Northern Rivers Conservatorium Alumni

Over the years we have seen many great musicians come through our courses. Find out below what they are doing now and what they thought of their time at The Con.


“My time at The Con really helped set me up as a guitarist, it instilled the discipline of practice and helped me embrace that close relationship between the musician and her instrument.” Hailed by Santana as “The voice of the street and the band of the future!” Blue King Brown is Australia’s premier live urban roots & reggae powerhouse. Band members and Northern Rivers Conservatorium alumni, Carlo Santone and Nattali Rize started playing and songwriting in their original base of Byron Bay. Since graduating, the group have won an Australian Independent Record (AIR) Award, as well as nominated for a J Award and an ARIA.

Nattali Rize

Blue King Brown, Website

“Being at The Con in those years was like finally finding my true place in the world…The Con has given me an all round understanding of how to lead a successful band.”  Kellie Knight is Australia’s ‘Sweetheart of Soul’. Fronting the highly successful Kellie Knight and the Daze, the band has cut their teeth at late night grungy venues and have emerged at some of Australia’s favourite festivals such as Byron Bay Blues Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival. Their debut single Twisted won the band an NCEIA award for ‘Jazz Song of the Year’ while more recently the group took out ‘Best Urban/Funk Song’ for Everything is One and ‘Best World/Reggae Music’ for Humanity at the NCEIA music awards.

Kellie Knight

Kellie Knight and The Daze, Website

“Without my time at The Con I would not be in the position I am now. Whether you are just starting out or you are experienced, The Con can help you.” In 2007, Blakboi enrolled at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium to expand his performance and songwriting skills. Since graduating, Blakboi has gone on to win an NCEIA Dolphin Award for ‘Best Male Vocalist’, perform at festivals around Australia, release a documentary, and is producing his first studio LP, The Gold Album. Blakboi has played alongside the likes of Archie Roach, Xavier Rudd, John Butler, Yung Warriors, Busby Marou, Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar-Daley.

Tom Avery

Blak Boi, Website

“My favourite thing [about The Con] was the people… the classes were all really intimate and consisted of amazingly diverse people, and the teachers were all so supportive and masters of their craft.”  In 2007, when Kobi Jae first came to the North Rivers Conservatorium, she suffered a debilitating fear of public singing. However, six months through the first year she was “addicted to the stage!” “By the time your course is over, you’ll be wishing it was just starting again.” Since graduating, Kobi has written a cabaret show for the Sydney Fringe Festival, started the highly successful blog Horror Kitsch Bitch, modelled for Curvey Culture and is now exploring other aspects of her creativity through studying graphic design.

Kobi Jae

Horror Kitsch Bitch, Website

“The Con is a great stepping-stone to becoming a better musician…We finished the course with a greater appreciation and understanding of music.”  After meeting each other at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium, Nick Bampton, Ewin Lomas, and Luke Mansfield combined to form the rock powerhouse, Sunrose. Rumoured to be a trio of melodic psychedelic-rock scientists, Sunrose say through the mathematical and physical laws of this current universe, they’ve theorized some sound barriers were made to be broken. Sunrose credits The Con for helping them become better musicians and providing a pathway for band member Luke to attend university.

Nick Bampton

Sunrose, Website

“If you have even the slightest interest in music or learning a musical instrument, don’t be shy! Lismore Con is the place for you.”  Since graduating from The Con, Liam has been a private guitar tutor for Lismore Conservatorium, as well as continuing in writing his own personal compositions for his band “Cloud Ladder”.

Liam Blake


“Studying at The Con was such a great experience for me. It was such a supportive environment which really gave me the opportunity to explore myself as an artist and the knowledge to work on my craft. I love the fact it was a little quirky and alternative.”  Since studying at The Con Ivy has established herself as a performance artist/ musician playing in bands and doing a lot of cabaret performances overseas. Lucile is currently working on her new album and will soon be starring in a new quirky TV series.

Ivy Lucille

Ivy Lucille, Website

“I think my favourite thing at The Con was the people. What a great atmosphere to study in! The Con helped me to gain further knowledge and also helped to get me into Uni. I found that classes were more hands on and the teachers really had time to help you understand things that you didn’t at first. Also, teachers who didn’t even have you in their class were always willing to help you out.”

Since leaving The Con, Nikkie has been busy touring, cutting a new album, gigging, networking and studying at SCU.

Nikkie Loa McWalters

Nikkie Loa McWalters, Website

“If you’re serious about music, then you can’t just fly in blind. There’s a lot more to the industry than first meets the eye. The Con will equip you with the tools you need, to start and follow through with a successful career in music…We didn’t just learn instruments, we learned about all aspects of music, like music theory, music business, music production and many others. I find myself using the knowledge that I learned at the Con almost every day in the real world.”

Since studying at The Con, Tora have been busy touring, performing at Glastonbury, Fusion Festival, and over 70 other festivals and headline shows across Europe, America, Mexico and Canada. Having returned back to Australia, the band is ready to start writing their debut album.

Jo Lowenthal

Tora, Website