Our Success Stories

Just a few of our success stories.

Denise Begnell has seen many successes to date.  Many students have gone on to perform internationally, Nathan Foley of High 5 fame being just one of them. More recent students include

JAIMIE LEIGH JOHNSON

Since leaving Denise in 2011, Jaimie completed her Bachelor of Musical Theatre at AIM in 2013 where she played Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Celia in As You Like It and Romaine Patterson in The Laramie Project. She made her independent theatre debut in 2013 as Helen in Carrie The Musical with Squabbalogic Independent Musical Theatre, then going on to play Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone in 2014, and appearing as Gloria in Bye Bye Birdie early last year with the same company.

She also appeared in ExclAIM Theatre Company's inaugural production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre. Other recent credits include making it to the top 11 in the Your Theatrics International Cabaret Competition at Slide Lounge last year and performing in a regional tour with violin virtuoso Ian Cooper and The Angel Sopranos in The Music of Andre Rieu Spectcular.

Most recently, Jaimie achieved a life long dream of performing in the concert hall of The Sydney Opera House, playing Diana Devereaux in the pulitzer prize winning Gershwin Musical Of Thee I Sing. Hear Jaimie in action on her show reel :-

 

 

PHOEBE THOMPSON-STAR

Growing up in Port Macquarie, Phoebe began singing with Denise Begnell at the age of 13. Convinced she was just a dancer Denise highly skilled training and never failing support, nutured Phoebe to believe she was also a “singer” and gave her the confidence to successfully audition for a place at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Graduating three years later with a Bachelor of Music Theatre, Phoebe then moved to Melbourne where she was cast in a new Australian Musical work “Sugartown”, who’s act 1 preview premiered at Chapel of Chapel in 2013.

Following this Phoebe continued performing around Melbourne both individually as well as with Vintage acapella quartet ‘Bobby and the Pins’ who’s self-devised cabaret show “Glamping ran a successful season in the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Following this, Phoebe relocated to Toronto, Canada to pursue her performing career where she currently sings for “Sheraton Cadwell” a group of boutique big band orchestras as well as at the hospital for sick children where she runs workshops and sings bedside and in clinics. Phoebe is incredibly thankful for the influence and guidance Denise has had on her life and career and knows she would not be where she is today without her!

 

SALLY LLOYD

Sally Lloyd studied with Denise from the age of eleven through to completing her HSC at the age of eighteen. It wasn’t until moving to Brisbane at the completion of her HSC that she realised that she wanted to pursue a performing career so took acting classes and did a professional dance course. Following this she took a “leap of faith” and moved to London to pursue performing and was successful in auditioning for the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, one of the world’s best schools where she completed a Masters in Musical Theatre.

In 2015 Sally was cast as Medusa in a new musical called Pandora and Myrrhine in Lystrata and Cinderella in a devised production called Big City Dreams. Sally is also passionate about new writing – composer/lyricist and performer. She is now completing a short film in London and performing in a concert performance of Pandora. She is currently auditioning for London shows. Sally has just achieved her Masters in Music Theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.


GRACE GUILD

Another past student, Grace Guild, who is now a music and drama teacher in London has very kindly shared some beautiful words about Denise :
"I loved being a student of Denise’s. She is dedicated and supportive even after I moved away from Port Macquarie to pursue my studies. She was, and still is a person I can call on for support and creative ideas. When you walk into a lesson with Denise you instantly feed comfortable and safe and her warm presence enables you to explore you voice freely. She also caters to your likes and interests and will find material that suits. I learnt a lot from Denise and her teachings have remained with me today. I even use them with my own students with great results!"

 

TROY ALEXANDER

Troy began singing at 14 to secure the role of the Artful Dodger in Oliver, which was great as Troy not only got the role, he found an incredible singing teacher. As a result, Troy performed in many musicals through high school before moving to Sydney to pursue a career in the arts.

Since then Troy has worked on set with some of Australia's greatest directors including Peter Andrikidis, Chris Noonan, and Cherie Nowlan on various shows including Packed to the Rafters, Rescue Special Ops, Crownies, and East West 101 as well as attend master classes from Jason Robert Brown, and Al Pacino. 

Stage work includes lead roles in productions of Mid Summer Nights Dream and King Lear, as well as touring nationally in the musical Pens Down and internationally as Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me Kate. Most recently Troy worked on US series Dark Temptations in a minor role and assistant directed on feature film ‘Teenage Kicks’, both of which are to be released next year. Troy also runs his own company Wooden Horse Productions, which has just completed a season of The Fantasticks and also produced LOVEBiTES in 2014.