Generations in Jazz 2017
Once again, a large contingent of Walford girls travelled to Mt Gambier for the annual Generations in Jazz festival. This event is the highlight of the school year for the girls in ChanterElle and our three Stage Bands.
This year, 46 students were involved across the four competing ensembles and they were accompanied by four staff, Conductors - Tim de Jong, Lara Elsdon, Trish Hart and Supervisor - Mandy Hore. We boarded the coach at 8:30am on Friday 5 May and headed towards what has now become an enormous venue for the festival, south of Mount Gambier. The ChanterElle girls took part in a brief rehearsal Friday evening with the supplied House Band which in itself is a great experience given the chance to work with the internationally acclaimed musicians that are in this band.
Following this, we were fed dinner and then treated to a welcome concert in the huge James Morrison Pavilion. After a long day of travel and with the excitement building for the day ahead, we were all keen to get back to our accommodation in Penola for a good night of sleep.
With a great level of excitement, a cold Saturday morning arrived and first on the stage out of the Walford tour group was the Junior Stage Band. This is the first time the Junior Stage Band has been involved in Generations in Jazz, having formed as a new ensemble in term four 2016. With girls as young as 11, this ensemble confidently presented their music and celebrated their inaugural performance in a very special way. Everything went according to plan and the girls were very happy with their performance, particularly the two soloists, Madeleine Bardy and Dinih Huang.
Second on the schedule was the Intermediate Stage Band. A quick trip with all the equipment across to a different pavilion was in order and many of the girls in this ensemble have been to Generations in Jazz in past years, which helped with the organisation. When our time to go on stage came, the girls set themselves up and performed with a great deal of confidence including excellent solos from Anisha McGavigan, Dinih Huang, Teagan VanGaans and Maddie Moss.
Next on stage in a different pavilion were the Senior Stage Band. An outstanding performance was given by the whole band who have been working incredibly hard to prepare for this event. They kicked off their great set with their choice piece, ‘Six by Six’ with a great solo by Anna Wimmer. Amber Elsdon presented a lovely Flugal Horn solo for their ballad, ‘Friends from the Past’ and the band then executed a very difficult set piece with soloists Alannah Pham and Alex Vernon.
In yet another incredibly full pavilion, it was finally time for ChanterElle to get onto the stage. With meticulous execution and an energetic presentation, the girls presented their two songs with much confidence. Included in their performance were scat solos by Rory Balding, Sarah Bourne, Amber Elsdon, Tiffany Gaze, Indiana Neumann and Paige Paitaridis. The girls looked and sounded great and were very proud of their efforts on stage.
We unfortunately had to wait for a couple of days for the final results to arrive and they are as follows;
- Division 5.1 - Junior Stage Band – NA (This division is non-competitive)
- Division 4.2 – Intermediate Stage Band – 4th
- Division 3.1 – Senior Stage Band – 11th
- Vocal Ensemble (Large Group) - ChanterElle – 7th
Many thanks needs to be extended to the staff who all worked tirelessly over the three days to ensure the success of the trip as well as the preparations prior with rehearsals and workshops. Many parents attended the weekend and lent a hand moving equipment and instruments around as well as providing the all important audience support at each of the performances.
We now start the work towards our next engagements for the year including the ABODA Band Festival and the Annual Concert.
Tim de Jong
Director of Music