Music camp!

Music camp is happening this year from May 18-22. As anyone who has attended before will tell you, this is a fantastic experience. Students have the opportunity to work intensively on their craft over several days, not just with our fantastic existing tutors, but also with a number of visiting professional musicians. We encourage everyone in MEP to attend, especially students who are new to the program this year.

This year the camp is in two sections.

Students in the Rock Band program will travel to the camp after school on Monday 18th May, stay two nights, and return late afternoon on Wednesday 20th May. Students in all other ensembles will travel to the camp after school on Wednesday 20th May, stay two nights, and return late afternoon on Friday 22nd May. Any student wishing to attend both sections will travel down on the Monday, stay four nights, and travel back on the Friday.

We realise this means students attending only one section will be spending slightly less time at the camp than in previous years. However, splitting the camp into two sections will minimize the occasions where students have two competing rehearsals at the same time, or experience ‘down time’ while waiting for rehearsal spaces to become available. With time at the camp better spent, we believe this will make Music Camp better value.

We are investigating the possibility of Year 11 students taking their Year 11 exams while at the camp. This clash with exams was something out of our control – the camp venue had to be booked a year in advance, while Year 11 exams have only recently been moved to the same week.

We estimate that the cost of the camp this year will be a maximum of $350 for one section, and $500 for both sections. As we aim to break even, we may be able to reduce the cost a little, once we have a better idea of the numbers.

Please get your expressions of interest in as soon as possible – just send an email to admin@rbscmep.net.au , telling us whether your child plans to attend camp, and which group/ensemble they are part of. Depending on the numbers, we may not be able to run events for all the ensembles.

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Don’t miss …

… MEP program director  Murray Jackson performing with the Brendan Clarke  Quartet, this Friday night March 6 at the Sydney jazz venue the Foundry 6Screen shot 2015-03-02 at 8.53.34 PM16 in Harris St, Ultimo. The line-up is Brendan Clarke (bass) and Andrew Gander (drums) with special guest Ben Hauptmann on guitar, but for MEP members the star is likely to be Murray, seen for a change off the podium and demonstrating a different set of skills playing alto sax. Under-18s are welcome at the Foundry, they just need be accompanied by an adult and seated at a table – dinner’s available and  there’s also a concession for students. For more information call the Foundry 616 (ph 02 9211 9442) or visit here; buy tickets here and read about  (and listen to) Brendan Clarke here.

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The show’s on the road

The MEP schedule kicks off this week with choir rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, at 3.30pm in the hall. Auditions for vocal ensemble will be from 4.30pm. Singing is one of the simplest and best pleasures there is, and singing with others even better – we highly recommend choir to everyone. And, just to be clear, we really believe there’s no such thing as a person who can’t sing – so if you’re interested in giving it a go, see Miss Ranger (music staffroom) or turn up on Thursday. Auditions for vocal ensemble will be held from 4.30pm. This also seems like the right time to introduce our new vocal tutor, Sally Marrett, who comes to us with a background of over 20 years experience as a performer (an early gig was two years on Channel 7 series Home and Away): she has been a Sydney-based singer/songwriter for the past 10 years and has taught singing and music for the past seven, to private students, in schools and at the Conservatorium Open Academy. Find her contact details on the tutors page, here.

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Here we are – it’s 2015

Here at the MEP everyone’s excited to be at the start of a new year of music-making. We’re kicking things off with an information night for students and families new to the school and anyone else who thinks now’s the time to get involved in the one of the best co-curricular programEoY2014_JCB2s RBSC has to offer. There’s a place in the program for every kind of musician – experienced, novice and yet-to-begin. Come along on Monday Feb 9 at 6pm to the school hall to find out what the program offers and ask any questions. All students and families are welcome and there’ll be something to eat and drink as well. If you can’t make it but want to hear more, just fill in the registration of interest form (follow the link on this page).

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Rose Bay Rocks

The Music Ensemble Program finished the year in style on Wednesday night with Rose Bay Rocks! Our fourteen rock bands took to the stage to play two or three songs each, with a mixture of amazing self-penned tunes, and original takes on classic tunes.

Congratulations to all our musicians and singers for providing such a great night of entertainment. Thanks too to all the adults who made it possible, including our tutors, all the parents who wrangled the bands and made and served the food, and our technicians who worked the sound and the lights.

We can’t wait to do it all next year, when the influx of new Year 7 bands should take the numbers of students involved in MEP to record numbers. Have a great break, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

As I say to my kids… Only time travel can truly be described as awesome, but the Music Ensemble Program and Rose Bay Rocks comes pretty close.

(By parent convenor Clive Hopkins – apologies for late posting)

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Congratulations to everyone

What a fantastic night! The Music Ensemble Program’s End of Year Concert took place last Thursday, and the music just gets better and better. It seems unfair to single anyone out, because everyone was so good. But I will say that two Year 7 rock bands played for the very first time, without the benefit of their usual Thursday rehearsal. If anyone was nervous, they certainly didn’t show it!

A big thanks to everyone who made this happen, including our amazing tutors, all the parents who made and served the food, and wrangled the bands, our technicians – and, naturally, the musicians and singers.

And of course, we’re going to do it all over again on Wednesday  December  10 for Rose Bay Rocks! This is the chance for all the rock bands to strut their stuff once more for the year, with every band playing two or three songs. In the school hall, 6pm for food, 7pm for the music. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Clive Hopkins. MEP Convenor

Below: just a few photos from the night (thanks to Danni Kedar) – we’ll be posting more very soon.

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For new students – joining the MEP

Joining the Music Ensemble Program at RBSC is a great move for all sorts of reasons – if you have a look around this website you’ll come across quite a few of them. If you know you want to join, or think you might want to but are not 100% sure yet, the best thing you can do is register your interest: just fill in and submit the form that you’ll find here. It doesn’t mean you’re committed to anything (it’s paying your enrolment fees that does that) but it does mean you’ll receive emails and generally be in the loop to receive any information about the program or upcoming events that gets sent out.

The MEP is a friendly place to be – as well as offering a great musical experience –  and we look forward to welcoming lots of new members in 2015.

To ask questions, see our contacts page, here.

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