Hitting the right notes

May 25, 2024 BY

St Martins Lutheran College’s Music Program has recently celebrated significant achievements, with students recognised nationally for their collective and individual efforts.

Three jazz ensembles and a choir represented the college at the recent Generations In Jazz festival. The Division 4.1 Band delivered a stellar performance, clinching victory among 17 competing bands. Emily Meier stood out for her exceptional trombone abilities, earning selection by the panel for the Division 4 Superband.

Band Leader and Instrumental Instructor, Isaac Bruggemann, expressed his pride, noting the students’ diligent preparation over the last six months.

“Having a win at Generations is a big confidence booster for the students,” he said. “Sometimes it is hard to see the reasons to keep practicing your instrument week after week, but a win reminds the students that all their hard work is paying off. I’m certain this will continue to build excitement for the music program at St Martins.”

Year 12 student Annabelle Mossford MacGregor was recognised for her piano talents, receiving her Certificate of Performance at the recent Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Award Ceremony. Piano teacher Heather Lucas praised Annabelle’s achievement, highlighting the accomplishment of surpassing 8th Grade Piano while still in school.

Annabelle’s brother, Year 11 student Christopher Mossford MacGregor, also received recognition at the ceremony. Both siblings were the first students in Australia to be awarded the prestigious AMEB Gold Award for their skill and contributions to the music community.

Shortly afterward, Year 11 student Emily Meier joined the Gold ranks. This marks a monumental moment for St Martins, with three Gold Award recipients in their music program.

AMEB Gold is not easily attained, requiring an AMEB Qualification, Performances, and Contribution Activities. The award encourages students to push their limits, explore new avenues, and collaborate with peers.

In support of the thriving music program, a new purpose-built music facility has been completed at St Martins. The new music area serves as a large ensemble performance space, and smaller purpose-built practice rooms for individual and instrumental teaching. The practice rooms meet strict standards for noise level, sound insulation, and acoustic quality, enhancing the music program’s capacity and quality.

Music coordinator Stephen Walther said music was very much a performance-based subject, and the newly developed music facility was designed with this in mind.

“We’ve created a space to help young artists realise their goal of becoming successful musicians,” he said.

Students are encouraged to develop their skills through performance opportunities in the school and broader community. The music program’s full performance calendar includes the Musicale, Eisteddfods, Art Showcase, and Battle of the Bands. With the new facilities, the team is also developing a series of lunchtime concerts featuring class bands and guest artists.

“Our recent achievements underscore the dedication and commitment of our staff and students,” Mr Walther said. “We are proud of the exceptional talent present in Mount Gambier, and it’s rewarding to see it acknowledged on a national scale.”