"Students that play in these groups don’t just aspire to be capable musicians; more importantly, they develop an exceptional drive for excellence, a high degree of resilience and a focused determination to do their best" - Dr Julie Garner
Just six months after ACG Parnell College’s symphony orchestra was established the ensemble has won a Gold Award at the 2019 KBB Music Festival competition and received a special award for the “Best Performance of a New Zealand Work” for their rendition of NZ composer David Hamilton’s ‘Coming Together’.
Performing Arts Curriculum Coordinator and teacher Dr Julie Garner says the students gave inspired, energetic performances and the awards are a reflection of their hard work, practice and teamwork.
“Our competitive ensembles work hard throughout the year to build their skills in order to compete at this level. Each ensemble rehearses weekly and we have some weekend workshops and camps to work on team building and provide the opportunity for students to focus on their craft more intensively.”
The school’s Big Band won silver in the competition and was also awarded “Best Performance of a New Zealand Work” for their performance of ‘Wes d’ Money’, written by the band’s director Neil Watson.
In total there were close to 100 students from ACG Parnell College who took part in the KBB competition, with instruments ranging from the harp and strings, to timpani and tuba.
The KBB Music Festival has been running for over 30 years and this year’s event saw more 4500 students from 50 schools taking part.
“Our school has been competing in this competition for the past six years. The standard of playing within the competition is increasing each year but, fortunately, so is the standard of music at our school.”
Winning awards isn’t the only reward for the students who are putting in time and energy to become better musicians, according to Dr Garner.
“Students that play in these groups don’t just aspire to be capable musicians; more importantly, they develop an exceptional drive for excellence, a high degree of resilience and a focused determination to do their best. In other words, they develop, and ultimately exhibit, the very characteristics that we look for in good learners in the classroom.”
Earlier this year some of the school’s musicians took part in the Australian International Music Festival at the Sydney Opera House and plans are being made to perform at another international music festival in 2020, but for now, the focus is on preparing for the ACG Combined Schools Concert on September 19 at the Vodafone Events Centre.
“The combined concert will be an exciting opportunity to share our love of music with other ACG Schools.”