Instrumental Music News

Piano recital

On Monday, many of our piano students gathered for an informal recital in the String Room using our beautiful Steinway piano. We were entertained with a wide variety of performances—from beginning to advanced students—with repertoire spanning centuries including Hayden, Satie, Chopin, and Grieg to more contemporary composers like Daniel McFarlane. Congratulations to all our performers at the recital, and we look forward to hearing more from our piano students in 2023.

Isabella Byrne (10M) performing her prepared pieces beautifully at the piano recital

Millie Goodson (7W) created a unique atmosphere with her performance of Angelfish Arabesque by Carol Klose

Carol Chen (10O) evoking all the magic from the 3rd Movement of Haydn’s Sonata in E and Chopin’s Nocturne Opus 9 No. 2

Speech Day

The 2022 Annual Speech Day and Distribution of Prizes last week was a beautiful celebration of all the incredible achievements of BGGS students. The Instrumental Music Department is very proud to support this important event each year, providing music for the processional, recessional, national anthem, School song, and hymn, and featured items by a variety of our senior ensembles. It is also an excellent opportunity for our Year 12 Instrumental Music students to enjoy their final performance at BGGS. As students collected their awards, the Instrumental Music staff had an opportunity to reflect on so many of the award recipients who are involved in our department. As always, we are immeasurably proud of all students and their achievements regardless of the form they take. Congratulations to all award recipients and we eagerly anticipate seeing what your bright futures look like.

Mrs Laurinda Davidson directing Symphonic Winds at Speech Day 2022

BGGS Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing the finale

MSG News

We will be running the sausage sizzle for the Carols night on Monday 28 November and would love to see many of our parents help out. Shifts are in blocks of one hour so that you can work around your daughter’s performances. Please sign up via this link. If you have any questions, please contact us at

As the year draws to a close, we would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who has helped out at the many music events held during 2022—it’s been wonderful to have so many live events again, and we appreciate having so many parents willing to lend a hand to help the music staff and students perform at their best.

We are looking forward to seeing you again in 2023!


Carols Under the Stars preparation

The Instrumental Music Department’s next whole-School event is the annual Carols Under the Stars on Monday 28 November on the Pool Lawn. This is the first time in three years that we’ve been able to stage the event, so we are all very excited to get our jingle on and celebrate the Christmas season with our School community. This year, we have a number of combined band and strings ensembles forming to present settings of popular Christmas tunes. There will also be community carol singing along with our choir and band, lob-a-choc stall, sausage sizzle, Gelatissimo stall, drinks, snacks, glow items, face painting stall, and a special visit from Santa.

We warmly invite our School community to join us for this wonderful event that gives us all a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful time of year with our talented staff and students.

Albinoni and Vivaldi Strings in rehearsal for their performance at Carols Under the Stars later this month

The horn and saxophone section of our Year 10 Band rehearsing their pieces for Carols Under the Stars

How music plays a role in our daily life

Aurora Lin (7B), Deepika Bogahawatta (8W), Eloise Turkovic (9E), and Kira Green (7E) singing with Encore!

Many years ago, I started to wonder what everyday life would be like without music. Had I become accustomed to expecting music to always be there? How pervasive is music in our daily lives? How is music used to convey messages, feelings, or affect human behaviour?

It may surprise you to realise how much music plays a part in our daily lives. It certainly surprised me when I started to think about the ways in which music plays a role—both overtly and covertly.

Starting with the obvious, without music, we would have no live concerts, no streamed music services, no records, CDs, MP3s, etc. No ballet, opera or musical theatre can exist without music.

Have you ever wondered what a cinematic experience would be like without music? Would the movie be as scary, thrilling, emotional, or funny? Imagine blockbuster movies without their iconic soundtracks. Star Wars, Titanic, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Lord of the Rings, for example, would most likely fall flat without the incredible composers, musicians, and producers contributing their impressive skills.

Thinking about our daily life—the commute to work or school would be a dreary chore without the radio, Bluetooth device, or our headphones in. What about the music in shopping centres, and who hasn’t hummed along to Coles radio while doing their grocery shopping? As much as we are bombarded with Christmas carols, they do become quite the earworm.

It may interest some to know that music is also used to modify our behaviour—socially, economically, and emotionally. A wonderful talkback radio segment with Dr Helena Popovic, an Australian authority on the improvement of brain function, discusses the impact of music in a variety of areas related to brain activity. In the interview, Dr Popovic discusses how music is used to curb antisocial behaviour on the Gold Coast (2.00), the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (3.40), keeping the brain active as we age (9.00), how music strengthens your capacity to learn (11.00), improving neuroplasticity (12.00), and greater life satisfaction due to experiencing a wider range of emotions (14.00).

Classical music has been piped into London’s Tube stations for more than 15 years to keep people calm and improve their general emotional wellbeing.

However you choose to indulge in music over our summer holidays, I encourage you to notice how music improves your daily life, how you can use music to positively connect with others, to relax, to become enthralled, or to simply complement the wonder of the world that surrounds us.

We, in Instrumental Music, wish you a safe and relaxing Christmas time. We hope you enjoy the music that surrounds us all, and that you continue to support, encourage, and participate in all things musical at BGGS in the new year.

Mr Paul Johnston
Assistant Director of Instrumental Music


Looking Ahead

  • Carols Under the Stars—Monday 28 November