Merici Music Happenings

Music Camp #unitedinhope

Our Music students and staff have enjoyed a very busy Semester 1 with involvement in many events and competitions. Here is a snapshot of their activities and achievements.

Royal Canberra Show

The Music students were busy from the start of the year with their preparations and rehearsals for their first public performance of 2017 at the Royal Canberra Show. The Senior Band, College Choir and Chamber Ensemble were all involved and played during the lunch time slot at the public stage, amongst the rides and the sheep sheds. The girls were able to view performances from Telopea Park High School and other small groups throughout the day. It was a lovely sunny day and all girls involved were #unitedinhope. We would like to thank Miss Way for organising the performance, Dr Teniswood for accompanying the excursion and Jaki Kane for playing for the choir.

Band Camp

From Thursday 27 April to Friday 28 April, the Co-curricular Music students participated in a music camp. On this camp the students experienced intense music rehearsals preparing for the eisteddfod in Week 5 Term 2. 

In the evening of the first night, we held a talent show allowing the students to show their many hidden and amazing talents. From comedy to dancing to acting dead, the girls had a wonderful time! Later, the girls were challenged by the teachers to arrange a performance of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. A campfire ended the night where many students bonded over roasted marshmallows while reflecting on their busy day.

To conclude the lovely camp was a pre-eisteddfod concert. This gave the parents and teachers the opportunity to watch the students grow as a group of musicians over the past two days. Shirahni Mudaliar, Expressive Arts Captain

Australian National Eisteddfod 2017

The Australian National Eisteddfod has occurred in Canberra since 1955. In recent years the annual Eisteddfod has attracted about 5000 individual entries, as well as local and interstate groups to perform in 200 event categories for ages 6 years and under to open. There are at present six competitions in Bands & Orchestras, Choirs, Instrumental and Contemporary Music, Piano, Singing and Speech and Drama. The Eisteddfod has been established to be a vehicle to encourage and foster the national development of the performing arts.

A large amount of preparation goes into these performances, including weekly rehearsals before and after school, lunch time rehearsals, individual home practice and section rehearsals. Over 60 girls performed in various groups including Jazz Band, Junior Band, Senior Band, Chamber Ensemble, Advanced String Ensemble and Beginner Band. This included a total of 2 Silver awards, 3 Bronze awards and our Advanced String Ensemble won 1st place in the Open String Ensembles and a $300 cash prize.  We would like to congratulate all the girls involved. In particular, the Year 7 Beginner Band for their debut public performance.

We look forward to seeing the Choir continue to develop and grow in numbers and participate in the Choirs section in August this year, our Beginner Band and Jazz Band performing in the ACT School Bands Festival in September, and for our Choir, Chamber Group and combined bands performing at Floriade in Term 4.

Meet The Music - The Canberra Symphony Orchestra

ActewAGL Meet the Music offers an inspired introduction to the world of orchestral music. This community-focused program brings ACT school students and teachers together with residents from local aged care facilities to Llewellyn Hall for a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

ActewAGL Meet the Music provides rare insights into the intense rehearsal process that transforms individual musicians into the harmonious symmetry of a symphony orchestra. Symphonic masterpieces that classical music lovers experience at CSO season concerts are presented in an accessible and entertaining environment, for an audience that is there to learn as much as to enjoy. This is a program for everyone from the seasoned concert-goer to the symphonic rookie.

The Year 9-12 music students had the wonderful opportunity to see the Canberra Symphony Orchestra live in concert at this event in March this year. The girls were in awe of the professional musicians they were able to hear and see play their favourite instruments.

At the conclusion of the concert some students from the audience were invited to show some of their conducting skills in front of the orchestra. Abigail Dunn, Year 10, very enthusiastically jumped for this opportunity and she was chosen to go up along with six other students from schools around Canberra. Abigail demonstrated her passion for music and the fun and exciting feelings it gives you standing in front of a live orchestra. The students studying music look forward to many other opportunities to hear and work with a variety of professional musicians.

Rising Stars Concert

Featuring the Rising Stars of Canberra’s classical music scene, the Friends of the Albert Hall in collaboration with the ANU Open School of Music, presented a fascinating program of late nineteenth and early twentieth century music at a concert on Thursday 9 March.

The evening’s recital featured students in the Music for Colleges and the Music Development Program funded by ArtsACT including Caitlin Manning. Caitlin is a tertiary music student at Merici College and hopes one day to perform professionally and also gain employment as a professional accompanist. She represented the ANU School of Music where she is studying the pre-tertiary H course.

Students are offered the opportunity to develop their solo, ensemble and music theory skills in the programs at the ANU Open School of Music. In addition, students in Years 7 – 12 who demonstrate a commitment to high quality music performance, are given the opportunity to make music with a likeminded peer group under the guidance of some of Canberra’s best professional musicians.
Concert performers presented exciting, rarely heard solo, vocal, and ensemble pieces by composers like Debussy, Satie, Ginastera, Piazzolla, and more, in one of Canberra’s most iconic buildings.

Senior Music Class Performances

This semester four Senior Music students had the opportunity to perform in the newly created Sally Greenaway Studio. Sally Greenaway (b.1984) is an award-winning composer and pianist. She has earned herself the reputation of being a versatile and diverse musician, and as a result is highly sought after as a musical director, jazz pianist, teacher and composer/arranger. The girls were fortunate to participate in composition workshops with Sally whilst studying their unit of Film Music.

Sally’s writing spans a wide assortment of styles and genres, including numerous classical chamber works, several jazz big band works, and more than 20 film and documentary soundtracks. As a pianist, she has toured and performed around Australia with her jazz ensemble, the Sally Greenaway Project, at sell-out concert events. During her stint in London she played jazz piano at the London Chopin Festival on Steinway's unique 'Ferrari' grand piano, and for a private party on Liberace's rhinestone grand piano at the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair.

Sally is well known in the Canberra music scene, having worked with many of Canberra's music ensembles. She is regularly invited to give masterclasses and workshops and adjudicate competitions. She is currently Musical Director for ConneXion Big Band and a member of Wicked-Strings! which features musicians from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. She also lectures part-time at the Canberra Institute of Technology's Music Industry Centre.

Sally was generous enough to show us her harpsichord, clavichord and her collection of pianos that are housed in her studio. Caitlin Manning, one of our Year 12 music students is hoping to be a professional pianist one day.


Beth Way

Music Facilitator

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