Andrew:Thank you for your company once again. Look we’re at St Columban’s College and they’re doing something quite innovative. It’s been going for a few years now. It’s all about showcasing the talent of children, but there are many other benefits. To have a chat about it, we’re with Greg McCormack. Greg, how are you?
Greg:I’m well thanks Andrew.
Andrew:Great. Tell us all about the concert band spectacular.
Greg:Well the concert band spectacular is an amazing opportunity for students from all across southeast Queensland to come over here to St Columban’s College in Caboolture to showcase their talents. Be that through the concert band or the many different ensembles. Right the way from this year we’ve got some recorder ensembles, strings, brass, woodwind and percussion as well as a whole heap of other wonderful music groups here to showcase their talents. We’ve got a mixture of age groups right the way from early years primary school up to right the way senior, grade 12 high school. So a very vast range of students and different abilities. All coming to showcase what they can do and to also engage in the music abilities of other like minded musicians.
Andrew:Yeah you’ve mentioned that you’ve got school children coming from all across Southeast Queensland. So some of them are travelling some sort of a distance. For a young person that has this as an experience, how does it enhance their experiences going through school and maybe with their musical talents but also elsewhere.
Greg:The co-curricular and the instrumental music programs run so well together within the school along with their actual curriculum capabilities. It helps to teach our students the ability to socialise with others as well as to multitask and work on those more intricate skills they have in life. Like time management with their assessment and keeping everything up to date while meeting all of their other needs throughout their schooling career and their schooling life.
It’s just an absolutely fantastic opportunity. Students really love having that opportunity to be able to express themselves creatively. Whether that be through music or through the arts in another way. It’s an area that they don’t always have an opportunity when they’re here at school to be able to really express themselves. So the co-curricular programme in schools is vital for students to be able to really get the most out of their education.
Andrew:Greg, you mentioned assessment on a day there will be Judges present. What are they looking for?
Greg:Adjudicators here on the day will be looking for the ability that our students have and that all the students have for their musicianship. Whether it be through being able to play together as a group. So you’ve got the consistency across the ensemble. Their technique with their individual instruments. Some of them are playing more than one instrument at a time or across the different ensembles which is absolutely fantastic to see. Their ability to follow the conductor is a big thing as well as their rhythm and their notation.
Andrew:Now this is open to the public and this is quite exciting. Is this likely to be and entertaining day for say somebody in the southeast region that might want to make the trip and check this out?
Greg:Oh absolutely. We’re going to have some absolutely amazing groups here performing. Particularly when we come up to the end of our Saturday programme where we have our more experienced students with the jazz programme and the secondary concert bands. They are going to be absolutely outstanding performances. We also have a lot of amazing performers within our primary school area as well that you just will be absolutely stunned with what they can produce at such a young age.
Andrew:Now for people that want to find out more information about this, how do they best do that?
Greg:Some of the best ways to keep in contact with what we’re doing is via our concert band spectacular website. We also do have our concert band spectacular Facebook page which you’re able to, it’s a public group, easily able to locate that if you just search for concert band spectacular. We are keeping all of those avenues updated as we go along. Another way to find out some more information is just to contact the school here at St Columban’s College in Caboolture.
Andrew:As far as the cultural perspective goes, bringing different people together where they may have different sub-cultures just within a different schools, is there a benefit to the students to have that experience as well?
Greg:Oh absolutely. It really brings everyone together whether they are the sporty kid, whether they are the artsy kid, the academic one. The ability to play an instrument is so universal and it’s something that they all have in common. Everyone who has every picked up an instrument feels that bond to each other. They really do enjoy what they do.
Andrew:Greg McCormack. What time and place?
Greg:So it is here at the St Columban’s College in Caboolture. We’ll be running in the Mary Mackillop Performance Centre starting at 9:00 in the morning both on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th of October.
Andrew:Thank you for spending some time with our listeners.
Greg:Looking forward to seeing you there.