Thrust into a myriad of artistic endeavors from a young age, Neil (unbeknownst to him at the time) was set upon a lifelong voyage of self-discovery both on and off the stage.
After humble beginnings on the Piano and seemingly bored with learning only one instrument, Neil quickly expanded his repertoire of noise making contraptions, attempting almost anything you can blow or push.
Pulling inspiration from his varied interests and experiences in Circus, Theatre, Folk, World, Classical/Historical and occasional teaching; Neil seamlessly drifts between an assortment of musical pursuits, spending most of his time harnessed to the body of an accordion.
There is little left to do, except play!
With skills in music, event organizing, translating and most recently social planning and urban planning; Adrian is another weird and wacky member of Baltic Bar Mitzvah. With a classical background, Adrian started clarinet as a child with school band clarinet lessons before later moving into European folk styles including Hungarian, Romani and Klezmer in his late teenage years. Adrian completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Newcastle studying with Margery Smith and took two extra semesters of clarinet lessons while on exchange with Gerald Kraxberger at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria (2011-12).
Adrian brings a refined classical tone with a typical folk grittiness to the band. His melodic focus and rhythmic drive brings a certain flavour to Baltic Bar Mitzvah that sees the clarinet performing roles that are well outside the instrument’s comfort zone.
Nicholas grew up initially learning the Euphonium in brass bands before finally settling onto the Tuba. Unenthused by the standard repertoire, Nicholas is fond of stealing works from other instruments and exploring different ways to play the tuba. He is currently studying at Sydney Conservatorium under the tutelage of Mr Steve Rosse.
On hearing Nicholas play, people have been known to ask if playing fast technical passages is easy on the tuba.
It is not.
Alex’s first instrument choice was logistically declined at the age of eight, so throughout primary and high school he played trombone in many large ensembles, competing in Nationals and touring with marching and stage bands. By the age of fifteen, he was drumming on a PVC and bubblegum drum kit and realising what he truly enjoyed.
Since then he has dabbled in work and environmental science, only to come back to his true source of contentment: high energy performance, collaboration, percussion and rhythm.
His passion lies in the spice of variety, playing in groups from pop covers to Klezmer to Afro Fusion to Latin and much more. Currently studying at the Newcastle Conservatorium, the only plan is to continue learning and keep playing.
From an early age, it would seem that Hannah was set to follow the path of musical adventure. Picking up any instrument she could get her hands on in her youth, she finally settled on playing the Horn in her late teen years. Since then, Hannah has made it her goal to make the French horn a more versatile and accessible instrument for everyone to enjoy.
Although Hannah’s main roots are planted in the classical field, she has enthusiastically branched out into the fields of improvisation and jazz horn, revelling in the opportunity to diversify and challenge herself.
Hannah currently enjoys a varied performance career including: Orchestral, Musical Theater, Chamber Music and Solo work. Outside of performance, she also runs The Hunter Horn Sound and teaches the Horn and other brass at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.
Tim Evans, aka Señor Timbalé, drummer and percussionist extraordinaré. When not touring the world with various musical outfits, Tim lurks around Newcastle on The East Coast of Australia where he began playing the Drumkit at the tender age of 3. His passion for exploring and fusing genres such as jazz, Afro-Cuban, Gypsy, Balkan, Klezmer, funk, bop, and dub began after purchasing his first drum (a Turkish darbuka) from a shifty travelling salesman at the age of 6. Over the years he has developed a ferociously dynamic, lanky, flailing style that has been likened to that of an enraged octopus earning him the sobriquet: The Kraken.
Likes: Le Soprano Drums, Old man slippers, Scandinavian baked goods.
Dislikes: racist bogans, polyester, muzak.
Nigel originally chose the bassoon, as he had sung bass in a couple of choirs (after some very early years as a treble) and liked the bass line. He also found that he liked wind instruments, having earlier tried piano, trumpet, recorder, cello, percussion, clarinet and guitar. You could say that Nigel had made a pretty thorough analysis.
Nigel had intended to be a professional orchestral player. While pursuing this, he spent two years in the ABC National Training Orchestra and filled in on several occasions with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; a fantastic opportunity. But due to the fact that ‘life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans’ it didn’t happen.
Instead, Nigel has embarked on several other careers while being an amateur musician, which has been very rewarding (Being and amateur musician that is, not necessarily the other careers). Nigel has played in amateur orchestras and musical theatre for many years. He took a lengthy break from this for various reasons, but returned to it some years ago and loves it. Since then Nigel has played in local orchestras, two wind quintets and about a dozen musical theatre productions.
Jennifer Hankin is currently in her Honours year at the University of Newcastle, studying with Sally Walker, where she won the University of Newcastle Undergraduate Music Scholarship and the 2013 Maurice Sendak Prize for the highest third year recital mark. Her honours research explores the nature of composing for the piccolo in a soloistic capacity.
She was a member of the Central Coast Symphony orchestra for many years, is a member of the New Empire Orchestra and has performed with the SBS Youth Orchestra. She is a founding member of the acclaimed eclectic ensemble “Vanishing Shapes” for which she also composes and sings as well as playing both flute and piccolo in innovative and sometimes amplified ways. They have released the album Urcheon and have performed in festivals such as Wollombi Music Festival. She has also appeared with the Button Collective. She now teaches at the Central Coast Conservatorium, where she had her earliest musical beginnings learning from Lyn Brislan.