The ensembles at St Paul’s School are of an incredibly high standard, and involvement in these groups allows students to gain valuable experience performing in front of both their peers and the wider community. We have many choirs, string ensembles, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles and guitar ensembles which cater for students in a range of abilities and ages. All ensembles have regular performances throughout the year including our annual Music in the Park event, performances at assemblies and other school functions, competitions, and at many recitals and instrumental concerts.
There are also opportunities for students to learn from one of our sixteen one-on-one Instrumental Music Tutors, who are experts in their fields, and continue to be performing musicians in nationally and internationally renowned groups such as the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Deep Blue Orchestra and one of Australia’s best known and awarded jazz trios, Trichotomy. Over five hundred students learn from our Tutors and, as part of our ensemble-based extra-curricular program, are placed into an appropriately graded ensemble as soon as they gain sufficient skills on their instruments.
St Paul’s Music offers a wide variety of authentic experiences to all Music students, ranging from beginning students to advanced levels in performance and musical education. These areas include:
- Individual music exams that will be included in Year 12 QCE results – AMEB, Trinity College/Guildhall and ANZCA.
- Auditions — University standard auditions, Queensland Youth Orchestra, annual auditions for School ensembles
- Music ensembles — twenty ensembles including Symphony Orchestra and all levels of string ensembles, four levels of concert bands, four choirs ranging from Year 2 to Year 12, guitar ensembles and three jazz ensembles
- Music Tours — tours are organised intrastate, interstate and overseas
- Music Camp — each year a weekend music camp is organised for three or four ensembles/ choirs
- Workshops — specialist performers, both International and Australian, are brought to the School to enhance the students’ knowledge
- Music Excursions — local excursions to hear professional musicians and ensembles
- Community Involvement — each ensemble is encouraged to perform in a community-based activity or festival each year
- Social Engagements — School ensembles are invited to perform at important school functions as well as local Brisbane events, weddings, fetes and other social events
Throughout the year student ensembles perform in a number of major concerts, such as Music in the Dark in May (featuring all ensembles from Year 2 to Year 12), our Junior Ensembles Concert and Con Brio, which features all of our secondary school ensembles and is an opportunity to farewell our Year 12 musicians. From year to year there are also other special concerts, competitions and performances that are scheduled, such as the St Paul’s Choral High Tea, the Brisbane Youth Jazz Festival, Brisbane Sings and the Queensland Youth Music Awards.
Recital Evenings/Solo Competition
Instrumental students are encouraged by their Tutors to perform at the Music Recital evenings which are held towards the end of each semester. The recitals provide authentic performance goals for students, allowing a focus for improving technique, preparation for music examinations, and also to show the parents the musical development of their children during the year. At the end of Semester 1, the hotly contested St Paul’s Solo Competition is held for students in Years 7-12, the standard of which keeps rising year by year.