Meet our Musical Directors

Kim Thomsen

We are very pleased to have Kim Thomsen as the musical director of our senior band, a position which she has held since 1994. She would describe it as an honour, but the honour is all ours. Not only does she have a slew of qualifications, she has professional experience to match.

Kim’s career as a professional musician has spanned for over 27 years. As a performer, she spent 6 years in the Royal Australian Navy and was one of the first women ever accepted into the RAN band.

With the RAN band, Kim has been privileged to play on numerous occasions for members of the Royal family, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. Kim has also performed alongside performers such as Kylie Minogue, Kate Cebrano, James Morrison and The Seekers, with performances in all major venues throughout Australia.

After departing the RAN, Kim became involved in musical theatre, where she has been the musical director for over 35 full-scale broadway theatre productions, including the renowned Mal Brooks production “The Producers” performed at the Malthouse Theatre.

Kim is a founding member of the Cardinia Performing Arts Company, Managing Director of NYD Academy of Performing Arts and is Head of Music at Chairo Christian School, Pakenham Campus. She is also a specialist examiner for VCE Music Performance and Music Composition and has held the position of Artistic Director for the Pakenham Carols by Candlelight since 2001.

Kim’s formal qualifications include a Masters of Music Studies majoring in conducting, a Bachelor of Music Industry (Performing Arts), Diploma of Education, Certificate 4 in Music Performance, Certificate 4 in Instrumental Music and she is currently working on a Ph.D. on the benefits of community music supporting children at risk.

Damien Melis

Damien Melis is the director of our intermediate band. Damien began playing cello in high school, but it wasn’t until he arrived at RMIT where his musical adventures began. Joining RMIT Music in 2008 where he began to play Double Bass and Viola in the RMIT String Ensemble followed by RMIT Concert Band on Bassoon in 2015.

Damien is an integral long-serving part of the student music scene at RMIT. As a prominent figure at RMIT Music serving as its President from 2015 to 2019, Damien has developed and grown the RMIT Chamber Orchestra to prominence in becoming its Music Director and Conductor. Beyond RMIT, Damien currently plays Viola for the Casey Philharmonic Orchestra, Oboe/English Horn or Bassoon with the Engineering Music Society at Melbourne University and with the Cardinia Civic Concert Band on Bassoon and Conductor of their Intermediate Band.

A highlight in Damien’s music experience was touring eastern Germany in 2019 with the Cardinia Civic Concert Band. Damien has a deep passion for early music. Recorder has become one of Damien’s favourite instruments to play. His favourite pieces are baroque/classical concertos featuring multiple instruments as the intertwining of different instrument textures draw mixed emotions. Damien has always tried to ensure that he continues playing as much music even while working as an Aerospace Engineering.