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New Horizons for SXS!

Updated: Jun 2

The Southern Cross Soloists bid farewell to Tania Frazer. Core clarinettist, Dr. Ashely Smith, has stepped into the role of Acting Artistic Director, to see out the creative programming for 2024 and to commence the 2025, 30th year creative season for the company.

Tania Frazer, after 14 years of dedication to delivering excellence in music making as Artistic Director, has resigned. We wish Tania well in her future endeavours and take this opportunity as the Board of Directors and Management to thank Tania for her dedication and long service to the Company. Tania began as a core member of SXS in 2001 and rose to the Artistic Directorship position in 2011.  She continued to deliver beyond excellence until May 2024. It cannot be overestimated Tania’s contribution to the Company and her skills and strengths in leading, playing, programming, and arranging.

The Chair of Board of Directors, Marg O’Donnell AO spoke of Tania’s long service:

SXS core member since 2015, clarinettist Dr. Ashley Smith had this to say of his time with Tania and his new creative directorship role:

“My very first encounter with the Southern Cross Soloists was not as a clarinettist, but as an emergency page turner! I was a student at the Australian National Academy of Music where the ensemble was performing a program of new Australian works. Backstage, the then pianist, Kevin Power, remarked, ‘don’t bother sitting down, the pages go by at the speed of light.’  The performance started, and this exhilarating surge of sonic energy erupted. It was my first encounter of being onstage with a cast of virtuoso musicians – it was a moment that inspired me to become the musician that I am today. Kevin's words now seem eerily prophetic of my future with the ensemble. 

Tania Frazer and I would first play together not in Southern Cross Soloists, but in the opening bars of my Grand Final performance for the ABC Young Performer Awards. It was this moment that triggered my involvement with the ensemble from 2014 onwards. 


I am honoured to lead the next chapter of Southern Cross Soloists as Artistic Director and I pay tribute to Tania Frazer in charting a path which has had a significant impact on the musical and wider arts ecology both across Queensland and the nation. I am excited to work with the musicians, staff, board, and stakeholders to build on the great foundations that have been laid. The greatest asset of Southern Cross Soloists, however, is its audience and their willingness to explore humanity through music. I am humbled to guide the audience and the artists through to the ensemble's 30th Anniversary next year.” SXS Acting Artistic Director, Dr. Ashley Smith


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