Soloist concerts report

Soloist Concert Report for 2013 -2014
There were 4 soloist concerts held in 2013, and there have been 2 so far this year (2014).
The concerts have all been wonderful events with some really quite remarkable performances and a diverse range of genres presented. In keeping with the title of the series the majority of performances are solos, with or without accompaniment, however we have had had some lovely duets and even a trio as well. I really feel the students are embracing the opportunity available to them to perform at these concerts, and the degree of preparation and their professional presentation has certainly been evident. Seeing some of the students premier their own compositions is a highlight in itself!
In 2013 the booking of the venue was done quite late meaning all the concerts were in term 3 or 4, and this posed some difficulty for year 11 and 12. However Jeff Willey kindly organised the venues for 2014 at the end of 2013, allowing the concerts to all be on Friday evenings and spread well throughout the year. The Year 11 and 12 concert was held recently in late May which is a much better time of year for them and this showed in the enthusiastic response to be included.
The concerts have all been in either Recital Hall East or West and while they were at 5.30pm previously, they have been held this year at 6.30pm in keeping with the school’s policy that all concerts be at 6.30pm to avoid any confusion. There was some concern about making students wait around longer for the concerts, particularly impacting non-performing peers’ ability to attend, but audiences have, if anything, been a little stronger than last year. It may in fact be easier for families to attend at the later time.
Annette and I shared the role of concert organising last year, and this year we have swapped roles completely. I have been organising the performers and the program and Annette is providing the delicious and much appreciated afternoon tea. Annette spent many years putting a lot of work into organising these concerts on her own, and the fact that they run so smoothly now is a great testament to her many efforts. A big thank you for all that!
At the last concert a very successful group dinner after the event was kindly organised by Linda for the yr 11 and 12 performers, to make the whole event more social and enjoyable, and parents and students enjoyed the opportunity alike. Hopefully other years will be able to embrace this idea and follow suit. There are plenty of great local restaurants available and this one was held at Japanese restaurant Hokkaido down on Loftus St (and the Vivid Lighting certainly helped with the celebratory mood!)
A very big thank you to Cathy Davis, Robert Curry and Zsuzsa Giczy for so generously accompanying last year and so far this year. I can’t really express how generous their efforts are, but clearly the concerts wouldn’t work the same without them. I have put quite a bit of effort into making the students be organised for accompaniment 2 weeks in advance. I feel these concerts are a valuable opportunity to learn what it takes to organise an accompanist and the appropriate rehearsal time, and the courtesy they all deserve at having timely notice for what is required for a concert. I feel there is some work still to be done in this area, but some improvements have certainly begun. I have also been pushing the performers to promote their own concert. If I can get their repertoire off them early enough I can organise programs and get the concert publicised as widely as possible, including getting the kids to print them out and hand them around to plenty of friends and family in advance.
I am considering changing the application process for playing in the concerts in 2015. Rather than asking at the beginning of the year and then having a number of students change their mind about whether they now do or don’t wish to play when the concert finally comes around, I may instead publish the performance dates in year groups at the start of the year (as has been so successful in the past) but ask for applications to play 4-6 weeks prior to the concert. This would mean less chasing around for me, more certainty all round and might help me get the students on track with organising accompaniment better and getting a program organised earlier! Watch this space …
Thank you to Cathy, Linda, Jan and Chris for helping with organisation, forms, chasing students and publicising the concerts. Thank you to Ian for publishing the programs on the Skool Bag App. Thank you to all who have come and supported the concerts. It’s always a pleasure to have families come of course, and even better to have fellow peers come and support each other even when they are not playing themselves. Thank you also to the staff and teachers who have been coming along to these concerts over the last 18 months – it is really very much appreciated and shows how supportive the staff at this school are, of all our students.
Most importantly a big thank you to the students and their remarkable performances. I look forward to the next year of fantastic concerts. It may be a well-kept secret, but this is definitely the most rewarding and enjoyable P&C job available!!

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