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Let the music play

19 Sep 2019

School bands from across Canberra participate in BandFest

Students from Campbell High’s Year Seven Beginner Band participate in a post-performance workshop
Students from Campbell High’s Year Seven Beginner Band participate in a post-performance workshop

Students from across ACT public schools flocked to Llewellyn Hall last week to participate in the Instrumental Music Program’s four-day BandFest event.

Band Fest started as a one-day event 34 years ago and has now expanded to take place over four full days giving band students with varied levels of experience the opportunity to perform for a professional adjudicator and take part in a post-performance music workshop.

This year’s event was adjudicated by Dr Rob McWilliams from Yamaha Australia, education outreach clinician, Craig Johnson, former conductor Royal Military College Band and former head of Army Music Australia, Darren Cole and Nic Busby current director and second in command of Royal Military College Band Duntroon and Debbie Masling, head of Music and Bands from Lyneham High School.

“All of our adjudicators have an outstanding range of experience and expertise, and many are donating their time to encourage our students and show that there are pathways to varied professional careers in music,” said the Instrumental Music Program Director Naida Blackley.

Students from primary and high schools performed over the course of the week, some of whom have been learning their instrument for less than six months.

“Our students only started learning their instruments and playing together at the beginning of this year so the growth they have shown in that time is something to be really proud of,” said Campbell High Music teacher, Owen Cusick.

Year Seven Campbell High student, Leo Hodges is learning to play several instruments, enjoying the challenge and opportunity to be part of the school band.

“It’s great to be around other kids who like the same things that you do and it’s easier to learn things at our age,” Leo said.

And it’s not just musical skills that students are developing by participating in band.

“Being part of a band is the best team sport you can do sitting down as it builds team work, resilience and lasting friendships,” Ms Blackley said.

Learn more about the Instrumental Music Program