Co curricular Music Directors and Tutors

Mr DenhamRobert Denham has been teaching in schools for over ten years as a classroom teacher, accompanist and music tutor. In this time he has taught music in the classroom from Years 3 through to the Year 12 HSC. Robert has nurtured and developed students to reach their potential, helping students to band 6 HSC results and Encore Nominations. Outside the classroom, Robert has been highly involved in the co-curricular programs across a wide range of schools from different systems. He has worked extensively as an accompanist, conductor, musical director and ensemble director including concert bands, jazz bands, smaller jazz ensembles, vocal ensembles and choirs. He is an advanced Pianist, avid singer, and a competent guitarist with an understanding of brass and woodwind instruments. As a pianist Robert has accompanied students for their HSC examinations, AMEB examinations, a range of community and school choirs, performed in a range of community jazz bands, performed with local musicians around Port Macquarie,  accompanied soloist at Eisteddfods and has been a répétiteur for the Newcastle Gilbert and Sullivan company. Robert holds an A.Mus A in Piano and an honours degree through Newcastle University in Performance and Musicology.
Robert is the current Co-curricular Music Coordinator at MacKillop College and conducts the concert band, jazz band and stage band. He also teaches classroom music at MacKillop College.

Ian Castle is a local singing teacher and professional performer. He has a Bachelor of Music majoring in Voice and studied vocal performance, pedagogy and theory at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.  Ian runs three music businesses, 21st Century Music, which focuses on modern singing and piano lessons, audio recording and music video production, Centre Stage Theatre Factory which provides group singing, drama and performance training, and Aussie Vocal Coach Pty Ltd which caters to international singers via online video and audio courses. Ian has sung professionally with Opera Queensland and has performed leading roles in many musicals including Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz". Ian currently fronts Blue Hypothesis, a 20 piece big band.  Ian's ensemble experience includes working with Extreme Dance Studios, Kempsey Adventist School, five vocal ensembles though his own business, Musical Director for "The Little Shop of Horrors", "The Wizard of Oz" and "Dracula Spectacula", and most recently the Junior and Senior Vocal Ensembles at Mackillop College.


Denise Begnell has been teaching within the St. Agnes Parish Secondary Schools for the past ten years and has an exceptional reputation as the master of vocal technique. She coaches the very young through to the older singer to understand and obtain excellence in vocal mastery and expression. For over thirty years Denise has achieved remarkable results from her students, achieving 100% pass rates in vocal examinations, outstanding results with Eisteddfods and HSC examinations – including a number of students being nominated for “Encore” – the very best of HSC performances with a number of past students going on to work professionally in the music industry. She has studied vocal techniques with the masters including Robert Bickerstaff, renowned international opera singer, Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music London and director of International Voice.  Denise has an impressive professional resume, including teaching voice at MacDonald Performing Arts College, Strathfield and from 1988 – 1995 managed, developed and implemented the vocal curriculum at Johnny Young Talent School Central Coast.

Bernard Smith has been teaching guitar to students across the St Agnes Secondary Schools for a number of years. He holds a classroom teaching qualification and  is a well respected local musician performing regularly with Reggie D and The Bluezers and with Ken McArthur. Bernie teaches a wide range of musical styles including Blues, Jazz and Rock to beginners through to advanced HSC students.