West Australian Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the three participants in one of the company’s flagship Young & Emerging Artist programs for 2024.

WASO’s Conducting Fellowship features a year-long schedule of workshops, seminars and podium experiences with WASO ensembles to develop each participant’s musical and technical skills.

Following an extensive application process WASO is pleased to announce that Daniel Corvaia, Sara Duhig and Leanne Puttick will participate in this exciting professional development opportunity with WASO throughout 2024.

Under the guidance of Associate Conductor Jen Winley and the WASO Artistic Planning team, participants will have the opportunity to attend and assist in WASO’s rehearsals across the year, including Masters, MACA Classics, Family, Education and Special Event series concerts.  With access and insight into the wider WASO team, including orchestral management, education and community engagement, the program offers the conductors a broad range of experiences for artistic and professional growth.

The Fellowship is a key pillar in WASO’s sector capacity building initiatives for emerging artists that include participation in the Australian Conducting Academy, the delivery of mentoring and engagement programs like The Composition Project; three side-by-side orchestral programs with student and community musicians; and professional engagements such as Composer in Residence, and the recently announced Associate Conductor position.

From left to right: Daniel Corvaia, Leanne Puttick and Sara Duhig

“Standing in front of WASO is such an extraordinary feeling, and I’m excited to work with these talented local musicians to help develop their skills throughout 2024. The Fellowship is an excellent initiative by WASO that combines mainstage and community professional development experiences for participants to build on their skills and community connections as they grow in the sector.”
– Jen Winley, Associate Conductor

All three participants are experienced West Australian musicians who have worked with WASO and a variety of companies across Perth in recent years. Through the Western Australian Youth Orchestra and UWA, Daniel Corvaia has participated in side-by-side projects with WASO, while Sarah Duhig has performed as a violinist and took part in WASO’s Emerging Conductors program. Leanne Puttick was WASO’s Orchestra Librarian from 2018-2021 and a 2019 Young Artist Conductor with the West Australian Opera.

Every year WASO nurtures a new generation of young and emerging artists, assisting them in finding their pathway into the profession and helping to secure a bright future for music in Australia.

For more information about WASO's Conducting Fellowship, click here.

A graduate of the UWA Conservatorium of Music, mentored by WASO’s Assistant Concertmaster Semra Lee, Daniel holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance (UWA) and an Associate Diploma in violin performance through the AMEB. He has performed with the WA Youth Orchestra, UWA Symphony Orchestra, Cygnus Arioso, and the Australian Youth Orchestra, performing with WASO as part of side-by-side collaborations. While completing conducting training at UWA he served as Assistant Conductor of the Hills Symphony Orchestra and also travelled to Italy to further his studies, attending the Italian Opera Workshop and studied orchestral conducting under the guidance of Maestro György Györiványi Ráth and the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina.


Graduating with a Bachelor of Music Performance in 2008, Sara's early career included performances with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and chamber ensembles. As a founding member of the Perth Symphony Orchestra, she transitioned into conducting as the String Specialist at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School which included directing the premier orchestra combined with Hale School. Sara has recently expanded her conducting portfolio with community orchestras in Perth and, in 2024, collaborates with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and South Side Symphony Orchestra. After her conducting debut with Perth Symphony Orchestra in 2022, Sara has since conducted multiple performances. Sara was a participant in WASO’s Emerging Conductors program in 2022, Perth Symphony Orchestra’s Women on the Podium, and in 2023 studied at the Dartington Summer School in England, participating in the advanced conducting course.


Leanne has completed a Master of Music in Conducting at the Elder Conservatorium of Music and has led various ensembles, including the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Co-Opera, Adelaide Youth Orchestra, West Australian Youth Orchestra, West Australian Opera, and West Australian Young Voices. Named Young Artist Conductor with the West Australian Opera in 2019, she debuted as Conductor for the 2020 production of The Nightingale. Her journey includes participation in international competitions and serving as a conducting fellow with The Australian Youth Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra and the University of Western Australia Choral Society. Leanne also served as WASO’s orchestra librarian from 2018-2021.