The Stage Band was put to the test at last Thursday’s launch of CoSiES (a collaborative learning community that includes Rose Bay Secondary College and 12 partner primary schools in the Eastern Suburbs), and passed with flying colours.
Guests in attendance at the event included Dr Phil Lambert, Regional Director, Sydney (NSW Department of Education and Communities), Member for Vaucluse and Parliamentary Secretary for Tertiary Education and Skills, Ms Gabrielle Upton; the Mayor of Waverley, John Wakefield; Member for Wentworth and Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, Malcolm Turnbull; media personality Costa Georgiadis; business leaders; school captains and P&C representatives from all 13 schools.
MEP director Murray Jackson reports:
Unlike other performance opportunities the brief required a long set, with the band to provide an ambience, rather than being a focal point; to be functional rather than formal with guests needing to network and converse without being imposed upon by the music.
So in many ways, a real “gig”!
We spoke at length about the role required, in particular that volume, and our ability to control it without losing depth or intensity, would be critical to our success.
The band were outstanding. All members behaved with maturity and diligence to acquit themselves in stellar fashion. They provided a sophisticated, elegant backdrop, responding well to prompts and reacting to unforeseen circumstances with aplomb. Cues were anticipated and musical solutions found for circumstantial issues, many of which could not be anticipated in the rehearsal environment. Due to the extended duration of the performance we had the opportunity to open up sections and most of the soloists in the band were featured, including our newest member.
As most professional musicians would attest, it is on the gig that one learns the craft and I think these opportunities, while lacking the glamour of the large auditorium or stage, provide the chance to learn the skills required of being a musician. We live in a society where the PA and the I-pod have replaced the skill of live performance so we can forget that live music has utilitarian, societal role.
While much contemporary music making has become compromised by the clamor for celebrity it is great to see the students of RBSC honing their act in the unambiguous and unflinching live situation. I believe they appreciated the canapes too.
Well done to all!