Twelve high school students from around the Bundaberg Region are about to perform on the world stage as they embark on a musical journey to Bundaberg’s sister city Nanning.
Bundaberg State High School students Alex Buckholz and Katie McCord are both excited to represent the Bundaberg Region and perform at Beijing and Nanning.
Alex said the concert group will leave Bundaberg on Sunday, 15 September and be performing at the Nanning Folk Festival along with other commitments.
“We are going to Nanning Number 4 School, which is Bundaberg State High School's sister school,” Alex said.
The Bundaberg State High School captain said it would be the second time the pair had attended, after they were fortunate enough to go along last year.
“We had to audition and be selected to attend,” Alex said.
“I would like to thank our music teacher Mrs Buwalda and principal Mrs McCord who will come along with us also.
“We are very lucky, and I look forward to it.”
Incredible experience on offer
Katie said it would be an incredible experience to travel across the world and play her viola in front of hundreds of people.
“I think it will be an interesting experience, the culture over there is very different to Australia’s and it will be an amazing opportunity,” Katie said.
“We are very fortunate to be chosen and thank the Bundaberg Regional Council for the help in allowing us to go overseas.
“I think it will be a wonderful trip all round and the experiences we get will be unparalleled to any other.
“I am hoping to see the Great Wall of China while I am there!”
Bundaberg State High School principal Karen McCord said it was personally important to her that region students were given the chance to be compete on a global stage.
“Our motto is being very much about preparing the global citizens of tomorrow,” she said.
“In the 21st century and the world that we live in, they have to be connected and in particular our top kids they need to be able to compete on a world stage.
“Too often our regional kids don’t think they are as good as the kids in the city so its’s really important to me that they get out as much as they can and connect and see what is out there.”
Opening the opportunity to all schools
Mrs McCord said it would be second time local students had the opportunity to visit Nanning and perform, with last year being the inaugural visit recognising the 20th anniversary between the Bundaberg Region and Nanning.
“After our kids had the opportunity and gained so much from the visit last year, so we opened it up to all of the other high schools to make sure all kids in the region had the opportunity,” Mrs McCord said.
“We approached the Council and the Council started negotiating with Nanning and they said yes!
“It’s now a return visit every year, which is just wonderful.”
Mrs McCord said last year the students played two Australia themed songs, which proved popular with the Chinese, so this year the focus was all on Australiana.
“It will be hard work for the students for the four days they are in Nanning, they are our ambassadors for Bundaberg,” she said.
“Bundaberg music teachers have a really good network and Bundaberg has a great regional music program and they all got together themselves and worked out the levels that the kids needed to be with their music.
“We could have kept it to ourselves and just had our students go as we have two Sister Schools over there, but our kids last year grew so much, and we had to open it up and share the opportunity.”
The 12 students will wear a custom-made uniform made by Sue Hargreaves from Nathan’s Boutique.
“We wanted all the students from each of the different schools to be uniform and Sue has done a wonderful job in doing this,” Mrs McCord said.
Perfect representation for Bundaberg
Cr Helen Blackburn and Cr Ross Sommerfeld were given a sneak peak of the students practising their performance on Sunday evening.
Cr Blackburn said it was an exciting time for the Bundaberg students and they should all be very proud.
“I am really excited about the students going over there as I know what the reception young people get when they go over there,” Cr Blackburn said.
“It will be great for the students and a great representation of what Bundaberg has to offer.
“In the last visit the student did us proud as a region and we definitely look forward to that continuing.”
Cr Sommerfeld congratulated the string students for being chosen to take part in the Nanning visit.
“It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids,” he said.
“They may never get the chance to perform on such a big stage in front of the world like this again, with world class performers.”
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