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 State Honours Ensemble Program 2014

In the second week of the September holidays, over seven hundred students across Queensland’s high schools were nominated and selected to attend the State Honours Ensemble Program located at Griffith University Conservatorium, South Bank Brisbane. This program provides young musicians across the state with the opportunity to perform music in a world-class environment, growing and enhancing in skills and abilities, and further, rehearsing under the tutelage of a team of eminent international and national conductors. Students were selected as either a Voice, String, Wind, Brass or Percussion instrumentalist and further, were categorized into the according ensembles. From Xavier Catholic College, three students were originally selected (Nicola Barnes, Tobias Jaculli, Brandon Woods), with another three placed as a reserve (Hayley Damms, Jenna McLean, Lexi Ryan), to be granted or placed with the opportunity to attend SHEP 2014. Of the six musically talented students, Hayley Damms, Tobias Jaculli and Jenna McLean, were able to take up this amazing opportunity and travel down to Brisbane on the 2nd of October to attend a four-day intensive program.

Upon arrival students were categorised into a selection of wind, vocal and string ensembles, and were allocated a rehearsal time slot being either the morning session from 7:30am – 1pm, or the afternoon session from 1pm – 6:30pm. Over the next four days, each ensemble were assigned particular repertoire, and spent six hours each day rehearsing this music and preparing for the final performance on Sunday the 5th of October. As the repertoire selected was quite challenging and in depth, students were required to dedicate a lot of time, commitment and effort in order to achieve a remarkable final performance. After three days of intense rehearsal, Sunday saw all of the music ensemble’s hard work pay off as friends and family of all participants involved gathered in the Conservatorium Theatre to view and listen to the final performances of each ensemble.

The Queensland State Honours Ensemble Program differs dramatically from high school music ensembles as it is designed to bring together the finest young musicians and provide them with an environment like that of a professional wind, vocal or string ensemble. Overall, this program was an amazing experience and opportunity for all who were involved, and one in which all musically talented students should aspire to attend.

 Jenna McLean

Yr 12 Student

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