My Melbourne with Tim Kennedy

November 12 / 99

What is your unit?
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM).

What is your job title?
Concerts Coordinator.

How long have you been with the University of Melbourne?
I've been in the role for about two-and-a-half years, but also did my Bachelor and Masters in Music here, so I feel like I've spent half a lifetime in the music building.

How did you come to work at the University?
I was working with the Australian Youth Orchestra as an artistic administrator and looking to move back to Melbourne when the job came up. All my friends just rolled their eyes when I suggested I might come back to 'the Con', but I always loved it here! It's a really interesting role and I'm very passionate about what we do.

Describe your typical day.
It really depends on whether there are concerts to deliver or not. A lot of time I'm offsite. We do concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Arts Centre, at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and Federation Square, as well as many at our own venue, Melba Hall. 
I also have offices at Parkville and Southbank campuses, as a lot of the performance activity is at Southbank, while most of the staff are at Parkville. Today I'm at Hamer Hall as part of the Riverside Live program, which is a new initiative we are trialling with the Arts Centre, giving our students a public performance space to trial new works.

When I'm not delivering concerts, I'm heavily involved in planning for all our events. We put on more than 60 concerts a year, so there's a lot of contracting, publicity and logistics to get through. I also help coordinate a few of the subjects like Chamber Music and the Orchestra program, helping both the academic staff and student centre work on subjects that have an artistic outcome.

What is it about your job that holds your interest or is particularly satisfying?

The best part of my job is that I actually get to see the results, from the beginning of the rehearsal process through to the final concert. I really get a sense of completion which is very satisfying. Also, the loyalty of our audience is something that has really struck me. It's rewarding seeing regular concertgoers at so many of our events. In particular, our Melba Hall Lunch Hour Concert audiences are very dedicated, with many trying to attend all 24 concerts. While they always say how much they value our concerts, they don't mind telling me when they don't like things either!

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

When I was student, I was always torn between being a performer (I'm a clarinettist) and wanting to work as an administrator. I remember in a third year performance class, Bill Hennessey, the Head of Strings at the time, asked me where I saw myself in five years. When I told him I was undecided, he said trying to be best at whatever you were doing at that given time was all you needed to worry about. He probably wasn't the first person to tell me this, but it really sank in.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn't know?
I secretly really love Sydney.

Where do you buy your coffee on campus?

We're pretty lucky at the MCM as we've got plenty of good options next door, with Damo at Percy's and also the new Dr Dax in the Melbourne Brain Centre. When I have time I always trek across campus to Kere Kere - their coffee is always great and the walk helps to clear my head.

What do you like most about the University?

I love the location! It is only a five minute bike ride from my house and it's really easy to head into the city on a lunch break or after work, so it's made such a difference to my lifestyle.

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