Belinda Smith has been ringing bells across the world. It’s unusual to compose music for bells but Belinda’s composition is so striking it’s been played in Australia and the USA.
Belinda’s composition, originally written for the National Carillon in Canberra as an assignment for university, was heard and admired by a group of visiting carillonists. One of the carillonists just happened to be a professor at Yale University. It was then that Belinda’s composition began its unlikely journey to America and was played on the Yale Memorial Carillon at the esteemed university.
Belinda says composing for the National Carillon was “quite unusual at the time, we had to have a few lessons to learn about the limitations of the instrument.”
A carillon is a musical instrument that’s usually housed in a bell tower. “The National Carillon is a striking 50 metre tall architectural landmark. It is also an impressive musical instrument with 55 bronze bells, each weighing between seven kilograms and six tonnes.”
Belinda began a Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University while she was in high school. Selected to begin university early by ANU’s Extension Early Entrance Scheme, Belinda attended university in the evenings after school, effectively studying year 12 and first year university at the same time. Belinda studied advanced classical music and even performed at Parliament House.
Now in her third and final year of a Bachelor of Music Belinda has been invited to enrol in an Honours program at ANU. In addition to her studies at university Belinda achieved Honours (Grade A) in her Grade 8 AMEB piano exams. After completing her undergraduate studies Belinda plans to undertake a Masters of Education and become a school music teacher.
“I’m really thankful for the support of AVCAT and my sponsor, Legacy Australia. Without the AVCAT scholarship I wouldn’t be able to study at ANU and that’s a massive deal to me.”
Belinda has used her scholarship to help with essential supplies and stationery for university including the composition software she used to compose her piece for the National Carillon. Belinda was awarded a Legacy Westpac Scholarship through AVCAT in 2016. Belinda’s grandfather, Major Don Bourne was the most senior Australian army officer killed in the Vietnam War. Belinda is the carer for her mother, the two them live together in Canberra.
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