Music Tour 2017
There is something particularly special about the annual music tour. This year there were 49 students from Years 7 – 12, five ensembles and eight shows. Echuca was a great destination for the 2017 tour, though there was one show where we popped across to Moama in NSW, so we can technically call this our first interstate tour!
Students shared in the full experience; from loading and setting up, to performing and presenting, but the tour is so much more. The performances are demanding, set up is timed, musicality is measured, challenged, explored and we are all part of the one unit as we move in and out of the performance spaces in the eight schools across the tour.
The shows were high energy with excellent audiences who were wonderful participants in dancing, singing and learning how to conduct. Student leaders played the role of MC, making the teachers practically redundant, but we still stayed for the music!
Keeping in mind that the full set up is run by the students, the first show deserves special mention. Staff are not allowed to help, and as almost half of the students attending this year were new to the tour, and many of the veterans were in new roles, the first set up was a little nerve-wrakcing. It wasn’t until everyone began tuning that our guitar ensemble students realised the guitars were still on the bus which was pulling away. The bus returned in time for the show and the ensemble played, but in the wrap up of the show we reflected on our strengths and weaknesses, and asked “What do we need to do better?”. 49 hands go up and chorus “remember to bring the guitars off the bus!!!”. Inspiring learning, wouldn’t you say?
I witnessed some beautiful moments between students as they connected musically and personally throughout the tour. There are few opportunities for the music students to be amongst mixed year levels for such a length of time, and the interpersonal benefits are profound, with new connections made on tour continuing as we move back into regular school routines. The 2017 Music Tour was a wonderful experience.
Year 8 Student, Duncan Geddes offered this personal reflection of his time on the tour.
This was my first Music Tour so I thought that it was all about was the music. However, I was mistaken as Music Tour is not just about the music you play, but about the friendships and new experiences that can shape you into the person the school sets out to make you.
The Music Tour represents not just the hard work done by the students involved, but also by the teachers who organize and plan every detail from where we will be staying to where we will be performing. This effort realistically shapes the outcome of the tour, as it gives us a sense of what we can achieve and improve on over the tour. It also sets the tone for how we feel and conduct ourselves during the time away. I think we all became better musicians and were great ambassadors for De La Salle. We also managed to set a new record for set up and pack up.
I think lots of people discovered things while on tour. We performed for eight schools ranging in size from 200 to 42 students and all of us discovered that home is warmer and has better food, that you shouldn’t leave your sleeping bag and pillow on the ground on a rainy day and Miss Frost is one of the most competitive people on the planet. Over the eight performances I think the Guitar Ensemble learnt how to nod like true rock gods, the Concert Band light up every student’s face as familiar songs from movies like Harry Potter were played and the Stage Band brought everyone to their feet for dancing. Whenever the performances had finished, you could hear students humming their favourite songs like “You’ve Got A Friend in Me” performed by the Saxophone Ensemble or “Get Smart” by the Brass Ensemble. The Choir seemed to appeal to everyone with their sweet melodic sound.
I think every boy on tour was secretly thrilled by the fact that they, as musicians, got to show people how much work and effort they had put into the pieces they played. This feeling was not just targeted towards the audience for whom we performed, but to the other students and teachers that were also on tour. It allows all of us as musicians to show how talented we are at different things from others in the group and gives us a sense of pride and place in the bands or ensembles in which we play.
Duncan Geddes, Year 8
Ms Cindy Frost