Our Annual Piano & Strings Festival was held in the Auditorium on Wednesday 15 August. Included in the program were the Junior, Intermediate and Senior String Orchestras, Year 7 and 8 String Classes, Year 4 Strings, Year 7 Quintet, Year 10 Piano Trio and 13 of our piano students who performed duets and two piano works on two grand pianos.
The piano students, ranging from Years 7 to 12, performed a wide variety of piano duets and two piano works to a very high standard. Performing duets and two piano works provides an opportunity for our pianists to work as a team and develop their ensemble skills. The students had worked diligently since Term 1, attending rehearsals on two consecutive Sundays to ensure that they could perform to the highest possible standard on the evening. This work certainly paid off with the students presenting beautifully polished performances. A highlight of the evening were the performances of three Preludes by George Gershwin, which were skilfully arranged by Mr Adam Cook. Two of the Preludes, Numbers 1 and 3, were arranged for eight hands. The arrangements allowed us to feature four students performing together, two on each of the Grand Pianos. The Gershwin Prelude Number 1 was performed by Arrifa Nasarudin (10D), Tehya Nguyen (10F), Chloe Smith (8M) and Jasmine Nguyen (7F). Prelude Number 2 was performed by Tehya Nguyen and Jasmine Nguyen and Prelude Number 3 featured our VCE performance students, Isabella Ren (12H), Emily Jinu (12S), Maggie Zhao (11P) and Joshua Jinu (9S).
The Festival opened with a spectacular massed combined Junior and Senior string Orchestra comprising of nearly all strings players in the school – close to 100 students on stage! The String ensembles and chamber groups performing played to an exceptionally high musical level with a huge variety of musical genres being covered by students ranging from Years 4 to 12. We are immensely proud of the development in our continually growing string department and wish we could name each of the students individually. The musicians are to be commended on their commitment and preparation for the evening which not only involves single performances but many months or years of developing technical skill. A number of the students were also preparing for piano, violin, viola and trumpet exams which were held in the same week of the festival.
Our Year 12’s have made a significant contribution to the Music Department over their years in the Senior School, performing in soirees, competitions, many duets and two piano works and string ensembles at previous Piano and String Festivals. Their contribution has been a source of inspiration for our younger musicians.
Special thanks must go to the team of piano and string teachers who prepared the students for the evening. Further thanks to Mr Andrew Leach, Mrs Beulah Watson, Ms Belinda Rasen, Mr Neil Gracey and Mr Andre Vikas for providing technical support.
The piano student performers were:
Jasmine Nguyen (7F), Chloe Smith (8M), Joshua Jinu (9S), Andrew Nguyen (9H), Arrifa Nasarudin (10D), Ethan Kwok (10F), Tehya Nguyen (10F), Arwen Nguyen-Ngo (10H), Maggie Zhao (11P), Brad Bellard (11D), Isabella Ren (12H), Christopher Rothwell (12M), Emily Jinu (12S)
Jason Smith – Head of Keyboard Studies
Stefanie Thom – Head of Strings