Jaquan was part of a group of 16 young musicians from Rostrevor and Loreto colleges who just returned from a trip of a lifetime to the US.
For the 17-year-old Rostrevor boarder, the experience was not only his first time overseas but saw him perform guitar alongside his school mates in New York and New Orleans. The latter was a particular highlight as this year was the 50th anniversary of the world-famous New Orleans Jazz Festival and it featured greats such as The Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tom Jones, Diana Ross, Boz Scaggs and John Fogarty.
The Rostrevor musicians, aged between 13 and 18, rehearsed intently for six months prior to the US tour, forming a ‘Big Band’ as well as smaller acoustic, jazz and rock ensembles. They were joined on tour by Year 10 Loreto student Grace Pasalidis who added vocal depth to the band.
While in New York, the Rostrevor band performed on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier at the Sea, Air and Space Museum, visited one of the world’s most famous music venues, Carnegie Hall, and attended a Broadway musical.
Rostrevor music teacher Marnie Tiggemann said the tour aimed to strengthen musical skills and spark passion and creativity among the talented students.
“This tour has enabled the students to immerse themselves in one of the most exciting music scenes in the world and gave them a taste of life as a touring musician,” she said.
Jaquan, who began playing guitar at 12 and was inspired by singer/guitarist Ed Sheeran, said he couldn’t wait to share the stories of his trip with his extended family and community back in Ceduna.
“I practised a lot in the lead up to the tour and learnt a few different styles including rock and jazz for the American performances, so the trip was really good for me musically as well,” he said.
“It was great to see the Statue of Liberty and all the different places that I’d heard so much about.”
Jaquan’s music dream was achieved with the support of his school and the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation.
Chair of the Corporation, Peter Miller, said Jaquan was a worthy recipient of a grant from its Charitable Trust which supports exceptional individuals and young Indigenous people to pursue leadership and educational opportunities.
“This has been a great opportunity for a kid from Ceduna to spread his wings and experience the world,” Mr Miller said.