Meridan State College has a thriving arts program. The Instrumental Music Program runs across both campuses with six days of tuition. Both campuses offer a String program and a Brass, Woodwind and Percussion (Band) program. Students in Years 3-12 (Strings) or Years 4-12 (Band) are eligible to be considered for enrolment into the Instrumental Program. Students are selected in accordance with the schools policy, taking into account the suitability of the student, the balance of the ensemble program and the available time allocated to the school. Both programs offer free tuition with a 30 minute group lesson each week. There are also some instruments available for loan (for beginner students and the larger more expensive instruments needed for a balanced ensemble).
The Primary Campus has Beginner and Junior Strings and Beginner and Concert Band, while the Secondary Campus has Senior Strings, Chamber Strings, Wind Ensemble and extension groups Vivaldi Strings and Stage Band.
Throughout the year the students perform at many formal College functions (ANZAC Day, Excellence awards), Music Nights (instrumental Music Soiree and Instrumental Extravaganza) and family performances such as the Twilight Festival. Our students also compete at the Sunshine Coast Junior Eisteddfod and Fanfare.
Many of the students involved in the instrumental Music Program often participate in excellence programs outside of the College such as Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra, the North Coast Region Instrumental Music Excellence Program, MOST and Creative Generations. The music department at Meridan State College is fortunate to have many talented and dedicated students.
Instrumental Music Teachers
Brendan Hucknall is the instrumental music teacher for brass, woodwind and percussion across the college. He conducts the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Beginner Band and Stage Band and is at the school Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Elisna van Niekerk is the instrumental music teacher for strings across the college. She conducts the Beginner Strings, Junior Strings, Senior Strings, Chamber Strings and Vivaldi String Octet and is at the school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The school ensembles are the heart of our program. These are permanent ensembles, as well as other smaller groups which come together for special events. Attendance at rehearsals and performances is compulsory. If a student cannot attend one week for a “valid” reason please email the conductor of the ensemble as soon as possible.
Wind Ensemble, Concert Band & Beginner Band
The “Concert Bands” are the “CORE” ensembles of the Multi program. It is a large ensemble containing the full range of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. It is a requirement of Education Queensland that all students learning a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument at school must be a part of a concert band once they are of an appropriate standard. The Wind Ensemble rehearses once a week on a Wednesday morning from 7:20am to 8:35am. The Concert Band rehearses once a week, on a Thursday morning, from 7:45am to 8:30am. The Beginner Band rehearses once a week, on a Friday morning from 8.00 to 8.30am.
The Chamber String ensemble rehearse each week on Tuesday mornings from 7:30am to 8:30am. The Junior String ensemble is for primary students who have successfully completed their first year of string lessons and rehearses weekly on Wednesday mornings from 7:45am to 8:40am. Beginner Strings are for students in their first year of learning and rehearse on Thursday mornings from 7:45am to 8:40am. The Senior String ensemble is for advanced primary school students and junior secondary students and rehearse every Tuesday afternoon from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. The String groups are compulsory for all students learning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello and double bass).
This is essentially a jazz band, playing a variety of styles including jazz, rock and funk. The Stage band rehearses Wednesday afternoons 3:15pm to 4:15pm. Entry to this group is by invitation only.
This is a group of string players selected from the Chamber Strings Orchestra that performs regularly at school and private functions. They currently rehearse from 11:2am to 12:20pm on Tuedays. They play a variety of musical styles ranging from the classics to modern popular music.
Each Ensemble performs a number of times each year. It is a requirement that all members are present for every performance. There are some major competitions and performances each year. They include the biannual Fanfare competition, the Eisteddfod in early August and in-house school ceremonies and music celebration nights.
There are some small fees involved with the Instrumental Strings Program.
General Instrumental Music Levy – there is a fee per year for each program a student is involved in. This goes towards the cost of purchasing music, purchasing new instruments and maintaining ensemble equipment (stands and banners).
Instrumental Loan – There is a fee per year for students who have use of a school instrument. This goes towards repair and eventual replacement. Fees will be invoiced by the school.