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Schools feel the beat at jazz festival


There was cause for much celebration at two Catholic colleges following their positive experiences at the recent Generations in Jazz festival held in Mount Gambier.

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While they may not have taken out first place in their divisions, the bands from St Francis de Sales and St Paul’s colleges certainly had the ‘winning feeling’ after wonderful performances in front of huge crowds at the event.

JazZone, the senior vocal ensemble from St Francis de Sales wowed crowds at the festival and were thrilled to achieve fourth in Division 4. The ensemble, which comprised 12 students from Years 8-11, was led by 2019 JazZone captains Ruby Shaw and Nathan Sachse and directed by head of Music, Rebecca Page.

The group had been rehearsing tirelessly several times a week preparing for its performance.

Mrs Page said a highlight for the ensemble was attending the gala concert in the enormous James Morrison Pavilion which featured well known jazz musicians from around the globe. Students also enjoyed the performances of their peers and participating in jazz craft workshops.

Meanwhile, students from St Paul’s College were literally jumping for joy following their performance.

Ten students from the college’s Stage Band travelled to Mount Gambier to compete and were awarded second place in Division 4+.

“This superb result is a credit to the hard work, preparation and rehearsals attended by the students,” said Music teacher Libby Verrall.

Band member Caleb Rodgers said his favourite aspect about competing in Generations in Jazz was being surrounded by other students from all over Australia and jazz professionals “who are just as passionate about music as we are”.

“I even had the chance to meet Harry Morrison (James’ son) and shake his hand!”

Ben Merritt described the atmosphere as “inspiring”.

“Everyone is happy to be there, everyone is having fun, and everyone is enjoying themselves,” he said.

The jazz competition saw performances from 5400 students from 134 schools across Australia and New Zealand.

Students from St Francis de Sales at the festival, back from left, Jacqueline Voltz, Nathan Sachse (captain), Kaan Zade, Ruby Shaw (captain), Charlotte Ernst, Caitlin Plenderleith, Matilda Lovelock, Eliza Lovelock; front, Lauren Watson, Jackson Rendall, Glenn Fisher, Talia Zade.


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