It’s always great to be invited to Adelaide to work with a school. First reason is it’s my home town and secondly, the music schools there are amazing! The students are all highly talented and motivated individuals, and it is clear the motivation comes from the dedicated music teachers that work with them. Darryl Pope is one of those teachers. He has recently moved from Wilderness College to Pembroke College after about 20 years dedicated service.
Pembroke College has a long history of great bands and choirs, and this year’s batch of students are no exception.
Darryl invited us to headline their annual Jazz Cabaret and do some workshops. John worked with the stage band and concert band and was absolutely blown away by the extremely high standard. A great treat for the students was a visit from the University of Adelaide Big Band for a combined workshop. It was an opportunity for the students from Pembroke to discover how they could continue their musical path, even if they didn’t choose to study music full time.
Meanwhile, I took about 50 vocalists from the choir through the first stages of improvisation. They all had a go at scatting and learned that it doesn’t have to be a scary venture! 6 volunteers (chosen by me) participated in an exercise where they scat in pairs, trading 4’s, having a conversation with each other. The results were quite hilarious as we tried to guess what the conversation might be about. They learned a blues head in 3 part harmony and we picked 9 volunteers to scat in the concert the next night.
The Jazz Cabaret was a hugely successful night. A full house at the Norwood Concert Hall gave the students a real buzz. All the groups performed, and had John and I perform with them at different stages in the night. Also performing were trumpeter Ross Irwin (most would know from The Cat Empire), vocalist Liz Tobias, trombonist Nick Pietsch and bassist Marty Holoubek.
On Friday morning we were invited to do a short performance in the chapel for the senior assembly. The chaplain gave an inspiring talk about finding your talent, that everyone has a talent but sometimes it can take a lifetime to discover what it is. John then spent some time with the drummers who are in the drum line group before we headed to the airport.
It was a very inspiring 3 days at Pembroke and we look forward to visiting them again.