A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Marion, South Australia
Early Learning to Year 12

Director of Music - Edition 12 - 2019

ABODA SA Band Festival 2019

It was another successful Festival for 125 ensembles over three days, and our Westminster Ensembles conducted themselves very well. While some ensembles entered for the experience only and chose not to compete, all groups benefited greatly from the experience. Most of our ensembles received a Silver Award in an environment that continues to improve across the board.

The most outstanding results this year came from our Senior Concert Band and Big Band 1. The Concert Band performed a challenging repertoire of two pieces, 'A Country Mile', the set piece for the Advanced Concert Band section, and 'Amazing Grace', a difficult piece that was well executed. The Concert Band received a Gold Award.

Big Band 1 also received a Gold Award and won the Advanced Big Band Section for 2019. This was certainly a great achievement. Big Band 1 performed 'Thanks Hank', the set piece that was written as a tribute to Henry Mancini and 'When Sunny Gets Blue', with an alto saxophone feature performed by Tyler Leung. The overall performance received praise from the adjudicators and Big Band 1 were judged the best Big Band for the competition.

Congratulations go to all students involved in this event. It’s always a great pleasure to host this but would not be possible without the support of the School, and especially the Friends of Music for running the canteen over the three days of the Festival. Thanks to Donna Dunbar who not only supported the Friends of Music but actively supported the ABODA committee throughout the Festival.

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A delirious Big Band 1 after winning the Advanced Section of the ABODA SA Band Festival.
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The Gold Award winning Senior Concert Band in action on stage.

Vocal Jazz Performances

Our Vocal Jazz Ensemble have been highly sought after this term. They were honoured to perform in the Shirley Jeffries Chapel, and again at the funeral for the very sad passing of Year 8 student Mitch Grigg. VJ1 also performed at the Marion Church of Christ on Sunday 18 August to a very welcoming crowd.

We have accepted invitations to sing the National Anthem at this year’s Mens' and Womens' Soccer Grand Finals, both which are being held at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday 14 September, and then Soccer SA's night of nights, the presentation and awards ceremony at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Thanks to Ms Chris Gould, Ms Sue Rodger and the students in Vocal Jazz all of their efforts at all of these events.

Music Night 2019 - As Time Goes By

Tickets for Music Night 2019 are now on sale!

This year's Music Night will be held on Friday 13 September in the MMC. As well as featuring many of our major groups, we will welcome back a number of our Old Scholars - last count was 25! They will join some of our ensembles and do a few items themselves.

This promises to be a wonderful night of music and reminiscing the past, celebrating the present and being excited by the future!

Tickets will be on sale next week via www.trybooking.com/BDGBC.

Please come along and support our past and present students in a great night of music.

Rock Bands at the Jade Monkey

On Thursday 29 August the Junior and Senior Rock Bands plus the Senior Jazz Ensemble are performing at the Jade Monkey on Flinders Street (Corner Flinders and Pulteney). The gig starts at 6.00 pm and will run for around 90 minutes. Everyone is very welcome. There is no charge for this event.

The Junior and Senior Rock Bands at a recent lunchtime performance in the Cloisters.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra - Big Rehearsal 2019

Each year instrumental students are encouraged to submit an application to be part of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Big Rehearsal. If successful, students are sent a programme of music for one of three different levels of ensemble Junior (Strings only), Intermediate (full symphony orchestra) or Advanced (full symphony orchestra) which they then have several weeks to prepare with their instrumental teachers. On the day of the Big Rehearsal students rehearse side-by-side with their ASO mentor and then several hours later family and friends are invited to a performance of the music they have prepared. It is always an impressive concert and really inspiring to see what the students can achieve with hard work, passion and the guidance of their ASO mentor.

This year seven Westminster students were part of the Big Rehearsal - Jeffrey Wang (Viola), Charlotte Insanally (Violin), Diya Patel (Violin), Freddie Ramley-Peck (Percussion), Olivia Moody (Violin), William Lam (Violin), and Jack McDonald (Oboe).

“I really enjoyed being able to play with the ASO and especially working with Emma who is a violinist in the ASO. The sound was amazing when we all played together.” Charlotte

‘I’m really grateful for being given the opportunity to play in the ASO Big Rehearsal. I rehearsed with a lovely ASO musician followed by a concert for family and friends, this gave me a chance to develop my music skills further. Overall, it was a great experience and I would love to do it again’. Diya

Congratulations to the students and thank you to their families who continue to support them in their musical pursuits.

Jenny Symonds
Violin/Viola Teacher

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Freddie at the Big Rehearsal last week.

Michael Degenhart
Director of Music