On Monday, 18 February, students from the Year 11 and 12 Music classes joined thousands of music students from across NSW to attend the Encore Concert at the Sydney Opera House. Encore is an annual showcase that celebrates the achievements of students from Government, Catholic and Independent schools in NSW who excelled in the HSC Music 1, Music 2 and Music Extension courses during the previous year.
Among the diverse range of exemplary student performances and compositions presented in the concert, several of our students particularly appreciated Marley Rooney’s performance of ‘Beatrice’ by Sam Rivers. Marley completed his HSC at Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts last year and performed on the piano as part of a jazz trio, which included double bass and drums. Our students were impressed by his technical ability and the way he changed the volume of his playing during different sections of the piece to grab the audience’s attention.
Another favourite was the bebop classic ‘KoKo’ by Charlie Parker, performed on alto saxophone at the concert by Tess Overmyer from Hunter School of the Performing Arts. This piece featured an incredibly fast tempo as well as several improvised solos from Tess and some of the other players in her band. Our students witnessed first-hand the excitement created when musicians work together and communicate with one another when performing in a group.
Students also thoroughly enjoyed the energetic rendition of ‘Town Hall Shuffle’ performed on acoustic guitar by Jed Williams from Ballina Coast High School, and Molly Stewart’s performance of ‘Nothing Short of Wonderful’ from the musical Dogfight.
The excursion to Encore was a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the gifts and talents that God has granted others. It was also a welcome encouragement to continue to hone and develop our own musical gifts. Many of our students said they were inspired to practice their instruments more regularly. Others felt challenged to explore other styles and genres of music, strive to attempt more challenging pieces and consider more carefully what repertoire they might select to maximise their achievement in the HSC.
The students who attended are to be congratulated on their positive conduct on the excursion and the way in which they represented our school. We look forward to seeing and hearing more inspired and engaging performances and compositions from our students this year as a result of attending the Encore concert.