Last week our Vocal Jazz ensemble and Big Band journeyed to Mt Gambier for the annual Generations in Jazz competitions. We were fortunate to be accommodated in the MidCity Motel in the city centre which added to our experience as the stay was very comfortable.
Big Band entered Division 5 and the comments from Ed Wilson were very encouraging and showed we are on the right track and progressing well as a band.
Just Jazz entered Division 4 and performed with energy and conviction. Their performance was snappy and polished and impressed the adjudicators who awarded them first place in Division 4. Congratulations to Just Jazz on their achievement as it recognises the work they have done as an ensemble in working towards an elite level, in partnership with Dr Fletcher, who has led and inspired them musically.
Generations in Jazz was bigger again this year with 11 different performance divisions. The sheer number of bands and participants is extraordinary. Fortunately the property where it is located is large and incredibly everyone gets around without too much congestion overall. The highlights along with each school’s individual performance include the many world class performers who grace the stage in the main pavilion and share their expertise and personal life stories. The guest performers this year were Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, Troy Roberts on saxophone, vocalist Kate Ceberano and of course the amazing 1 O’Clock Lab Band from Texas State University. Team these musicians up with the regular all-star cast of James Morrison and Ross Irwin and you have an amazing wealth of performers who were awe-inspiring.
The main pavilion had large screen monitors that gave you an excellent view of the stage from a wide range of angles and it was possible to see every detail of every performance as if you were right there onstage. The girls who attended Generations in Jazz gained an insight into the world of music performance and shared in the creative processes that professional performers engage in as they construct their craft. Above all, they learnt that effort pays off and that persistence and attention to detail, if paired with focused listening and creative energy, leads to improvement. The most pleasing thing for me is that both music groups improved from last year and in Just Jazz’s case they achieved the ultimate success of first place.
Congratulations to Just Jazz for their outstanding achievement in Division 4 Vocal Ensemble Awards and congratulations to Big Band for their participation in Division 5 Stage Band Awards. You have all done very well. What a truly beautiful thing to achieve in the Sisters of St Joseph’s Sesquicentenary Year. I look forward to our next challenge as we set our sights on our next goal and continue our improvement together.
Head of Music