WAYJO at WAAPA – Feb 26, 2013

2013 is going to be a HUUUUUUUUUUGE year for us. We have lots of travel on the cards, going back to many of the schools we have visited before, and adding several more schools to our list!

So with schools and universities FINALLY back after the summer break, we headed off to Perth, WA.

Our first visit was to the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) to workshop the bands and singers of the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra.

WAYJO has 3 bands – WAYJO Swing Band directed by Ricki Malet, WAYJO Big Band directed by Marty Pervan, and WAYJO Composer’s Ensemble directed by Mace Francis. The bands are all at various levels, but because they are entry by audition on an annual basis, the level is very high. With John’s brother, James Morrison, due to visit for concerts with WAYJO a few days later, our visit was timely for John to workshop the young musicians. With Mace Francis heading the charge, John was able to walk them through James’ difficult charts as they sightread their way through some death-defying tempos!!

With 3 stage bands, I had 3 lovely singers to work with – Anea, Sarah and Georgia. Georgia had not even been to her first band rehearsal yet, so it was ALL so new. The girls are also at different levels (1 graduated, 1 in final year, and 1 newbie) but all had great pitch, beautiful tones and a huge amount of enthusiasm for developing their craft. Great to see!

By 10.30pm, John and I hit the wall. Surely our jetlag can’t be THAT bad?? Then I realised that, while it was only 10.30 at night in Perth, our bodies were on 1.30am Sydney time! AND we’d been up since 6am getting kids off to school before heading to the airport. But sometimes, getting to work with such talent makes the exhaustion worthwhile!

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