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News > Alumni > Sid Acharya Class of 2016

Sid Acharya Class of 2016

Sid’s commitment to his dual passions - pushing scientific boundaries and crafting music - reflect a profound dedication to a fulfilling and balanced life, albeit with a a hectic schedule.
13 Mar 2024
Written by Lucinda Gray
Sid Acharya receiving his Best Original Score Award
Sid Acharya receiving his Best Original Score Award

At just 24 years of age, Sid Acharya, a graduate of Newcastle Grammar School’s class of 2016, is a true advocate for career fluidity. His post-school pathway, both intricate and multifaceted, embraces the intersection of seemingly different worlds, and proves that success is not a linear path.

Born in India and raised in the United Kingdom, Sid emigrated with his family to Australia in 2009. His arrival at Newcastle Grammar School in Year 5 laid the initial foundation for what would eventually become a true love of the arts. He credits the environment of music at NGS for commencing the journey of his evolving artistic identity. “I still have a lot of voice memos on my phone of me and my friends jamming out in the music basement. To have access to all kinds of instruments was very special.” His exposure to the Symphony Orchestra and the mentorship of Mr Sherringham in the Music department fuelled his creative spark, planting seeds that would flourish in the years to come. “I think we are surrounded by music subconsciously, without even knowing it. It was only after school that I realised how much of an impact it had on me,” he says.

Like many young adults on the brink of graduation and eager to make a meaningful mark in the world, Sid was unsure which post-school path to pursue. Armed with a love for science and a keen interest in computers, Sid undertook a Bachelor of Information Technology with a Media major at the University of Newcastle. It was this decision that uncovered his passion for film, leading him into the areas of cinematography, editing, and ultimately, film composition. A group assignment saw Sid produce his first film score: the soundtrack to a documentary made for a university class. His music was embraced by his peers, and Sid gradually became the go-to composer for his classmates' projects.

While his artistic pursuits were taking off, Sid’s love for science was still strong. Keen to discover how he could further explore balancing his diverse passions, he enrolled in a second degree. Specialising in medical biotechnology, Sid dived into the microscopic world, exploring the intricacies of proteins within the placenta. His PhD journey is a quest to find a cure for stillbirth, an area that piqued his interest after undertaking a Mothers and Babies Research Program placement at the Hunter Medical Research Institute.

Sid’s commitment to his dual passions, pushing scientific boundaries and crafting music, reflect a profound dedication to a fulfilling and balanced life. Despite a hectic schedule, he embraces his two worlds with equal parts enthusiasm and dedication. His holistic approach to life mirrors the very essence of Newcastle Grammar School's emphasis on a well-rounded education.

As both a composer and a scientist, Sid sees the creative process as a shared language. His science drives his creativity, and his creativity helps him to uncover meaning in science. The scientific method, with its hypothesising, testing, and editing, mirrors the process of crafting a musical composition. His parallel between the two subjects are nothing new, as he observed, "A lot of scientists in my field that I've met are creatives as well, in one way or another, whether it's visual art or music specifically."

With millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube, Sid's music has found a global audience. His compositions have been the soundtrack to campaigns with NASA, Sony and Arsenal Football Club, and he has soundtracked award-winning feature films which have been released on streaming platforms such as Stan, Apple TV and Amazon Prime. His work has found him listed as a candidate for the Australian Academy of Cinema Television (AACTA) Awards, hosted on the Gold Coast in March 2024, with the possibility of being nominated for Best Original Score.

Residing in Newcastle and currently working towards his PhD, Sid plans to present his research within Australia and around the world at upcoming conferences including Canada 2024, Germany 2025, and Japan in 2026. He collaborates widely with leading scientists at the University of Melbourne and University of Wollongong, and with biotechnology industry partners as part of his specific PhD project. With no plans to slow down any time soon, Sid credits his time at NGS for developing his steadfast dedication. “What NGS taught me was discipline and perseverance. Not just in academics, but in all areas of life.”

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