The Riverina Anglican College’s orchestra and band bring home gold

CHAMPIONS: Lachlan Baggett, 14, Connor Summerhayes, 14 and Daniel Tilahun, 13, were pleased by their win. Picture: Les Smith
CHAMPIONS: Lachlan Baggett, 14, Connor Summerhayes, 14 and Daniel Tilahun, 13, were pleased by their win. Picture: Les Smith

Musical students from Wagga cleaned up at the NSW School Band Festival and the Australian Orchestra Festival. 

The Riverina Anglican College entered their students in both competitions with the band and orchestra bringing home gold. 

Director of performance, Clare Brassil, said the students were so excited by the win. 

“A performance is worth 1000 rehearsals,” she said. 

“It’s like if you have a football team who train all the time, but never play a game, they're never going to get any better.

“To get to game day and get to play, we are already 150% better when we come back.” 

Ms Brassil said it ‘feels fantastic’ to see their music program demonstrate success. 

“Our universal access program gives students the opportunity to learn an instrument,” she said. 

“About 60 percent of students who joined our band or orchestra would not have done so if they did not have the opportunity to play that instrument in Year Seven.”

More than 70 students made the trip to Sydney to compete, Ms Brassil said. 

“We unite as a team when we’re away,” she said. 

“We have the bus trip, they stay overnight and do workshops while we’re away. Gives them a sense of identity and ownership of the group, especially a big group because we took 70 students.” 

Ms Brassil said the other bonus of the trip was for the students to be able to be a part of something. 

“It’s good for them to go to Sydney and see that this a normal thing to do for so many people and see thousands of students walking around with instruments,” she said.  

 Mia Bowcher, 15, Emma Cumberlege, 16 and Ciara Wilson, 14. Picture: Les Smith

Mia Bowcher, 15, Emma Cumberlege, 16 and Ciara Wilson, 14. Picture: Les Smith

Ms Brassil said she was ‘very proud’ of all her students for their hard work and perseverance in the leadup to their performances. 

Emma Cumberlege, 16, joined up to the orchestra as soon as it started.

To get to game day and get to play, we are already 150% better when we come back

Clare Brassil

“I started with the flute and now I play the viola,” she said. “I love music and I love working with other people and it was a great experience that improved our morale. It was a really good feeling when we won.” 

 Connor Summerhayes, 14, said he was pleased when the band won. 

“I joined the band last year and I play the euphonium tuba,” he said.  “It was a great experience and everyone was really happy when we won.” 

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