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Committee 2022 - 2023 (1).jpg

Back from Left to Right - Else Peucker, John Pratt, Helen Drinkell, Sebastien Pratt

Front from Left to Right - Jennie Matthews, Angelica Pietrafesa, Tiana Scott

Photo thanks to Frank Monger

Helen Drinkell - President

Helen has recently retired from a career which included working as a veterinary surgeon and teaching literacy and numeracy at TAFE. A passionate lover of a range of musical genres all her life, she had piano lessons as a child and sang in church choirs as a young adult. After hearing a friend play the clarinet, she put this on her “to do” list and finally began lessons after all her children had left home.

Since then Helen has enthusiastically seized opportunities to play in the LCSO, The South East Primary Schools Music Festival, her church music group and The Mount Gambier City Concert Band where she also performs the role of secretary. Her musical activities have brought her many friends and introduced her to some magical musical compositions.

Apart from her musical involvements, Helen’s commitment to lifelong learning sees her participate in a number of programs in the University of the Third Age.

Tiana Scott - Vice President

Tiana has been playing the violin since Year 5 under the guidance of string teacher, Jennie Matthews. She soon joined a junior string ensemble, then progressed to StringBeans, the then-existing secondary school ensemble in Mount Gambier and she remained rehearsing and performing with that group throughout her schooling. 


During her Grant High School years, Tiana studied music as a subject, continuing with weekly string lessons and successfully completing a number of AMEB exams. Tiana has  performed in multiple Mt Gambier Eisteddfods, public concerts and special events, such as weddings. She has also has engaged in various workshops offered by the ASO, the ASQ and Musica Viva when they toured the Limestone Coast region. 


Tiana has been a member of the LCSO since its inception in 2013, and accepted the roles of Vice President and Publicity Officer on the LCSO committee in 2022

After high school Tiana completed a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education through the University of South Australia. Working as a childcare educator she continued her study and began her teaching career at a Mount Gambier kindergarten directetly after finishing the degree. Tiana faught for 4 years before taking on the role as director and remains in the role to this day as she enters her 6th year working at the same kindergarten.


Jennie Matthews - Secretary and Artistic Director

Jennie graduated from the Elder Conservatorium as a music teacher and violinist. After commencing her teaching career in Adelaide, she moved to Penola in 1985 and taught instrumental music in the Limestone Coast region until her retirement in late 2014. She was the founder of StringBeans, an ensemble for senior students and adult players, which had celebrated ten successful performing years in 2013 and became the backbone of the LCSO string section.


Jennie also plays oboe. She played horn with the Mount Gambier City Band for fifteen years and is currently President of the Mount Gambier City Concert Band. On retirement, Jennie received the 2014 Brand South Australia Community Individual Award and the AUSTA String Teacher Award in 2014-15 for her work in music education. Jennie is a life member of both the Mount Gambier Band and Mount Gambier City Concert Band (Now the South East Concert Band).


John Pratt - Librarian and Accommodation Manager

John was born in Mt Gambier and raised on the family farm at Mumbannar, which he now manages. He commenced piano lessons in early primary school and continued until finishing his secondary education, picking up the tuba in Year 10, which enabled him to play in the school concert band and orchestra. After leaving school, John returned to the farm and had a break from music until 2006 when he started viola lessons with Jennie Matthews.


He has been a member of the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra since 2010 as well as Mt Gambier’s StringBeans. John also volunteers with Camp Quality as a Camp Companion, is on the committee of the Dartmoor Show Society and a Trustee of the Dartmoor Cemetery Trust, and is an active member of the Mumbannar Brigade of the Country Fire Association.



Sebastien Pratt - Stage Manager and Website Administrator

Sebastien has long been a familiar face with the LCSO, helping out as ASM since 2013 at the young age of 15 he has been alongside the crew and committee to lend a hand whenever and wherever he physically can. Although having little experience in performing music, Seb takes a large interest and enjoys listening to classical music. Studying at Grant High School, Seb took an interest in performing arts, taking parts in several of the school’s prestigious musicals and working closely with the staff of the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Seb considers the theatre to be a second home for his adolescent life.

Seb considers his time with the LCSO career defining as he studies to become a drama teacher in Adelaide his decision to do so, heavily influenced by his adolescent years spent at the SRHT. Seb took over the roles of Stage Manager and Website Administrator in 2019, utilising the knowledge and experience he has accrued thus far in his life.

Angelica Pietrafesa - Social Function and Stage Presentations Organiser

Angelica started playing the violin in primary school in 2007, she learnt from Jennie Matthews all the way through to high school. Angelica was involved in many musical experiences such as being part of an ensemble, playing at the Christmas carols, being part of a quartet and playing at weddings. When she got to high school, Angelica continued to study music as a subject up to year 12 and continued having music lessons. Towards the end of high school, Angelica wasn’t involved in as many musical experiences, until the Limestone Coast Symphony Orchestra was formed. As a founding member since 2013, numbers have certainly dropped over the years and Angelica believes it would be extremely beneficial for others wanting to pursue music outside of school, to join the orchestra. Angelica enjoys sharing her passion for the electric violin and it’s capabilities outside of classical music, she particularly enjoys seeing the looks on people’s faces when she tells them her favourite song to play on the violin is Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns and Roses. Angelica works as an Early Childhood Educator and no matter how busy her schedule, always finds time to help out the orchestra in any way she can.

Else Peucker - Player Representative & Social Manager

Else started learning violin in Year 8 at Grant High School, in Mount Gambier and joined the  StringBeans string ensemble in which she performed until commencing university studies in 2009 to study nursing. After graduating, Else headed to the Northern Territory and worked in Darwin and Alice Springs.
Apart from a few great opportunities to join small performances with members of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, the violin playing mostly lapsed until her return to Mount Gambier in 2021.
Here, Else works as a nurse in the Mount Gambier Hospital Emergency Department and having played with the LCSO for the first time in 2022 she joined the committee as a player representative.
Else currently rehearses and performs with the LCSO String Ensemble and having thoroughly enjoyed the orchestral experience, is excited about our upcoming seasons!

Hayley Owens - Publicity Officer

Hayley's music journey started with the flute at 11 years old before moving to bassoon a year later when commencing Year 7 at Eltham High School. Her high school music education allowed for extensive experience with large wind ensembles as well as individual AMEB exams, and included local and overseas travel for competitions with the Eltham High School Symphonic Band. Her passion for music grew from her passion for dancing and ballet, leaving a soft spot for Tchaikovsky's ballet compositions. 
Though heavily considering a professional career in music, Hayley moved to Bendigo following high school to study a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Masters in Exercise Physiology. While in Bendigo studying, Hayley was involved with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra for three seasons before finalising her studies and returning to Melbourne to pursue her career as an Exercise Physiologist. 

Hayley moved to Mount Gambier in 2023 and quickly became involved in the South East Concert band and Limestone Coast Symphony Orchestra, thoroughly enjoying the variety in repertoire between the groups. She is excited to be involved with the committee and cannot wait to be on stage with the Orchestra for their upcoming season!

Chris Majoros - Administration & Minutes Secretary

Chris recently moved to Naracoorte after 47 years working as a senior secondary music, mathematics and biology teacher, a cello teacher and performer, and in various education curriculum writing and leadership positions, including as a SACE assessor for 26 years. Chris began learning the cello as an 11 year old in the very first DECS primary school instrumental program, with David Bishop as her teacher, before moving to lessons with James Whitehead at Elder Conservatorium. When she began learning the cello, it was such an unknown instrument that she remembers being shouted at to “Stand up, girlie playing that thing! ”while the school orchestra was accompanying the singing of “God Save the Queen” at Monday morning assembly! Thankfully, times have changed!
Chris has been thrilled to discover an active music community to link with in the Limestone Coast, balancing cello playing with working as a relief teacher in schools, as a volunteer tutor for new arrivals, spending time with her sons and young grandson, and establishing a productive garden at her home. Contributing to the committee is a way for Chris to share some of her skills and help ensure the future of the LCSO and music in the region.       

The Management Committee sincerely thank the musicians and the many behind-the-scenes assistants who have given, and continue to give, their time and talents to bring the live orchestral experience to our patrons.



Past and Current Support Crew include:

Monica Hart (Production Manager/Stage Manager)
Michael Bakker (Previous Stage Manager)
Sebastien Pratt (Assistant Stage Manager)
Stephanie Bone (Assistant Stage Manager)
Nigel Nisbett (Naracoorte Town Hall Manager)
Ann Aldersey (Front of House Manager/Launch Coordinator)
Tom Dermody (Repertoire/Program Research & Transport/Stage Crew)
Vicky Modistach (Naracoorte Ticket Sales)
John Cruise (Bus Driver)
Stephen Maxwell (Stage Crew/Bus Driver)
Kinta Wilson (Website Technical Assistant)
Andrew Kekewick (Rehearsal Catering)
Robert Mutton (Transport/Stage Crew - Naracoorte)
Geoff Stephens (Stage Crew - Naracoorte)
Paul Brill (Transport)
Linda Cruise (Floral Arrangements/Front of House Assistance)
Frank Monger (Photography – Mt Gambier)
Raelene Monger (Fundraising - Mt Gambier)
Sandra & Allen Woodham OAM (Fundraising - Mt Gambier)
Justine Drew (Photography - Naracoorte)
Mike Slattery (Photography)
Des Pluckhahn (Stage Crew/Safety - Helpmann)
Liz Ferguson (Back Stage Assistant)
Andrew Bone (Stage Crew)
Paul Brill (Set Construction)
Don Currie (Front of House)
Elizabeth Ferguson (Rehearsal Catering)
Helen Drinkell (Publicity)
Marianna Van Der Berg (Publicity)
Jason Chandler (Front of House – Mount Gambier)
Veronica Anderson (Front of House – Naracoorte)
Anne Craig (Front of House – Naracoorte)
Tameka Nube (Previous Head of Horn Section)






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