State ensemble program attracts top students

Bundaberg Christian College, SHEP program
Bundaberg Christian College instrumental teacher Nikki Udal said the SHEP program was the biggest all-inclusive school musical event in the Bundaberg Region.

The top musicians from across central Queensland have converged on Bundaberg for the sixth annual State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP), Middle School at Bundaberg Christian College this weekend.  

BCC instrumental teacher Nikki Udal said the program was the biggest all-inclusive school musical event in the Bundaberg Region and it was created to bring the top musical students together to work in a team environment.

Nikki said Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University's Open Conservatorium program organised SHEP and there was a total of 180 choral, string and wind instrumental students involved in the two-day event.

“The event's going really well and the kids are really enthusiastic about the program,” Nikki said.

“It gives the students the opportunity to perform to a wider circle of people, in front of people from across the state and from other local schools. It gives them the chance to see what others are doing also.

“The students rehearse in groups according to ability and then they perform a group concert for families and friends.”

What is SHEP?

SHEP is the innovative and intensive music program that was initiated to make quality musical performances while including educational activities throughout Queensland.

The State Honours Ensemble Program is a product of the partnership between schools, teachers and the Open Conservatorium at Griffith University.

Each year classroom and instrumental teachers are invited to nominate their most outstanding school musicians to participate in these programs.

Placements are available for students studying voice, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piccolo, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and orchestral percussion.

Get involved in the music program

Nikki said 44 schools were attending this weekend and SHEP was aimed at the top students in their musical field.

“We want to encourage more local students to get involved next year,” Nikki said.

“Parents can put their child’s name forward to their school to take part and the school then nominates the students to be involved.

“We need more students who are singers, we seem to have a low number of singers compared to other groups here, and they don’t have to be advanced singers, but if they enjoy singing and sing in the school choir they should think about getting involved in SHEP next year.”

Nikki said Bundaberg Christian College was proud to be involved in the SHEP event and said it was a growing program that opened the door for musical students to advance their skills.

“The students play difficult stuff as there is a minimal requirement to get in to the program,” Nikki said.

“All the students should feel quite honoured to be here.”

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