Hero photograph
Photo by Chris Petch

Music Department News

Chris Petch —

Despite the COVID related frustrations this term, the Music Department has managed to run a number of modified, but nonetheless worthwhile and enjoyable, events. Here are just a few highlights:

Restricted to outdoor rehearsals only, the Junior Concert Band took the opportunity to work on some military band marching technique. We were joined by ex-BHS SMP student Georgia Hoy and her NZ Army Band colleague Seb who expertly put the band through their paces to the famous “Dambusters March”. This was also an opportunity for the students to learn the art of music memorisation. See the photos below. Although this was a very enjoyable project, the band are looking forward to rehearsals indoors next term as the weather takes a turn for the colder and wetter!

The Big Band has been able to sustain their regular rehearsal schedule and are busy preparing for their major concert of the year in September when they will present a full show in the Aurora Centre chronicling the music of the world’s most famous bands: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich to name a few. There will also be a performance of six songs with Big Band and Strings from the Ella Fitzgerald songbook featuring two amazing student vocalists.

The Orchestra, despite missing out on their Living Springs camp, has managed to maintain weekly rehearsals by splitting into junior and senior orchestras. We are looking forward to hearing them come together on the return to the “orange light”. Their concert in September will feature Concertmaster Indy Williamson as soloist in Camille Saint Saen's famous tone poem “Danse Macabre”.

Bel Canto enjoyed an intensive rehearsal weekend with their director and ex-BHS student Naomi Hnat, albeit on school grounds rather than at Living Springs as planned. Magna Voce enjoyed a similar weekend earlier in the term. Mrs Hnat and Mrs Summers are covering the leadership of Bel Canto and Aurora Voices this year while Ms Densem is on leave. All our choirs are busy preparing for concerts and The Big Sing in Term 2.

The Chamber Music intensive weekend ran as normal in March with almost all of our 17 groups able to participate – luckily very few students were affected by COVID isolation. This event was again hugely productive and gave the students the opportunity to work with a range of talented professional tutors as they prepare towards the annual contest in June.

It’s safe to say we are all looking forward to a holiday and then, hopefully, to a period of greater certainty so that our normal pattern of rehearsals and performances can resume once again.

Thank you to all music staff, students and families for their commitment and support through these challenging times!