Hunter drummers take national title

The drum corps and dance ensemble at Irrawang High School has won first place in an Australia-wide competition, writes Sven Wright.

23 November 2021
A group of musicians and dancers stand togethre holding instruments and hula hoops
Image: Marching to their own beat: Members of Irrawang High School's successful drum corp and dance ensemble.

People in Port Stephens have known for a long time how good Irrawang High School’s drum corps and dance ensemble is.

It has performed at local festivals and other events, like the Marketplace presentations, at the King Street Fair and in the Hunter’s public school performing arts extravaganza, Star Struck. Before the pandemic the group even toured interstate and hope to resume that next year.

But now it has earned national recognition by winning first place in the Australia for Drums with Colour Guard competition.

Creative and Performing Arts Head Teacher Adele Robinson was thrilled with the team's first national title since the corp and ensemble started in 2005.

“Competing under strict COVID restrictions against more than 20 schools from four states via video, judged by judges from the United States, and then coming out on top, was an outstanding effort,” said Ms Robinson.

“This recognition is more than well deserved, especially with the restrictions brought by COVID and not having a live audience to work off.”

Huxley Rowe, a Year 10 drummer, said winning was “absolutely amazing”.

“This was a great team effort where all the players and dancers worked extremely hard, unimaginably hard, over many months through trying times,” said Huxley.

“We put in a lot of time and effort so it was very rewarding to learn that we had won this category – for many of us it was just fantastic to see all that hard work pay off.”

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