Sharon Tolhurst is Lecturer in Music in the Faculty of Arts and conductor of the wind ensemble at Avondale College in Australia. She lectures in music curriculum, music theory, improvisation, arranging, music methods (K-12), and conducting.
Tohurst previously taught at De La Salle College, where she was instrumental music coordinator, from 1989 to 2000. During that time, she twice served as head of music and performing arts coordinator, from 1993 to 1996 and 1998 to 2000. Previous to teaching at DSLC, she was head of music at Salvatorian College in Middlesex, England, for two years.
She holds undergraduate degrees in music education from AC and Pacific Union College in California, and an M.Mus. in instrumental music from Andrews University in Michigan. She is presently completing a Ph.D. at Deakin University, Victoria, New South Wales, Australia. Tolhurst was a scholarship student at AU and received a staff study grant from 1998 to 2000 while at DLSC.
She travels biannually to Georgia and Michigan, where she maintains close ties with music colleagues. During these trips she attends the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.
In 2003 Tolhurst was invited to study advanced conducting with Dr. John Laverty at Syracuse University in New York and was guest conductor for the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble’s Winter Concert. During her time in the U.S., she collected data on the effects of guest clinicians on ensembles and then presented a paper about the subject at the XXVI Conference of the Australian Association Research Music Education (AARME). Her presentation won the prize for the Best Post-Graduate Research Student Paper in 2003 at Griffith University.
Tolhurst has adjudicated at Eisteddfods and music festivals in Victoria, New South Wales, and the U.S. She served as president of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA) from 1997 to 2000 and was secretary for four years prior to holding that office. She was manager of the Victorian State Honours Band from 1991-1999.
Source: Biographical Outline at Avondale College Website (2008).