BlogTrailblazerEllery Joyce – MLC School, Sydney | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2021

Ellery Joyce – MLC School, Sydney | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2021

Trailblazer Ellery Joyce

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders, build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, learn key career skills in our 3-day Pathfinder Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Ellery navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2021!

Introducing: Ellery Joyce

Category: Arts & Music

School: MLC School, Sydney

Career Aspiration: University Academic in Composition/Musicology


  • Composed ‘Prayer F’, a vocal composition 
  • Second Place in the Monash University Emerging Composer Prize
  • Awarded the Spirit of Chamber Music Prize and Vocal Award 
  • Traveled Internationally as part of Sydney Children’s Choir

What makes Ellery a Trailblazer?

While completing school and the HSC, Ellery was able to explore her passion for music. She single-handedly composed ‘Prayer in F’ which explored the sounds and sensations of the devastating 2019-2020 Australian Bushfires. The vocal composition was inspired by Ellery’s work with bushfire-affected communities and her own personal close friend. ‘Prayer in F’ was awarded the Spirit of Chamber Music Prize, Strike a Chord – Vocal Award in Music Viva’s National Chamber Music Competition and most impressively second place in the prestigious Monash University Emerging Composer Prize.

Originally written for a children’s chorus, Ellery spent up to 60 hours writing the piece, with an additional 20 hours adapting the piece for the school’s vocal consort, and consistently led weekly 2 hour rehearsals with the ensemble. Throughout the process of rehearsing and creating, Ellery was forced to adapt her piece to fit the specific performers’ capabilities, a significant skill needed in all great leaders. Ellery was ultimately able to let her musical skills develop as she found herself working out of her comfort zone. The highly experimental nature of ‘Prayer in F’ uses percussion and innovative vocal techniques to elevate the piece. 

Ellery Joyce - activity

As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the music industry dearly, and indeed Ellery experienced the hardships of working towards a career in music in a changing world. After being dedicated to music for over 10 years, Ellery was unfortunately not able to perform in public for nearly 2 years! Still Ellery persisted in Music despite lockdown — evolving her approach from composing for live music to exploring the connection between technology and music, offering further diversity in her skillset.

But, Ellery’s music endeavours don’t stop there! Ellery has also traveled internationally as an elected leader of the Sydney Children’s Choir and has been a member of the Gondwana National Choirs for nearly seven years! And, in 2019, Ellery completed a week of work experience at the Sydney Conservatorium under the direction of Dr. James Humberstone, where she was able to shadow music academics and attend university classes in musical theory and history!

Ellery has also gained leadership experience in a range of music-related clubs, such as the Years 7-12 Composition Club where she offered personal mentoring to a number of younger students to nurture their love of music and composition. Ellery also facilitated showcases to share her peer’s results.  

After high school, Ellery intends to become a university academic in composition/musicology, supporting others to develop their own compositional practice. She is eager to continue exploring a variety of musical performance mediums! 

“I had to develop a diverse mindset within my compositional practice, stepping outside my comfort zone and using sounds I had not included in previous compositions.”

After reading about Ellery’s passion and innovation in the Music industry it is clear she is truly worthy of of a place in our Top 50 Trailblazers!

The Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

45,861 students have a head start...

Get exclusive study content & advice from our team of experts delivered weekly to your inbox!

AOS Website Asset 2

Looking for Academic Support?

Discover how we can help you!

AOS Website Asset 1