Graham Sattler began his career as an orchestral trombonist, became a singer specialising in opera and music theatre, a conductor and artistic director, then commenced research in the field of community music activity and musical inclusion. He holds a Diploma of Operatic Art and Music Theatre, Master of Performance (Conducting), PhD (Music Education) and Graduate Certificate in the Psychology of Risk. His PhD project was a multiple case study ethnography exploring community music perceptions, expectations and conditions in non-metropolitan Australia. From 2001 to 2012 Graham was Director of the Orange Regional Conservatorium (Australia), during which time he led multiple community music programs across aged, disability, disadvantaged and at-risk youth cohorts, and engaged in the design and delivery of the Associate Degree in Music Education program at Charles Sturt University. From 2014 to 2021 Graham served as Executive Director, Mitchell Conservatorium, and casual academic with Central Queensland University.
Regularly presenting at international Music Education and Arts Health conferences, he has carried out community-focused fieldwork in Australia, North America and Bolivia, collaborated on community music development activity with groups in and from Armenia, and designed and delivered multiple professional learning music courses for non-specialist teachers in Australia. He has worked as both trombonist and singer with the Australian Opera; vocal soloist with symphony orchestras in Sydney, Tasmania, West Australia, Auckland and Chengdu; and as a choral, orchestral and music theatre conductor. Graham is both a 2011 New Horizons International Music Association fellow, and a Churchill Fellow (Australia, 2019). He took up his Churchill Fellowship in early 2023, investigating best-practice musical inclusion and community music leadership training programs in the US, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Portugal and Armenia.
Graham was appointed CEO of Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in late 2021, with a brief to further develop the orchestra’s unique operational model of equal parts community engagement and mainstage performance. Graham’s academic output includes Playing outside the generational square: the intergenerational impact of adult group music learning activities on the broader community (International Journal of Community Music, 6(3), 2013), multiple conference papers and three chapters in edited books on community music ecologies and regional music scenes. He is a member of the International and Australian Societies for Music Education, the Asia Pacific Community Music Network, the Regional Music Research Group (Australasia) and the Editorial Review Boards of the International Journal of Community Music and the Music Trust Music in Australia Knowledge Base.
Christchurch Symphony Orchestra,