Instrumental Music News

Encore sings the year in

On Saturday 4 February, our youngest auditioned choral ensemble, Encore (Years 7, 8 and 9), gathered for an action packed, fun-filled choral workshop to kickstart their year.

The choral workshop gave these young singers time to get to know each other, welcoming our newest Year 7 members and fostering Year 9 leadership.

Students gained confidence in their work through canon singing, the learning of new repertoire and preparation for the ANZAC Day Nurses Vigil next term. The day culminated in an impromptu mini concert where parents showed their expertise in joining their daughters with body percussion for a fun performance of the canon Banaha, this was complimented by the girls performing what they had learned of Dreamwild, by Australian composer and arranger, Mr Mark Puddy.

The enthusiasm and joy that was experienced on a relaxed Saturday certainly set this ensemble up for a successful year ahead.

Anna Hodge (9L), Maeve Anderson (9L), Sarah McDonald (9H), Charlotte Wilson (9G), Aliyah Woodford (9L), Maxine Chuang (9M), Joy Zhang (9M), Kiah Smith (8W)

Back row: Maeve Anderson (9L), and Charlotte Wilson (9G) Front row: Elizabeth Jonatan (7L), Gianna Park (7O), Emily Jones (8G) and Amelia Barber (8B)

Connecting with new students through music, the universal language

This week, the Instrumental Music rooms have been buzzing with excitement and energy as our new Year 7 students experienced their first Music lessons. It has been wonderful to welcome new students to the program from other Year levels too. They have all been making lots of new friends, meeting new teachers, learning where to go and starting off together on a journey of discovery, artistry, and fun.

We think it’s interesting that even though we are meeting everyone for the first time, we already have something profound in common: music. It’s incredible to think that although each of our students have come from different schools and have had different experiences throughout their musical journey, the one constant has been the language of music.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow famously wrote that ‘music is the universal language of mankind’ and this quote rings true and manifests in so many ways throughout our musical endeavours at BGGS—it could be in the shared discipline, knowledge and camaraderie of students and teachers in a rehearsal, or the first time a new teacher says exactly the same thing as a previous teacher, or when you discover that you and your desk partner have played exactly the same piece. It could even be through the joy and solace felt in finding fellow humans who, just like you, value music as a part of their identity.

The other exciting aspect of our Instrumental Music Program is that we see students from all Year levels coming together and working towards a shared creative initiative. It has been wonderful to start rehearsals and meet fellow singers and instrumentalists, where the instant bond of music transcends age.

Being part of such a diverse and vibrant program can sometimes be overwhelming at first, especially when comparing this to experiences from primary school. At BGGS we pride ourselves on our inclusive program that has at its core, an extensive range of ensembles that cater for all ability levels: all the way from beginner to advanced. Everyone has a place in our program. Our group lessons are a bit different to most primary schools too, in that we offer students a chance to work in smaller groups (of up to four) with a specialist teacher that sings or plays that instrument. Of course, if you would like your daughter to have private lessons (for an extra cost) we have a range of highly qualified teachers available, and these can be taken in addition to our group lessons (which are included in School fees.) There are just so many ways students can participate in the program.

If you’re reading this and have already enrolled your daughter in the program, I’m sure you will be hearing exciting stories of first rehearsals and interesting snippets of practice already. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your daughter’s conductor or teacher, we are more than happy to help.

Mr Jonathan Zorzetto
Coordinator of Small Ensembles

If you are interested in your daughter joining the Instrumental Music Program, we always have spaces available for students to start, re-start or even try out for a new instrument. Please send us an email at for more information.

We’re all looking forward to an amazing year of music making. Please come along to our concerts throughout the year to show your support and to find out even more about our remarkable Instrumental Music Program.

Symphonic Winds Assembly Performance

Fresh from music camp, the Symphonic Winds, conducted by Mrs Laurinda Davidson, took side stage at the Leadership Assembly this week to perform the Processional, National Anthem, School Song, and the School Hymn. They also performed a fun piece by Australian composer, Fran Griffin, called The Huntsman In The Car! The program notes for this fun little tarantella are:

‘The big, hairy, fast but quite harmless Australian huntsman spider is everybody’s worst nightmare, especially when it’s in your car. You feel a presence beside you on the window—now which side of the glass is that spider? The wrong side! And there’s nowhere to pull over! Your concentration is split between trying not to crash the car, finding an opportunity to stop, and that huntsman that keeps moving. Finally you find somewhere to pull over, you leap out of the car then delicately try to evict the arachnid. You drive on enjoying the feeling of relief that you are now safely alone, but … what’s that on the dashboard!’

Symphonic Winds performing at the Leadership Assembly, Director of Instrumental Music—Mrs Laurinda Davidson

Scout Sommerfeld (11L), Jaimee Jessop (10R), Trish Chow (12H), and Sophia Caposecco (12H)

Upper Intermediate String Festival 

The Upper Intermediate String Festival is a celebratory collaboration between some of the highest-level string orchestras at BGGS and BGS. Students in BGGS Mendelssohn Strings and Vivaldi Strings work with their colleagues from BGS on challenging and inspiring repertoire and learn from the insights of highly experienced music teachers.

The event takes place over two days—Monday 20 February and Wednesday 22 February with the concluding concert taking place on 22 February at 6 pm in the Band Room.

Interested in trying something new?

Instrumental Music is open to everyone! It’s a great place to meet new friends and settle into our Girls Grammar community. We have beginner to advanced ensembles—seven bands, eight string ensembles, eight choirs, four stage bands (jazz), Celtic Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Gypsy Band, percussion and guitar ensembles.

We are looking for:

  1. students who don’t already play an instrument but would like to try one—no prior skills necessary
  2. students who used to play an instrument and might like to start again or try a new one
  3. students keen on taking up violin, viola, cello, tuba, trombone and trumpet.

Take a look at our Introduction to Instrumental Music Video for 2023.

Over the past few weeks, we have been welcoming students into the Instrumental Music Department for their instrument trials. We look forward to seeing these new students for their very first lessons over the next few weeks.

It’s not too late to express your interest—get in touch by completing an Expression of Interest form which can be found on the Instrumental Music Minerva page.

Mr Alviz and Ella Chow (7E) trialling the double bass

International Women’s Day

Once again, we are excited to present our International Women’s Day Concert, celebrating female composers from around the world. This year it is being held at the Queensland Ballet Talbot Theatre in the Thomas Dixon Centre at West End.

This curated program, presented by the Instrumental Music Department, honours International Women’s Day by celebrating the achievements of women in the musical arts, and includes the premiere of four original student compositions.

Funds raised from the evening will be donated to Share the Dignity.

Invitations to the concert will be emailed to families next week. For enquiries, please contact Administration Assistant (Music), Mrs Talluah Harper, on 07 3332 1353.

Talbot Theatre

MSG News 

The Music Support Group Welcome Night will be held at 6 pm on Wednesday 15 February. This is a relaxed evening where you will have an opportunity to meet with many of the Instrumental Music staff as well as the 2023 MSG executive. Complimentary drinks and refreshments will be served, and we will also be treated to a short concert by some of our talented staff members. It will be a great opportunity to meet with other Music parents and find out about the extensive Co-curricular Music Program in general. Please register your attendance via this link by Monday 13 February.

Our first event is the Upper Intermediate Strings Festival on 22 February, where we are providing a BBQ for the performers before the concert. Parents of involved students are asked to register via this link if you can assist.

If you have any questions for the Music Support Group, please contact us at