Instrumental Music News

Chamber Singers performance at Centaur Service

On Saturday 14 May, Chamber Singers provided music for the Memorial of the 79th Anniversary of the Sinking of 2/3rd Australian Hospital Ship Centaur.

At 4.10 am on Friday 14 May 1943, off Cape Moreton, the Japanese submarine 1-177 torpedoed the fully illuminated vessel which was supposed to be protected by International Law from attack. Within three minutes, the hospital ship was gone, taking with her 268 lives. After 36 hours, 64 survivors were picked up by the American Destroyer, USS Mugford. All were brought to Brisbane and landed late on Saturday 15 May 1943.

Chamber Singers performed seven pieces of music, including John Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You and Mozart’s Ave Verum. A special congratulations to Freya Smith (11E), who performed the solo in Howard Goodall’s The Lord is My Shepherd. The service was well attended, and the choir was very appreciative of those members of the congregation who took the time to thank them for their music.

After the service, Chamber Singers were very fortunate to meet Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, who congratulated the students on their singing and was kind enough to gift each of them with a commemorative coin.

Thank you to the Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses and their President, Julie Finucane OAM Colonel (Rtd), for inviting us back. Brisbane Girls Grammar School has been providing music for this service for almost 30 years and we look forward to continuing this relationship.

Chamber Singers at the Centaur Service

Memorial Coin gift from Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeanette Young PSM to members of Chamber Singers

Artists in Concert

Last night, Thursday 19 May, we held the BGGS Artists in Concert. The evening featured all the winners from the Instrumental Music Prize competitions from last week. Each of the Prize winners performed for our esteemed adjudicators, Dr Robert Davidson and Dr Ralph Hultgren, competing for the R.T. and A.E. Jefferies Bursary. The students performed at an exceptionally high level and represented their respective departments with distinction.

We are always so incredibly proud of our students and their achievements. We are very fortunate to also have a team of accompanists who support the students in their musical endeavours. Our Artists in Concert accompanist for the evening was Ms Kathryn Sander, who is a brilliant musician in her own right. The finalists were:

  • Shinie Gu (9O)—Percussion Prize
  • Sally Grice (12E)—Vocal Prize
  • Isabella Peters (12E)—Brass Prize
  • Lisa Walsham (10R)—Woodwind Prize
  • Holly Xu (9O)—Acie Alexina Gillies Memorial Prize for Violin
  • Remi Hirayama (12L)—Harp and Non-Orchestral Instrument Prize
  • Shu-Ning Liang (7O)—Wight Memorial Medal for Piano
  • Michelle Jeong (12W)—String Prize

The adjudicators awarded the R.T. and A.E. Jefferies Bursary to Remi Hirayama for her exquisite performance of Sophia Dussek’s Sonata in C minor. Lisa Walsham was awarded a Highly Commended for her excellent performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo. Congratulations to all of our finalists for their outstanding performances.

Guitar workshop with Joe Fallon

On Tuesday afternoon, BGGS guitarists were joined by guest masterclass facilitator, Mr Joe Fallon. Mr Fallon is a teacher at St Laurence’s College but also plays with singer, Jaguar Jonze, and The Rosa Guitar Trio. He provided a workshop covering a broad variety of skills and techniques. Young learners, as well as more experienced guitarists, enjoyed the insights, tips, and tricks that he provided.

Joe Fallon with BGGS guitarist Talea Cubela (8B)

BGGS bass guitarist Taylor Antel (11L)

Queensland Conservatorium tertiary preparation workshop

From Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July, the Queensland Conservatorium (South Bank) will be hosting its annual tertiary preparation workshop. The workshop covers topics such as entry requirements, audition skills and techniques, interview tips, theory, aural fundamentals, and much more. The workshop is an excellent opportunity for students who are considering a future in the music industry to discover some of the tertiary preparation and courses to pursue this goal. Further information and registration details can be found here.

Chamber Strings collaboration with Ms Karin Schaupp

Chamber Strings has commenced rehearsing with guest artist, Ms Karin Schaupp, in preparation for their performance of Carulli Guitar Concerto at Cathedral Concert. Ms Schaupp was immensely impressed with the standard of the girls’ playing, and encouraged them to give their all at the concert. The girls were excited to rehearse and receptive to Ms Schaupp’s input about the musical elements of this intricate work.

Recruitment drive

We are looking for students who might be interested in playing one of the rarer instruments. We are looking specifically for students to play Tuba, Euphonium, and Double Bass. If you already play an instrument and are interested in the possibility of advancing through our ensemble structure quicker than you may do on your current instrument, we want to hear from you.

The String Department is looking for students interested in learning the Double Bass. The Double Bass is an amazing instrument that can participate in all sorts of music from classical to jazz to gypsy to pop. Perhaps you already play another instrument and are interested in an extra challenge, or perhaps you are interested in starting as a new beginner. We need you!

The ability to read, or willingness to learn to read, bass clef is a distinct advantage. The desire to be awesome is not negotiable.

If you would like to explore one of these instruments a little further or simply find out some further information, please contact Ms Porter (Band) or Mr Michael Patterson (Strings).

Performance Week (Band)

This week was Performance Week for Band students. Due to the disrupted start to the academic year, the Band department decided to combine Term 1 and 2 solo performance opportunities for these students. It has been so rewarding to see and hear the students’ progress over what has been a very challenging start to the year. The students are commended for their perseverance during this time. It may be a little counter-intuitive, but the goal of these performances is not to be ‘perfect’ but, rather, to demonstrate progress. Sometimes things can go wrong during a performance and part of the skill development in Instrumental Music is recovering from small slips and errors while the performance is still happening. We are so pleased to see students working towards their goals and developing the resilience skills that will serve them invaluably into their future—regardless of the profession in which they find themselves as young adults.

Arts Fest performances

Last week, during Arts Fest, some of our jazz groups and smaller ensembles performed around the School during lunch breaks. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their skills to fellow students and staff. The reception received for these musical ensembles was exceptional. It was wonderful to bring joy and celebration to the School during what was a very wet week.

Little Big Band

Stage Band

Flute Loops

Jazz Ensemble

Gypsy Band Blue Day performance

Gypsy Band performed as part of ‘Blue Fest’ on Level 3 of the CLC. A large crowd celebrated to the sounds of Balkan Gypsy music, singing and clapping along. Congratulations go to all members of Gypsy Band, along with the three guest singers, Iha Agrawal (10R), Lucinda Isbel (10H) and Maeve Lynch (10M).

MSG News

MSG is assisting at a number of upcoming music events, and we welcome any parents who wish to volunteer to help. These events include:

  • Winter String Concert (Wednesday 25 May)—BBQ for performers and audience bar. Sign up here
  • Cathedral Concert (Saturday 4 June)—ushering. Sign up here.
  • Junior Vocal Workshop (Friday 10 June)—BBQ for choir members. Sign up here.

MSG committee members will be present at all of these events to show you the ropes, so don’t worry if you haven’t helped at a music event before and are hesitant about what to do!

We are also still seeking assistance in providing lunch for staff members at the Cathedral Concert—please email us at if you can help with this.

Thanks to those parents who responded to our call for performers for our inaugural fundraising night in October. We are still seeking more performers, as well as anyone interested in helping to plan the evening. Please reach out to us at if you are interested.

Looking Ahead

  • Artists in Concert—Thursday 19 May
  • QYMA—Friday 20 May (Euphonix)
  • Cathedral Concert—Saturday 4 June