Dr Thomas Peter Laue is a music performer, conductor, educator, composer, and researcher. Born in Hong Kong with Australian citizenship, he holds positions as Lecturer in Music at the ANU School of Music, Senior Carillonist at the National Carillon, Canberra, and Director of the ANU Handbell Ensemble. Thomas completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the ANU in 2006 with First-class Honours and a double major in Piano Performance and Music Language and Techniques. In 2012, Thomas completed his doctoral studies in aural skills pedagogy at the ANU School of Music. His thesis, The role of performance in aural harmony: Discovering, classifying, and evaluating pedagogical approaches, contains detailed descriptions and analyses of 89 unique classroom activities that intersect aural skills and harmony pedagogy as observed and collected from 10 tertiary music institutions in the US, Sweden, Norway, and Japan.
Thomas is a passionate educator. He began lecturing and tutoring the ANU’s Aural courses since 2008 under the supervision of Associate Professor Bengt-Olov “Olle” Palmqvist, one of his most treasured mentors in this field, and with whom he has studied and researched alongside for a decade. Further training in aural skills pedagogy was completed in 2009, when Thomas pursued six weeks of study at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with highly respected pedagogue Professor Per-Gunnar Alldahl. Since 2013, Thomas has been invited by the ANU School of Music and the National Capital Authority to teach (and conduct) handbell groups and carillon.
As a performer, Thomas began studying piano at age 3 and probably gave his début public performance at his primary school assembly in 1992. About 20 years later, after much singing and playing on various traditional instruments, he became a Canberra Carillonist in January 2013, following six months of study on the Australia’s heaviest concert under Lead Carillonist Lyn Fuller. Three months later, he was promoted to the position of Senior Carillonist following assessment by esteemed American carilloneur Karel Keldermans. He has since presented hundreds of concerts and commemorative recitals, with repertoire ranging from ‘classical’ transcriptions, through improvisatory jazz and pop arrangements, to technically and artistically demanding contemporary music written specifically for the instrument. His approach to performance on the carillon is indebted to his training on modern piano and fortepiano under the expert tutelage of Professor Geoffrey Lancaster and Emeritus Professor Larry Sitsky. In 2013, he formed Parillax Trio with Benn Sutcliffe and Veronica Bailey, creating a unique, acoustically complementary combination of carillon, amplified saxophone and percussion. In 2014, Parillax Trio presented a concert of six world premieres written by local and international composers, including Larry Sitsky’s Trio No. 8: The Setting of Ra-Harakhte (Atum) and Thomas’s Rhapsody in Three.
Thomas has been the recipient of scholarships and awards recognising his academic and artistic achievements, including the ANU National Undergraduate Scholarship (2003), the ANU Ph.D. Scholarship and the Professor H. Burton Scholarship in Music (2006), and the Friends of the School of Music Transition Award (2014). In 2014, Thomas was entered into the Seventh International Carillon Competition ‘Queen Fabiola’, where he presented both solo repertoire on European-standard carillons and alongside a string orchestra and solo clarinetist, giving the world premiere performance of Geert D’hollander’s Elegy. He was the first Australian entrant in the prestigious competition’s 27-year history, regarded as ‘the Olympics of the carillon’, and was awarded 3rd Prize competing against experienced carilloneurs from around the world.
Together with ANU students, alumni, and members of the local community, Thomas founded the Canberra Handbell Ensemble (now the ANU Handbell Ensemble) in Canberra’s centenary year. The 14-member group performs on a five-octave set of Whitechapel handbells and since 2013 has presented several high-profile public performances, including a Christmas concert at the Calvary Retirement Community Hall, at the top level of the National Carillon tower, at the National Capital Exhibition, and at ANU Open Days.