An interview with Ensemble Goldentree on International Women's Day.
What have been some professional and/or personal highlights of the last year?
Megan Steller: I think the best things that have happened for me in the past year have been the incredible people I've met. I've had some awesome opportunities to chat with cool people from Australia and around the world about music and life and success through Rehearsal Magazine, which has been absolutely amazing and hugely gratifying. I think those opportunities have been highlights both personally and professionally, and I've learnt heaps from every person I met. I think the biggest take away from my year has been learning to be okay with knock backs and getting up and trying again. Years ago I read about this system called "100 no's", which basically encourages you to use rejection as a milestone. The idea is the more you hear the word "no", the closer you are to hearing a "yes"! I didn't think much of it when I read about it initially, but in the past year I came back to it, and it really helped motivate me when I felt like no one was into my ideas. You should try it!
Tell us about your plans for the year ahead? Do you have anything exciting coming up?
MS: This year I'm going back to uni to study my Honours year at the Melbourne Con, which I'm equal parts nervous and excited about. I'm writing a thesis on music journalism, which I'm so passionate about, so hopefully it'll be a really interesting year. I'm also doing a little bit of travel around Australia, and I have the opportunity to chat with some really amazing international and local musicians and artists again for Rehearsal Mag! In terms of things coming up that I'm proud of, Rehearsal Magazine is collaborating with some of my favourite artistic companies in Australia - West Australian Opera, Musica Viva, Victorian Opera, 3MBS and Rubiks Collective to name a few - and I'm really excited to share what we come up with! Will keep you posted!
Reflecting on the concert last year, we wanted to highlight the achievements of women in music. Do you see a case for positive change at the moment? Do you have any role models that you aspire to?
MS: I have so many female role models, particularly in the arts management space here in Australia. There are WAY too many to name, but I am definitely most inspired by women in executive positions in major artistic companies at the moment. I'd also be remiss not to mention my mum, Dianne Steller, who wrote the Rehearsal Magazine eBook Music Business Basics, and is definitely a power woman that I admire. I really look up to all women making it happen, whether that's in this industry or outside of it.
If you could meet one female historical figure who would it be and why?
MS: This is such a tough question! There are so many composers, performers and artistic leaders that I would absolutely love to have a conversation with. If I have to pick, I'll narrow it to Australia and say that the historical figure I'd really like to meet would be Peggy Glanville-Hicks. Her output was so incredibly impressive: she wrote operas and ballets and concertos, but she was also a music critic and a philanthropist, and she completely supported young people and their artistic career development. She wore so many hats, and she rocked them all. I wish I could have met her.