On Sunday 18th September, 50 of our Music students, 3 staff and 2 Instrumental Music teachers set off at 7am for The Queensland Catholic Music Festival, at Villanova College in Cooparoo, Brisbane. This is a non-competitive 3 day festival event focused on performing, networking, experience of new repertoire and styles, and above all raising standards and building ensemble-mindedness as the students support and get to know each other better. This year, in order to minimise disruption to our students’ academic school week, we were able to work with the Festival organisers to hold all of our performances on the one day in the weekend, while still providing plenty of time in between events for participants to socialise, see other schools and other genres of music (including jazz). We took 4 ensembles – Concert Band, Vocal Group and our two extension ensembles (STCC Stage Band and Soul Collective) who performed in 4 different sections and different venues, including indoor and outdoor and St James Church. The real value of these awards is that they don’t duplicate competitive eisteddfod aims, but are instead criteria (standards) based, so students come away with a good sense of their level of achievement, while supporting and cheering on all other creative work by the various schools in their section. Schools readily shared equipment between warm-up rooms and students laughed, chatted and made music and friends backstage. By 4pm, three of our ensemble were heading home with 3 major awards - a Gold (for Soul Collective who presented a standout 12 minute set) and 2 Silver (for Concert Band and Vocal Group). A special mention to our Soul Collective vocalists – Maggie Aitken, Ruby Pate Macdonald and Jade Gower – who earned individual Excellence Awards and glowing praise from the adjudicators! Waving them goodbye, our Stage band members stayed on into the night with Brad and myself, for their performance in a late final section, so were absolutely thrilled to also achieve a Gold award amidst peers of an incredibly high standard. Arriving back at the College at 11pm we were all weary but convinced of a day well spent and are extremely proud of all 50 students, not only of course for their application of skill, but for the genuine camaraderie and good will with which they represented our College. Thanks to our staff, Brad Smith and Margit Cruice, who so generously volunteered their weekend with me in order for us to make this experience possible, and additionally to our two ensemble leaders Andy Eastwood and Charlotte Bradshaw, who also attended to lead their ensembles. Thanks also to all of the instrumental teachers who have helped prepare our musicians in the leadup to the event. These performances will be repeated for our College community at the upcoming Music Showcase Night at The J.
Soul Collective performing at QCMF.