By Jed Lanyon
Students and teachers from Little Yarra Steiner School will be performing St John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach at Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 5 April.
Music Coordinator Damien Callan said the students from the small country school do an excellent and polished performance of this complex and difficult work, and most importantly, they love it.
“A positive culture has grown amongst the students over the past 14 years and students regularly return after completing their VCE studies to be part of the performance, singing and playing in the orchestra,” Mr Callan said.
“It started small with Year 11 and 12 students and teachers and has grown to a whole school involvement offering a gift to the community each year.
“Students learn about giving to the community at Easter and the joy that comes with it,” he said.
“Melbourne is known as Australia’s cultural capital offering a huge calendar of events.
“We want to give our country students a taste of the city and an experience that they will never forget.
“In return we believe we will offer the fruits of more than a decade’s work of musical effort by students and teachers at Little Yarra Steiner School,” Mr Callan said
Each year, the high school students perform over an hour and a half of Bach’s St John Passion.
“Bach spent 20 years refining this early Baroque work.
“Baroque is the music that teenagers would understand the least but St John Passion is somehow a bridge for students to enter into a deep experience of classical music.
“Initially the students didn’t like it. It is a difficult work to master, but it’s grown over the years and each year the older students mentor the younger ones. It really brings them together,” Mr Callan said.