Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jonathan O'Brien - violin music by the campfire

A little night music . . . Jonathan O'Brien plays Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5 by the light of the campfire and (what looks like) the full moon (but is actually a speck of dust caught in thecamera flash) to colleagues in a mining exploration team camp in a very remote tent camp in the Northern Territory, about 80km from Wollogorang homestead. The exploration team consisted of two geologists, a metallurgist, an aboriginal field assistant and the cook.

Jonathan O'Brien graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts degree in Music from USQ in 1994.

He feels greatly privileged to have known and studied under Associate Professor Peter Rorke OAM, founding Head of the music programme at USQ, and he has very fond memories of all the members of the music lecturing staff, the ancillary staff, and his fellow music students.

Studying music at USQ was a very positive experience for him.

In early 1995 after graduating he travelled to Kuching, Sarawak, where he worked as a musician and teacher for four months before returning to Australia to begin bridging courses in Mathematics and Chemistry.

He was accepted into a science degree at QUT in 1996, and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in geology, in 1999.

By the time he was completing his final year of the science degree there had been a downturn in the industry and jobs were in short supply.

Within a week of graduating he was offered a job, not as a geologist, but as a music teacher.

He accepted it, and for several years taught instrumental music, mostly in the north Brisbane and Caboolture area, and also in Toowoomba, Pittsworth and Oakey.

Since 2006 prospects in the field of geology have improved so Jonathan has left teaching and is now working as a geologist, putting his science degree to good use.

He gets to travel to some very remote and wild places sometimes.

He takes his violin with him on trips afield and keeps up with his regular practice.

Jon sends greetings and best wishes to all USQ friends and colleagues.
Jon can be contacted by email at


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