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RAW Arts 2020: Performing Arts

The scholarship is awarded to an artist who shows exceptional talent in their chosen field and demonstrates a strong desire to continue in this field. The Performing Arts category is not judged on a single performance but seeks to reward a young performing artist who combines skill with a passion to take their art further.


Charlie DAvis-Tope


The Judges said: “Charlie displays a kind of raw talent that is clearly driven by a love of music. He has shown to be versatile, resourceful, and his music, regardless of his many styles, feels authentic.”

Charlie Davis-Tope

Charlie is an aspiring musician as well as a pretty decent ice hockey player! His main musical influences are Ray Charles and Oscar Peterson but he also has a love classical, instrumental, electronic and gaming music.

Charlie has played keyboard for 5 years but only 3 years of formal training and he is also active as a composer, writer and singer.

He has given many Bendigo Senior Secondary School Performances as well as at the Strathfieldsaye Christmas Concert, Jazz at The Old Church on the Hill and busking. In 2019 he won the BSSC Musician of the Year “People’s Choice Award” and is the writer/performer of “Buried for Australia” which honours the black diggers of WWI.

Jade Cuskelly


Jade Cuskelly

For as long as I can remember, I have been very passionate about singing.

I am part of the Bendigo South East Academy of Creative Arts program and have been in multiple musicals with Bendigo Theatre Company, Nexus, Bendigo South East and I am currently involved with Arena Theatre Company.

Through my career I have been very fortunate to have been given support and mentoring by a range of talented people like Kristy Woodward, Jolyon James, Kristen Beever, Julie Lovell and Cynthia Holsworth are just to name a few.

My future is definitely with the performing arts. I love the stage and hope to one day make it to Broadway.

Kaley MacRae

Kaley MacRae

My name is Kaley MacRae, I’m 15 years old and in year 10. I’ve always loved music and it’s always been a part of my life. When I was little I would walk around my house with a camera and record myself making up songs.

I’m inspired by a lot of things but especially by my great grandparents: they were always there for me and always loved to hear my love for music.

I had never had a lesson in singing until last year when I joined an amazing program called ACA (Academy of Creative Arts). This program helped develop me as an artist and a student.

My highlights in music was being able to sing at both of my great grandparents’ funerals as this was my first time singing in front of people. My other highlight is being able to share my love for music with others.

I want to be able to share my music to others and make them see my journey as an artist. I love being able to write original songs but also challenging myself to learn other music.

Taylah Chisholm

Taylah Chisholm

My name is Taylah Chisholm and I’m 18 years old. I began performing arts back in 2016, when some of my friends told me to try it. Since then, I’ve been in many local productions, performances and concerts.

I’ve taken singing lessons from a few people including Albert Skipper, Adam Lyon and now Kerry Lorenz. A few of the shows I’ve been involved in are ‘Les Misérables’ as Eponine (2019) and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ as Meg Giry (2017) with Nexus BYT, ‘Grease’ (2018) with Tribe Youth Theatre and ‘Wicked’ as Mother/dance ensemble (2019) with Bendigo Theatre Company.

My biggest highlight of my career is definitely being asked to sing for the role of Elphaba in BTC’s ‘Wicked’ for a few shows which instantly improved my confidence. In the future, I would love to continue theatre professionally as that’s where my heart is.

Nay Ye Thwey Aung

Nay Ye Thwey Aung

Nay Ye Thwey is a sixteen-year-old artist who has an ever-growing passion for the arts. He has achieved great things in 2019, namely writing and producing a 16-track album that he released on all major streaming services earlier this May. This landed him an active collaborative relationship with Sony Music, Australia, and he has since been quietly working with the label to put out a project sometime next year.

Nay started writing his own music in grade 6, he claims it wasn’t very good, but every day since then he has spent all of his spare time honing his craft. He is very motivated and has a strong drive for original composition, wanting the world to hear what he has to say in his music.

He is currently at the stage of producing an EP, but Nay hopes to finish year 12 before he signs any contracts and pursues music full-time.

Hannah Whillance

Hannah Whillance

I began my musical journey with piano lessons from Cheryl Long when I was 5. Cheryl inspired me to work hard and put passion into playing music and I am now in year nine working towards my Eighth-grade exam. In grade 6, I commenced saxophone lessons with Dr Michael Lichnovsky and completed my Fourth-grade exam by the end of that year.

When I started at BSE, my teacher Warwick Cohen helped me complete my Fifth-grade exam. During my time at BSE, I have enjoyed being a member of Stage Band and Senior Concert Band and have learned so much from my teacher Stephen Briggs.

Some of my major highlights include being awarded first place at the National Bernstein Piano Competition and performing and improvising on saxophone with a professional band at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. My future goal is to complete my AMusA piano exam.

Maya Flood

Maya Flood

I began playing the clarinet and alto saxophone in 2016, after I was signed up to the instrumental music program at Catherine McAuley College. Since then, I have developed a strong passion for music and clarinet playing, and I hope to forge a successful career in the music industry as an orchestral musician.

My artistic inspiration comes from Swedish clarinettist Martin Frost and the way he conducts himself on stage, engaging his audience through his performances. Within my own performances, I try to connect with my audience in a similar way.

Throughout the years I have been taught by some amazing musicians, with Ashleigh Yeates, Deborah Ross and Catherine Moore all teaching me music and performance through my schooling.

In the future my goal is to attend the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, eventually earning myself a PhD in the field of music performance.


Tara Muscatello

My name is Tara Muscatello and I am an eighteen-year-old singer, songwriter, rapper and guitarist.

I have always loved to sing and perform but it wasn’t until year seven, when I first moved to Bendigo, that I truly discovered my unwavering passion for music. I am inspired by other artists, different genres, personal experiences and failures and I always strive to do and be my best and try to pick up as much as I can to improve and further develop as an artist and performer.

I have been lucky enough to have been taught by Adam Lyon and Nelson Gardner and have learnt an incredible amount from both of them.

Some of my highlights include performing at the 2018 National Artlands Gala, singing on the local radio and honestly a highlight for me is the feeling of pride and achievement that I get after every gig I do.

My ultimate dream is to be a recording artist so to try and reach that dream I am hoping to begin my bachelor of contemporary music at the Australian Institute of Music in 2021.

Rosalind Porter

Rosalind Porter

My name is Rosalind Porter and I am 13 years old. Two years ago I started singing and last year I started acting.

I have lived in Bendigo for three years now and this is my first time doing Raw Arts. I have singing lessons at Bendigo South East College and I acting lessons with the Academy of Creative Arts at BSE.

This year I am a part of Nexus BYT’s production of Oliver. I have also done Wakakirri in Canberra, and I was a part of the school choir at my old school in Canberra.

Gemma Chisholm

Gemma Chisholm

My name is Gemma Chisholm and I’m 13 years old. I’ve been dancing for 8 years of which 7 of those were at CMS Dance Worx under Carlie Sutton. I was taught many dance styles but classical was the main focus.

Last year I moved to Start Studio, where I’m taught by Shantelle Rathbone, to pursue my dream in theatrical dance. I’m also in my second year of dancing in the ACA program at Bendigo South East College. For my first showcase, I was chosen to perform my own contemporary solo which I choreographed myself.

I have also performed as a lead dancer in the Bendigo Christmas Concert for the past two years which raises money for Bendigo Health.

I love to dance as it makes me feel happy and free. My dream would be to become a professional dancer and perform on stages all around the world.

Charlie Clark

Charlie Clark

Charlie Clark is currently in year 12 at Bendigo Senior Secondary College and has a devoted love for all aspects of the arts since she can remember.

Charlie's preferred medium to work in is body painting and photography. Not only does she love visuals arts but performing arts as well. She plays piano, saxophone, guitar and is currently studying classical vocals and opera with Merlyn Quaife.

Her greatest inspirations in her music and art are David Bowie, Björk, Florence + The Machine, FKA Twigs, Popovy Sisters, Matthew Stone and Iris Van Herpen. She loves these artists for their eclectic and androgynous style and avante-garde qualities.

She hopes in the future to see herself in a successful career where she is able to combine these two creative passions.