Students perform in Australia’s largest orchestra

Online Orchestra to perform I am Australian

Bundaberg State High School students
Bundaberg State High School orchestra students filmed I Am Australian at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

Two local schools will share a significant part of Bundaberg Region history with the world as they take part in Australia's biggest orchestra.

Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) invited instrumentalists and singers everywhere to be a part of the biggest orchestra in Australia earlier this year.

On Friday Bundaberg State High School instrumental music students were joined by singing students from Norville State School to record their rendition of I am Australian at the iconic Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

The recording is part of the AMEB 2019 Online Orchestra, which will be broadcast across the globe later this year.

Instrumental music teacher Christine Buwalda said it was not a competition, but more of an experience for the children to join together to perform the piece while having fun.

“We did participate last year with Waltzing Matilda and found it really exciting though we only filmed it in our music room at school and this year they have asked that we show off our fantastic city,” Ms Buwalda said.

The perfect place to record school orchestra

A lot of thought went in to choosing the ideal location to make the recording, to ensure the Bundaberg Region was on full display to those watching the broadcast.

Bundaberg State High School students performing in front of Bert Hinkler's house
Bundaberg State High School students performing in front of Bert Hinkler's house.

With a tough decision to make Ms Buwalda said it came to showcasing a significant part of the region's history.

“We were asked to represent our lovely city and yes we did think about the cane fields and turtles, but in the end the students thought our history was way more important to have in the background therefore Bert Hinkler was our obvious choice,” she said.

“Therefore Bert Hinkler won hands down.”

Why take part?

Ms Buwalda said there were numerous benefits for the students who participated in this year's AMEB Online Orchestra event.

“They make music with both the strings and concert band together and then the Norville State School voices will add to this,” she said.

“We are taking this fantastic song I am Australian out to the community, which is also very exciting for students and they will be able to see themselves on the computer in months to come and then as often as they wish to click on their link.

“Therefore students will see the whole picture from practising a part to seeing how their moment on film can be captured and added to others in Australia who wish to add their parts as well.”

I am Australian

I am Australian, written by Bruce Woodley AO and Dobe Newton, is the chosen song for the 2019 AMEB Online Orchestra.

This follows the success of last year’s launch during the centenary of AMEB, where nearly 2000 individuals submitted a recording of Waltzing Matilda.

This year’s AMEB Online Orchestra promises to be bigger and better.

“I am delighted that AMEB have chosen my song I am Australian to be arranged in various instrumental formats for the ongoing musical education of young Australians,” Ambassador, Bruce Woodley AO told the Arts Review

“I am sure that the musical arrangements will do justice to the song and look forward to hearing them played.

“The best description of my song I have ever heard was that it was ‘a big pot of glue' helping bring many diverse cultures together, to the exclusion of no one.

“The AMEB musical arrangements are another important expression of that important idea.”

Ms Buwalda encourages anyone who would like to take part in the AMEB Online Orchestra to do so as there is still time to enter.

“This project is open to any and all school and community groups or soloist and we think the more the merrier to perform this great song I am Australian,” she said.