Band Bonanza and Generations in Jazz

By Amanda Bertschinger,

  Filed under: Middle School, Music, Senior School

In a flurry of activity at the end of Term 1, the bands of St John’s Grammar had an exceptional fortnight of musical rehearsal and performance. On April 4, Big Bands 1, 2 and 3, The Saxophone Ensemble and the year 7, 8 and 9 class bands all performed exceptionally well at the annual Band Bonanza. It was pleasing to hear all of the ensembles perform with great enthusiasm and energy, especially when it was so early in the year. The students all enjoyed the evening in the John Bray Centre and it was a great opportunity for the classroom bands to perform for the first time together and the Big Bands to perform their material in preparation for Generations in Jazz.

The Big Bands were not finished though as the following week, the students in Big Bands 1 and 2 were treated to four hours of rehearsal with the highly acclaimed, Ross Irwin (from the Cat Empire). The students were very eager to learn from Ross and his educational impact on the students was very obvious in the following weeks.

Congratulations also go to the 56 students who represented St John’s Grammar at Generations In Jazz in Mount Gambier earlier this month. Our students worked hard in the lead up to the event and were rewarded with a memorable weekend celebrating music. GIJ is an invaluable experience, with students performing in a unique environment in front of a large audience and receiving detailed feedback from the adjudicators. They also watch other schools and professional musicians perform and come back to School inspired! This year we had students attend from Years 7 to 12, so it is also a great opportunity to make new friends and develop leadership skills.

A highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night, when over 5,000 school students from 130 schools came together in the world’s largest modular tent, for an amazing concert featuring James MorrisonLizz WrightKurt Elling, Joey DeFrancesco and Rickey Woodard. It was during this concert that Year 12 trombonist, Ben Ransom was announced as a member of the 2019 Division 2 ‘Superband’ – well done Ben!

A big thank you to the staff for their hard work in the lead up to the weekend and to the many parents and relatives who travelled to Mount Gambier to cheer our musicians on!

Leith Stutterd

Director of Bands