Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Generations in Jazz sets the stage for excellence

Posted 24 May 2019

Senior students at the Generations in Jazz festival

Wesley College music students took to the stage alongside more than 5,200 of their counterparts from Australia and New Zealand for the 36th Generations in Jazz festival in Mount Gambier.

The 2019 Generations in Jazz festival, held on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, brought together jazz icons of today and the bright stars of tomorrow for three days of workshops, competition and concerts.

Wesley students joined an impressive 390 school stage bands and vocal ensembles at the festival not only to compete but also work with the likes of Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, acclaimed jazz, blues and gospel singer Liz Wright and jazz legend James Morrison

Students competed for top gong in the event’s Stage Band Awards as well as individual jazz and vocal scholarships and a place in the highly coveted ‘Superbands’, all-star ensembles of the top student performers at the festival.

Wesley’s bands and vocal ensembles performed with distinction across Divisions one to four, with students Henry Rawlings and Claire Peters selected to take part in the Division one and two Superbands respectively.

Henry, who was selected for the Division one Superband for the second consecutive year, described the opportunity as an exciting and challenging experience.

 ‘I was thrilled to be chosen for Superband. It is so much fun and an amazing experience to play with some of the best young musicians from all over the country.

‘Playing in the big tent at Gambier is pretty unreal. It’s pretty nerve-wracking because all your preparation leads to this one performance, but it is a truly incredible experience,’ he said.

Student and jazz vocalist Oliva Harrison says the event provides an opportunity for students to learn from the best in the business.

‘My favourite memory was sitting in a vocal workshop, learning from Liz Wright as she provided a masterclass in jazz vocals – I gained so much from the experience.

‘It’s amazing to work with students your age as well as professional musicians, who are all there for the same reason, to share their love of jazz.

‘I am extremely proud of what we achieved this year; I know we gave it our absolute best.’

Congratulations to all students for their hard work and dedication in the lead up to the competition and for the wonderful way in which they represented Wesley College over the whole weekend.

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