Isabella (Bella) Thomas is a kiwi trumpeter hailing from Auckland’s North Shore. In 2023, Bella is undertaking her second year of study at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), with teachers Yoram Levy (principal trumpet, TSO) and David Elton (principal trumpet, SSO).
Bella completed her Bachelor of Music in 2021 at the Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), under the tutelage of Mark Carter (2018-19) and Matthew Stein (2020-21).
Bella's achievements over the last couple of years include: playing in Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony as principal trumpet of the NZ National Youth Orchestra (NYO) alongside the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO); winning the title of NZ’s Champion Brass Band (2018-2022) as a member of Wellington Brass; touring the South Island with the NZSO in 2021; placing as a finalist for both the NZSM and Wellington Youth Orchestra concerto competitions in 2021; and, performing in a wide variety of fun gigs since moving to Melbourne in February of 2022. At the 2021 NYO course, Bella was awarded the Bill Clayton Memorial Scholarship, selected by conductor Gemma New. In the 2022 NYO course, Fabian Russell awarded Bella with the Alex Lindsay Award Special Prize.
Since 2018, Bella has been an aspiring orchestral trumpeter. Whilst living in New Zealand, Bella was a casual musician of Orchestra Wellington, and played in several concerts with the NZSO.
Bella likes to play a smorgasbord of genres. Aside from the usual orchestral concerts, ballets, and operas, Bella is an eager brass bander, and dabbles in the big band scene. She also recently joined a Melbourne-based mariachi band called Mariachi Los Romanticos.
When Bella is not practising the trumpet, she can be found binge-watching TV shows, scooping gelato at Piccolina Gelateria, and swimming. Bella is a social butterfly, and always manages to twist someone's arm into going for a coffee break at the Convent Bakery. She is also very grateful to have a lot of extended family spread throughout Melbourne.
Bella’s training at ANAM is supported by ANAM Syndicate donors Robert Gibbs and Tony Wildman, Rowan Streiff, Ann Grant, Lee Palmer, Ken Schroder, Sarah and Marylou Orloff, Celia Dann, Peter and Annie Duncan, Joanna Flynn AM and Joan Bruton, Cynthia and David O'Keefe
Photo credit Pia Johnson