Mind-blowingly excellent: showcase a spectacular success

Students from Sydney Secondary College showcased their talents with a performance at the Conservatorium of Music. Ben Worsley reports.

Students playing in an orchestra. Students playing in an orchestra.
Image: The showcase at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music brought together students from Sydney Secondary College’s three campuses at Leichhardt, Balmain and Blackwattle Bay.

Musical talent at Sydney Secondary College runs deep and it was on spectacular display during its recent inaugural Instrumental Music Program Showcase.

And where better to show off the next generation of musicians than on stage at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Verbrugghen Hall.

The showcase brought together students from the College’s three campuses at Leichhardt, Balmain and Blackwattle Bay and featured performances from four wind bands, three jazz bands and two string groups.

As one proud parent in the audience put it, the standard was “mind-blowingly excellent!”

Rodney Plashchik, Head Teacher of Programs at the college, described the afternoon as a triumph.

“This was a celebration of hard work, passion, and love for music,” he said.

“It is very inspiring to see so many of our students growing and developing their performance and music skills throughout our Instrumental Music Program. “

The students involved were also inspired.

Year 10 student Zoe, who plays the flute in the wind orchestra, said it was a satisfying culmination of the effort she and her friends had put in all year.

“The showcase was an amazing experience for me to perform in and show my family and friends all the work I have been doing in rehearsals. I had so much fun!” she said.

Year 9 student Henry plays clarinet in the wind ensemble.

“The Verbruggen Hall was a great space to have fun and play music with all my friends to show families what we’ve been working on in the band,” he said.

Also invited to perform at the showcase were music students from the college’s feeder primary schools, who are mentored by year 7 and 8 students from the Balmain and Leichhardt campuses.

Year 9 student, Sylvie, who plays flute and violin loved the involvement of the younger performers.

“It was really lovely performing with local primary school students who rehearsed in our joint program called Primarily Fun,” she said.

“I have performed at School Spectaculars, Southern Stars, the Opera House, and I am excited to now say that I have also performed at The Conservatorium of Music.”

Sydney Secondary College has become renowned for its Instrumental Music Program. Music director Richard Brus said there was a “wealth” of talent at the three campuses.

“Students move through the ensembles by yearly audition which allows for well-balanced ensembles that progressively increase in standard,” he said.

“With an emphasis on choosing repertoire that both engages and motivates students, the program’s conductors prepare students for major performances each term at each of the college campuses as well as at high-profile external events.”

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