Mar 1 2013 – Carey Baptist College, Perth, WA

What a great last minute surprise it was to be asked to visit Carey Baptist College on our recent visit to Perth.

Music teacher, Scott Loveday, invited us to do a short lunchtime performance for the students while they had lunch on the lawn. It was a beautiful day and we were pleasantly surprised to be accompanied by such accomplished musicians as Scott with Matt Richards on sax and ex-student, Rohan Nelson. At the end of the concert, some of the younger students sat in on “Route 66” for an impromptu jam.

After the concert, John and I worked with the year 11 and 12 students who were working on their arrangements. There were some seriously good ideas in the room, and everyone was open to new ways to fine tune their projects. It was very inspiring to hear such great up and coming talent in the room.

Thank you for inviting us to your school for the afternoon. It was wonderful to hear so many accomplished players, particularly in jazz. It was also great to hear the young students coming up! We look forward to seeing this program develop even more in the coming years. Thanks also to Mark Wagenaar for the photos.

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Feb 28, 2013 – Australind High School, Bunbury, WA

What better way to kick off the new year than to head to the west coast of Australia, and help Australind High School launch their new jazz program.

Australind is a state high school in Bunbury, WA, about 90mins from Perth. John has been to visit a couple of times in the past, and for the last couple of years, has been advising them on how to start a dedicated jazz stream into their school curriculum. With Andrew Mackay-Simm leading the way, they have auditioned about 20 year 8 students to be the first year through the program, and John spent a couple of hours with them discovering the joys of improvisation. With the help of his good mate, Perth sax man, Paul “Pax” Andrews, it was a noisy and productive afternoon.

In the evening, we all headed to the Bunbury Entertainment Centre where several bands performed, including past students, current teachers, and special guests. John did a demonstration improvisation workshop and asked for students to volunteer to come on stage. Within seconds, the stage was swamped with eager students willing to have a go! John, Pax and I did a guest spot with the swingin’ teacher’s band, and the night was capped off with a few tunes from Jamie Ohlers and friends from WAAPA.

It was a great day, a fun evening, and we look forward to seeing how this jazz program will develop in the coming years.

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