The Barry Currie Stage Band and the VCE jazz combo travelled to Mount Gambier over the weekend to participate in the Generations in Jazz festival. This festival is run by jazz legend, James Morrison, and is hosted by the James Morrison Academy, a university for jazz studies.
This year, 4700 secondary school students – forming 305 bands – from across Australia attended the festival where they participated in competitions, workshops, nominated for scholarships and attended performances by world-class musicians.
The headline act this year was the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and James Morrison, performing The A to Z of Jazz, conducted by Old Collegian, Ben Northey. Other acts included Ollie McGill and Ross Irwin, members of The Cat Empire , Gordon Goodwin, Mat Jodrell, Darren Percival, Wycliffe Gordon, Marian Petrescu and Jazzmeia Horn.
Our students were given so many opportunities that will enrich their musical learning – being able to attend a small part of the Adelaide Symphony rehearsal was an absolute highlight. This was an incredible opportunity for our students to experience the work and dedication it takes to be a musician in a world-class orchestra. Our students then attended an exclusive session with Ben Northey, where they received invaluable advice on how to develop their musical talents. Some students also attended instrument specific workshops and met one-on-one with experts.
It was wonderful to catch up with Old Collegians, Jack Walker and Jack Quail, current students of the James Morrison Academy, who attended our rehearsals and offered advice to both ensembles. It was a great pleasure to see Jack Walker perform as part of the Sunday afternoon concert with the James Morrison Academy Jazz Combo 1.
James Morrison embodies what it is to be a musician and what we aspire to at Clarendon – high standards, enjoyment of the music and inclusion of everyone, no matter their experience. This was a weekend that will not easily be forgotten.
We are very grateful to the Friends of Performing Arts Committee, who subsidised the travel cost in order for students to attend. It is this support that enables our students to have unprecedented access to events such as Generations in Jazz.