Big Band Performances

Big Band 1 has become quite match-hardened with the number of performances recently and as a consequence received a good amount of praise and well deserved accolades.

On Thursday 7 September Westminster Big Band 1 played the 'curtain-raiser' for the Mike Stewart Big band at Norwood Live. The band played six tunes and were very well received by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable jazz audience!

On Sunday 10 September Big Band 1 took part in the Big Band Bash, a concert to remember Mike Stewart and raise funds for Jazz SA to help promote youth jazz. It was great to be a part of this event and the legacy that Mike Stewart was so passionate about. There were 11 school bands plus Jazz SA Superband 1 who all performed throughout the afternoon. Many thanks to all the friends and families that came along to support the students and their performance. A number of people commented after the performance that this was the best Westminster band they had heard - a credit to our student musicians for all their dedication and commitment to their craft. Big Band 1 also performed at the Southern Jazz Club (Highway Hotel) during the week of ABODA!

Harrison Mussel playing Georgia with Westminster Big Band 1 at the Southern Jazz Club 

Kyle Chenoweth (with his father Rob playing trumpet in the background!)

Forthcoming Concerts and Performances

Preparatory School Music Tour is underway with the Years 6/7 choir (Voxpops) under the direction of Elena Harrison. They are performing in schools on the South Coast. They have worked very hard to put a whole show together and already the 'reviews' have been excellent.

SACE Dance Concerts

Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September, 7.30 pm, Michael Murray Centre

Senior Rock Band, Junior Rock Band, Senior Jazz Ensemble

Sunday 24 September, 6.00 to 7.30 pm, doors open at 5.30 pm, free entry, Jade Monkey, corner of Flinders and Pulteney Streets, Adelaide

Big Band Bonanza

Wednesday 27 September, 7.00 pm, doors open at 6.30 pm, Norwood Live, Norwood Hotel, The Parade, Norwood

The ‘Big Band’ year will finish with a combined concert at Norwood Live. This has become a bit of a tradition in recent years and we would warmly welcome you to attend this concert. It will feature Big Band 1, Big Band 2 and Big Band 3 from Westminster, plus the Adelaide University Big Band. Tickets are available at the door or through the Music Office. Please contact Donna Dunbar, T: 08 8276 0236 or via Email

Music SA Hall of Fame Induction

On Monday 11 September Westminster School proudly hosted the induction of Eric Bryce and John McKenzie into the Music SA Hall of Fame. The Senior Concert Band performed a Suite for Band written by Eric Bryce, followed by Vocal groups from Westminster, St Mary’s College, St Peter’s Girls School, and Pembroke School. Kathy Renner and Michelle Nicole also performed in memory of John and Eric. This was followed by the formal induction ceremony with a number of speeches and tributes, hosted by Enrico Morena (the founder of the SA Hall of Fame) and Keith Conlon. It was a memorable occasion and I sincerely thank all who attended, and once again the students of Westminster for their involvement in the concert. 

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Big Rehearsal

In early August, five Westminster violin students were accepted to participate in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Big Rehearsal project, conducted by Benjamin Northey. Sofia Harris Sanchez (Year 7 Wyvern) and Phoenix Pereira (Year 7 Charter) were accepted for the Junior Big Rehearsal, and William Lam (Year 7 Crown), Isabella Stephenson (Year 7 Crown), and Amy Liew (Year 9 Fereday) played in the Intermediate Big Rehearsal. A set of pieces was sent to each student who then had two weeks to work intensely and prepare with their teacher ready for half day rehearsal and concert. On arrival at the ASO’s home (Grainger Studio in the CBD), each student was then paired with an ASO mentor who could support, encourage, and pass on tips and ideas. A few hours of rehearsal later, families and friends were invited to a concert of their work. This was a fabulous opportunity for our students to be completely immersed in and contributing to the rich and powerful sounds of a full symphony orchestra.  Also an incredible experience for families to see the techniques of the professionals from a very close up perspective, and glimpse the working life of a professional orchestral musician. Although I’m sure there may have been some nerves in those first few minutes of this project, it was delightful to see the students working confidently at such a high level, and with obvious enjoyment and energy in their playing. Within hours of finishing their performance with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, students from the Intermediate Big Rehearsal were then on stage at the Murray Centre performing at Music Night! The Junior Big Rehearsal was the next day so students performing at Music Night had only a brief recovery before their ASO time. On behalf of Violin Tutor and Strings Coordinator Jenny Symonds, thank you to families of these students for continuing to encourage and support their students in this unique and exciting musical project.

Stage 1 Drama Performance 'Waiting'

The 2017 Stage 1 Drama students should be commended for their strong, well-executed performance of 'Waiting', by Head of Drama, John Doherty. Set in an unspecified afterlife place, the multi- level, completely white set, complemented by drapes suspended from high in the lighting grid, conveyed a sense of eternal repetition and monotony, only broken by entrances of new characters, each sparking recollections of individuals’ significant memories. Whilst the play followed a linear structure, flashback techniques were used in the performance to cast the characters, each trying to make meaning and to find resolution, from “limbo,” where they were essentially “stuck,” to their respective past lives. The play transported the audience to World War II, the Tianamen Square protest, first love during the 1970s, and to stories of the hardships experienced during the Italian migration movement. The ensemble had clearly researched these significant historical moments and worked on their differentiated characters to create believable moment- to-moment realities on stage. The play not only featured captivating performances but also used stylised movement, dance routines, songs and sound motifs to capture the fragility of these characters on stage.  The ensemble was impressive with its ability to maintain focus and draw the audience into the complexities of each story as the characters struggled to resolve their respective dilemmas. Congratulations to the talented Stage 1 Drama class and to John Doherty for their exquisite work.

SACE Dance Production

SACE Dance concert 'In the Woods' will be performed next week. We encourage all members of our School community to attend this stunning evening of dance, coordinated by Head of Dance Carolyn Obst.