Saxophonist Jake Barden was a music scholarship student at Matthew Flinders Anglican College. He graduated with the Class of 2009. We asked Jake - a proud Old Flinderian! - to reflect on his school days and the lessons learnt at Flinders.
As you will discover in the following Q&A, Jake has certainly enjoyed an interesting life since graduating. He has stepped well beyond his comfort zone and embraced unique opportunities to develop as a musician. He has also kept things interesting by gaining his pilot's licence along the way!
After being taken under the wings of Don Burrows and James and John Morrison at the age of 14, Jake has been performing and recording throughout Australia and overseas ever since. His debut international performance was at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland at the tender age of 15.
Jake's story is just one example of how our Scholarship Program supports students to develop their skills and talents at an early age. The Flinders Scholarship Program is calling for applications right now for the Sports Scholarship. The Music Scholarship opens for applications in January 2022. Learn more here.
Jake, what did the Music Scholarship mean to you at the time as a student?
To me, receiving a scholarship to Matthew Flinders Anglican College was more than an acknowledgment of musical ability, it was something that pushed me to set new goals that were previously unimaginable.
It also helped me in knowing I had the full support of world-class educators at the College.
What did you learn about yourself at Flinders that has helped you in your life thus far?
The education I received at Flinders provided me with a strong foundation of skills and values that have helped guide me through my professional and personal life so far.
The integrity, loyalty and trustworthiness of staff at the College empowers students to hold these same values in their own lives, which is truly inspiring.
More about Jake:
Jake graduated from the James Morrison Academy of Music in Mount Gambier with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (Honours). He also attended the Julliard School in New York City on exchange during his time at the Academy.
Career highlights include recording an album with Patti Austin and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra which was nominated for an ARIA award in 2017, performances in New York at the Lincoln Center and Washington D.C. at the Australian Embassy.
Other highlights include performances with notable artists including Kurt Elling, Joey Defrancessco, Kate Cebrano, Glenn Shorrock, Wycliffe Gordon, William Barton and being the only Australian member of the US based Glenn Miller Orchestra for their Australian tour.
When he isn't playing the saxophone, Jake is a commercial pilot at Kirkhope Aviation in Melbourne specialising in air tours to destinations all over Australia.
Sports Scholarships Open Now
Jake Barden was part of our Flinders Scholarships Program in the area of Music. You can read a story about Jake and some of the College's other Scholarship recipients here.