Presenting at the Maryborough Music Education Conference in Brisbane, Australia
For my first stop on my Australia tour, I spent 5 days in Maryborough as the OUP-sponsored clinician, working with an 80-strong all-woman choir of choral educators and classroom teachers on material from Popular Voiceworks 2, the second book which I co-authored with the amazing Steve Milloy. Our first book won ‘Best Pop Music Publication’ of 2008, as voted for by the Music Retailers Association of the UK, and we launched the second one in Leeds, UK, in August 2012. We worked on a number of songs, including Gershwin’s ‘My man’s gone now’ from Porgy and Bess and Steve’s arrangement of ‘Ode Joy’, and finished with a concert on the final day.
Music education in Australia is organised state by state, and the Maryborough annual conference represents and services Queensland music education, the largest and most ambitious event in Australia with over 800 participants and all the major publishers and manufacturers there. The most exciting and distinctive aspect for me was the way in which all the teachers present were actively involved in music-making, in either bands, choirs or orchestras, as well as attending sessions on their teaching craft. Through real music-making to a high standard, the conference feeds Queensland educators, reminding them of what music is about and why they became educators in the first place.
I was honored to be one of the international clinicians leading this important re-energising work, and it was also amazing to meet some of the others, including the inspirational Tim Lautzenheiser, Andrew Surmani, who is current chair the Jazz Educators’ Network, and Pete BarenBregge, who ran the big band. It was also lovely to see kids’ music-making in amongst the adults’ activities, and I met the Harley Mead, who ran a highly energetic and technically accomplished children’s choir.
In the picture, you can just see me in the pink shirt on the far left with the microphone doing my OUP presentation to a group of over 100.