John and I travelled 5 hours to Port Macquarie on the NSW north coast. At jazz camp this year, we had 7 students come from the area who were so enthusiastic about their music, and learning and playing jazz in particular, that their teacher, Sharon Green, decided to bring jazz camp home!
Over 4 jam-packed days, John and I workshopped bands, choirs and solo vocalists from St Joseph’s Regional High School, St Paul’s High School, Heritage Christian College, North Haven Primary School and even local community band, Black Magic Big Band.
As well as digging into the workshops, the students joined us in performing at the Panthers club in town. It was a great night of performances from all the students that was very well attended by friends and family. We had the pleasure of performing with local musicians for a quintet set – Geoff Kearns on piano, Chris Trotman on sax, and young multi-instrumentalist Laura Small, who did a wonderful job on bass. We got off to a bit of a shaky start when our GPS took us to the wrong club – there is another Panthers club just out of town. We arrived there just in time for a round of Bingo!!! Thankfully we were able to find our way to the right venue in time.
It was very exciting for us to go to a new region that has so much support for the arts in their schools. We are looking forward to building a long lasting relationship with the musicians in this beautiful part of Australia.