International award for student musicians

The West of the NSW Divide Wind Ensemble, comprising students from seventeen secondary schools, has won a gold award in the Hong Kong International Youth Music Festival.

Competing against 11 other groups in their category, all from Hong Kong, the ensemble's gold award was one of only two given, and the only one in the instrumental section.

The ensemble took part in the festival—which ran from 12-14 April—after impressing Hong Kong Disneyland with an audition DVD recorded at their first combined rehearsal at Dubbo in January.

In addition to competing, the ensemble took part in workshops and played with other groups and conductors, and performed in Disneyland.

Their success has brought an invitation to take part in the prestigious Vienna international youth music festival Summa Cum Laude in July next year.

Conductors Di Hall and Michael Tierney chose a broad repertoire representing a variety of music genres made up of Santana in Concert, Tribute to Whitney Houston, Solas Ane' by Samuel Hazo, Celebration of Life, an Australian composed piece for a Jewish community by Ralph Hultgren, selections from Mary Poppins and Danzas Cubanas, a difficult Latin influenced piece.

The ensemble is supported by three musically gifted teachers, Rebecca Sullivan from Tamworth High, Noelene McGrane from Oxley High and Chris Fish from Junee High, and has students from:

Farrer Memorial Agricultural High

Albury High

Dubbo College Senior Campus

Dubbo College South Campus

Hunter School of Performing Arts

Kooringal High

Mudgee High

Narrabri High

Orange High

Oxley High

Peel High

Tamworth High

Wade High

Wagga Wagga High

Warialda High

Yanco MA High

Young High


The Ensemble also benefits from partnerships with the Newcastle and Sydney Conservatoriums of Music, which provide students who act as mentor tutors.



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