gunnedah Conservatorium welcomed a new string teacher, Emily Maslen, and Edwina at that time relinquished her violin studio. Adam and Katie Farquahar (both who have been acknowledged through the Conservatorium Scholarship Program) continued to receive lessons via Video Conference but both will now move back to Face-to-Face lessons at the Conservatorium.

“It was a little sad on Monday afternoon when we officially said goodbye to Edwina,” said Director Rebecca Ryan. “Even though she had been teaching a smaller group via Video Conference she was still very much part of the team and a strong presence at the Con.”


“Edwina has always had a great passion for music and she shares that with all her students. As a teacher she had high standards and her students knew that they had to work hard to meet her expectations.”

“The way Edwina conducted her group theory lessons and ensembles gave her students a great chance to share their love of music with each other and this added another level to coming to the Con and her students formed good respectful friendships with each other – they were a team.”

“We  wish Edwina all the best as she continues to develop her career.”