Healesville High School music talents shined in CBD

L-R: Mahlea, Grace, Tyloh, Audrey, Ms Morrison and Rhashidi. Picture: DONGYUN KWON

By Dongyun Kwon

Healesville High School is proud of its students and a teacher who performed their music skills in front of a huge audience on Wednesday 29 May.

The school’s music coordinator Amanda Morrison participated in the NEVR (North Eastern Victorian Region) Youth Concert held at the Hamer Hall as a conductor of the Concert Band along with 11 students who were involved in the different ensembles.

Ms Morrison said the experience of participating in the concert was amazing for herself and her students.

“It’s so great for a small school like us to have 11 students involved in various ensembles. We had students in the String Orchestra, the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band and one of the students performing in the foyer as a soloist,” she said.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity for these students to perform in a professional setting at the professional concert hall where people like the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform regularly.

“Being with an audience of over 2000 people watching them is something that they’re never going to forget.”

NEVR Youth Concert 2024 entitled Sonic Canvas had over 600 students performing across all of the ensembles.

To prepare for the concert, the students had two full-day rehearsals, three weeks and one week before the concert respectively.

On the concert day, Ms Morrison and her students left school at about 8.15am and spent the whole day in the city doing sound checks and sightseeing.

Healesville High School student Tyloh Short performed for the Symphonic Band and said it was fun but nerve-wracking at the same time.

“It was really fun playing with a bunch of other people from different schools,” Tyloh said.

“Our school only has two alto saxophones and we had a lot more in that band.”

The only flutist in Healesville High School Audrey Low said she learnt how to make a harmony with other players from the experience.

“It was pretty scary [performing in front of a huge audience], but once I was performing, I couldn’t see the audience because of the lights and that really helped me,” she said.

‘“When I performed in the band, there were over 20 flutes, it was definitely a fun experience to perform without being the loudest.

“It was a change when I had to play softer when the conductor told me to play softer.”

Another student Grace Howie played the guitar as a soloist in the foyer.

She grabbed the chance to perform in the foyer after she auditioned for the solo on the stage.

“It was a bit small compared to being on stage, but it was a good experience,” she said.

“Last year, I played mainly in a group. Playing solo was different. I didn’t have to rely on other people as much.”

Mahlea Douglas is the only student who participated in the String Orchestra.

She had to go to Ringwood Secondary College by herself to do rehearsals.

“The first rehearsal was a bit difficult because I didn’t know anybody,” she said.

“Eventually, I found a couple of people that I could get along with. They really helped me and it pushed me along with my music playing.”

Mahlea is the single viola player at the Healesville High School and she said it was a lot different playing with other strings.

“I had people that understood what I was playing and all the aspects of everything,” she said.

“Normally, I have to relate to the trumpets and other instruments [at school] which is not very easy.”

The students involved in the NEVR Youth Concert were as follows.

Concert Band: Mady Prendergast, Rhashidi Brown, Hamish Prendergast and Blake Chipperfield.

String Orchestra: Mahlea Douglas.

Symphonic Band: Imogen Woodhouse, Audrey Low, Kailee Short, Tyloh Short and Archie Kirby.

Soloist in the foyer: Grace Howie.