Instrumental Music News

Mother and Daughter Dinner

The BGGS Mother and Daughter Dinner is an eagerly anticipated event on the School calendar and our musical groups that performed on the night did an outstanding job. Remi Hirayama (12L) played the Harp, our String Quartet (featuring Stephanie Bird (10H) and Ellen Baek (10E) on Violin, Kathryn Petersen (10O) on Cello and Carol Chen (10O) on Piano), and our Encore group all performed at the beginning of the night and provided a delightful ambience for those in attendance.

Their beautiful musicianship was deeply appreciated by the attendees, and the Instrumental Music Department is very proud of our performing musicians. Congratulations to all involved.

Remi Hirayama (12L) performing on the Harp at Mother and Daughter Dinner

Deepika Bogahawatta (8W), Eloise Turkovic (9E) and Kira Green (7E) performing with Encore! at the Mother and Daughter Dinner

Intermediate Band Workshop

On Tuesday 19 July, we are holding our Intermediate Band Workshop. This workshop will involve Concert Band, Concert Winds, Chamber Winds, and Wind Symphony. The students will have the opportunity to work with two guest clinicians, Ms Jodie Lutherborrow and Ms Clare Deady, both of whom have conducted the Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra over the last 20 years. Ms Lutherborrow and Ms Deady are both Instrumental Music Teachers with Education Queensland and have many decades of teaching and conducting expertise between them.

At the workshop, students will work through specific repertoire, address performance skills and etiquette, refine their instrument and ensemble skills, and share in the wonderful experience of creating music together in a larger group.

Students are to ensure they have their instrument, music, and are appropriately dressed in full School uniform.

There will be a $2 sausage sizzle from 4.45 pm to 5.15 pm for students.

Jazz workshops

Next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, 19 and 20 July, Big Band and Stage Band will be working with Mr Dan Quigley, Head of School at Jazz Music Institute (JMI). The students will work on a variety of jazz styles, techniques, ensemble skills, and improvisation. The workshop will take place for each band in their normal rehearsal time in S Block.


BGGS Open Day

On Friday 29 July, BGGS will be holding its annual Open Day. The event is a perfect opportunity for current and future families to discover the full gamut of offerings that BGGS proudly provides to our community.

Instrumental Music features heavily throughout the evening with performances and information sessions at various locations throughout the School. The main venue is our home on Level 1 of the Creative Learning Centre (CLC) building. It is here you will find our large groups performing and an information booth where you will be able to ask questions and collect resources. Some of our smaller ensembles will be easily found in other locations across campus.

Please see below in the MSG News section for details of our support group’s activities and ways you can contribute or engage with our wonderful volunteers.

We are all looking forward to sharing our music with the BGGS community! Come along to see and hear what the outstanding musicians in the department have been working on recently.


On Sunday 14 August, Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s Instrumental Music Department will present the annual Gala Concert in the Great Hall of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC). This year’s Gala will be the first live Gala in three years, so our entire community of staff, students, and families are incredibly excited to produce what promises to be a truly stunning event.

The BCEC Great Hall has hosted some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names and we are very excited to share the space with our audience, to stage a truly remarkable and awe-inspiring concert. We will showcase some of our most gifted musicians, ensembles, and directors throughout the evening.

Stay tuned for the release date of tickets—you will not want to miss this spectacular Gala event!

From the teaching studio

In this week’s From the Teaching Studio, we meet two of our Double Bass students, Brielle Porter (9O) and Annabel Wang (10R), in their lesson with our teacher of Double Bass, Mrs Connie Garrett-Benson.

The Double Bass is a crucial instrument in a wide variety of ensembles within the School – what do you enjoy most about playing this wonderful instrument?

Brielle—‘I enjoy the variety of music that is available on the Double Bass. It ranges from slow, smooth, flowy music to quick pieces that have more notes and require a bit more focus.’

Annabel—‘I enjoy playing the double bass as I love the bold sound of it and the role it plays within the ensemble. It is a crucial instrument as it brings the whole orchestra together and makes sure everyone is in time with the beat.’

For how long have you played Double Bass and what do you find most challenging about it?

Brielle—‘I’ve played the Double Bass since Year 3, so this is my seventh year playing. The thing I find most challenging is being the only bass player in my orchestra, Mendelssohn Strings. This is because there is no one to ask if I need help with anything and no one to follow if I get lost in the piece.’

Annabel—‘I have only been playing Double Bass for one year, before that, I was playing the Violin. I find reading the notes challenging as it is written in bass clef whereas, the violin is written in treble clef.’

What music are you currently working on and in which performance is it to be played?

Brielle—‘In Symphony Orchestra, we’re working on a piece called the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, which is to be performed at the Gala Concert this year.’

Annabel—‘I am currently learning to play The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart and Berceuse and Finale by Stravinsky for Gala 2022, and The Cuckoo and the Nightingale by G.F. Handel for Open Day this year.’


We also asked Mrs Garrett-Benson to reflect on some points related to her teaching at BGGS.

Being the only Double Bass teacher at BGGS, what is something you find uniquely challenging about teaching the instrument?

The Double Bass is a unique instrument with its warm, deep, and luxurious resonance. When listening to a piece of music or watching a live performance it is easy to notice the higher-pitched instruments which hold the melody line much of the time. The bass line is not so obvious and perhaps it requires a discerning listener to fully appreciate its function in the ensemble/band. A challenge has been to convince students not to be intimidated by the physical size of the instrument but to understand the vital role of the double bass as the harmonic and rhythmic foundation of the group—low instruments are just as important, and necessary, as high instruments.

What are some necessary qualities a person might need to become a good Double Bass player?

Curiosity, a sense of adventure, perseverance, and a sense of humour, because it is not always easy to play this noble instrument and it is helpful to remain creative, flexible, and willing to explore possibilities when nothing seems to work.

What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of your job as a teacher in the BGGS Instrumental Music Department?

I value being in an environment that is innovative and inspiring. The BGGS Instrumental Music teachers are wonderful to work with because of their dedication to music and excellence, and to the potential of every student we have the privilege of imparting the love of music to.

Annabel Wang (10R) and Brielle Porter (9O) practising Double Bass

Annabel and Brielle with Mrs Connie Garrett-Benson

MSG News

The Music Support Group will be running a lolly bag stall at Open Day, along with an information booth for new families which includes some trivia games for primary school visitors.  There are a few ways you can help us:

  • bring in bags of lollies to be repackaged for the stall. Suitable lollies include unwrapped jelly lollies (e.g. snakes, party mix, etc), wrapped lollies (mints, fantails, etc), Chupa Chups, musk sticks, and sour straps. Please, no chocolate! All donations should be left in the music office by Wednesday 27 July
  • help on our packaging day Thursday 28 July from 1 pm. This will be in one of the music rooms at school
  • help on our stalls on Open Day itself (Friday 29 July). We should have capacity for you to slip away briefly to watch your daughter’s performances if needed.

Sign up link for packaging or the stalls is at

Our next meeting is Wednesday 20 July, and we welcome any music parents to join us. We will be finalising our plans for Open Day as well as looking ahead to the Gala concert on 14 August and the MSG Soiree night on 8 October.


Looking Ahead

  • Intermediate Band Workshop—Tuesday 19 July
  • Jazz Workshops—Tuesday 19 July, Wednesday 20 July
  • Senior Strings Festival—Tuesday 26 July
  • BGGS Open Day— Friday 29 July
  • BGGS Gala Concert—Sunday 14 August