Music students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College have risen to the challenge of competing in a drastically altered program for this year’s 53rd Annual Sunshine Coast Junior Eisteddfod, held 31 July to 9 August.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, the program was limited to solo, duet, trio and quartet performances; no small or large ensembles were permitted to participate.
Despite the disruptions, students at Flinders performed exceptionally well and achieved top results:
- 21 students awarded 1sts;
- 34 awarded 2nds;
- 33 awarded 3rds; and
- 16 students achieving highly commended awards.
Out of the 171 Flinders performances across Woodwind, Brass, Strings, Piano and Vocal sections, a total of 104 students received a place.
Principal Stuart Meade congratulated all students for adapting to the altered eisteddfod program.
“The students in our stellar music program at Flinders are a talented and motivated group who clearly enjoy studying and playing music, and developing their skills,” Mr Meade said.
“We are thrilled for those students who were able to perform at the eisteddfod, and recognise the disappointment of those students in ensemble bands who missed out on the opportunity,” he said.
“This pandemic is challenging us all to be resilient and to remain positive, skills our students are learning and demonstrating through these experiences.
“We thank our music staff team for providing strong support to our music students through these challenging times.”
Director of Music, Mr Nick Campbell congratulated students for their commitment to their individual and collective music journeys.
“It is a joy to work with students who are passionate about music, both in the curriculum and co-curricular programs, and Flinders is certainly a school for students who love their music!” Nick said.
“We have many students who are proving they have exceptional skills in their chosen music section, and we are delighted to nurture this talent through our studio teaching, band and choral programs and core and extension offerings in the academic curriculum,” he said.
“The pandemic has its challenges, however, our students are aware that music has many positive effects.
“Playing and listening to music is one of the best ways to boost health and wellbeing, and it’s a skill and passion young people can enjoy throughout their lives, even if they don’t pursue it as a career.
“Music also enables students to learn in diverse ways, think more clearly and concisely, and to develop advanced motor skills.
“More importantly, music is fun and students at Flinders enjoy finding their niche, whether as part of a class lesson, ensemble or a competitive unit.”
MUSIC AT FLINDERS
Matthew Flinders Anglican College provides a rich music culture for its students from Prep to Year 12 to explore.
In the Primary School, the College provides Music as a compulsory subject for students from Prep to Year 6, with two lessons a week.
Class programs range from learning instruments in Years 3 and 4 and a vocal adventure in Year 5, culminating in the participation and staging of a musical in Year 6, which involves every student in the cohort. This year’s musical is Moana Jnr held from 18-19 November.
In the Secondary School, Flinders’ Year 7 students learn performance skills through playing the guitar and African drums and composing during music lessons, while students in Years 8 to 12 can choose Music as an elective.
Extension music is available for Year 12 students who wish to specialise in an area of music such as performing or composing and Flinders also offers private mentoring run by skilled music teachers.
Head of Curriculum Music, Ms Julene Robertson is also excited about a new offering in 2020, the Music EDGE program, in which 20 students have chosen to enrol.
This selective entry course is available to students in Years 8 and 9 and is designed to extend and accelerate students with particular talent and expertise in the areas of composing, performing and/or musicology.
“The course is designed to allow students to progress at a faster rate than is possible within the core music program,” Julene said.
“Advanced progression may provide the opportunity for students to complete Units 1 and 2 of the Senior Music General Syllabus at Year 10, opening pathways to Extension Music or additional units in other subjects in their senior year”.
The College’s extensive co-curricular music program involves a number of Primary and Secondary string ensembles, bands, orchestral strands and vocal choirs, which offer students an opportunity to become well-rounded musicians.