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Advisor Profiles

Dr Rita Crews – Theory, Musicianship and Music Craft Advisor

Dr Rita Crews

Dr Rita Crews is currently President of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW and editor of The Studio journal. With some 40 years’ teaching experience at the private and tertiary levels, including distance education, she has been an AMEB written examiner since 1988. She is Deputy Chair of the AMEB (NSW), having been a member of the Board since 1990, and is the NSW Theory, Musicianship and Music Craft advisor.

For 11 years she was Head of Professional Development at the Australian International Conservatorium of Music where she taught research and coordinated the pedagogy stream of the BMus program. For many years Rita lectured in professional development courses for private music teachers through the University of New England and she continues to conduct similar sessions as well as workshops at the behest of various music teachers, conservatoriums and examination organisations, nationally and internationally.

Apart from many reviews and articles in publications such as Ossia, Sounds Australian, The Studio, Piano Rendezvous, Music Teacher and the British Music Society’s Newsletter, Rita’s own publications include piano music for children, some of which appear on the AMEB syllabus.  She is the author of several articles in the Oxford Companion to Australian Music, two musicology courses, Music of the Classical Era and Piano Music of the 19th Century published by the University of New England; the liner notes for the CDs The Australian Album and Anthology of the Chamber Music of Miriam Hyde and the author of the introductions and text for The Six Piano Sonatas of Roy Agnew, The Piano Miniatures of Roy Agnew and Tribute to Miriam Hyde, published by The Keys Press. Her poem Uluru, published in the USA, has been set for a cappella female voices and the text for Blessings has been set for full choir. She is also the co-author of 100 Years: The Music Teachers’ Association of NSW 1912–2012 published by Wirripang for the Association’s centenary. She is also the author of the handbooks for AMEB’s Series 17 Piano released in late 2014.

With a special interest in the history and analysis of Australian music, Rita’s Honours thesis concentrated on the keyboard works of Miriam Hyde while her doctoral thesis is an exhaustive analytical study of the piano works of Roy Agnew, Dulcie Holland and Margaret Sutherland.  The Masonic music of Mozart is also a particular field of interest.

Rita is a member of many professional organisations and her biography appears in several international dictionaries. In 1992–93 the Cambridge Biographical Centre honoured her with the award of International Woman of the Year for services to music education. In 2002, she was created a Fellow of the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition for her contribution to Australian music and composers, and in 2008 she was honoured with an entry in the first edition of Who's Who in NSW.

In 2014, she received an award for 25 years of examining for the AMEB. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Rita was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for ‘services to the Performing Arts as a music teacher, examiner and composer’. The University of New England honoured her with the Distinguished Alumni Award at a ceremony in 2015 for her ‘distinguished career in music education and long-standing connections with student and teacher musicians’.

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