The College runs a large number of musical ensembles, with the aim of catering to students of all ability levels: from absolute beginners to advanced performers. Virtually all instruments are included in the program – brass, woodwind, percussion, strings, piano and voice.
During the year these school ensembles perform at a variety of events both within and outside of the College. Performance opportunities include formal school concerts, such as the Autumn Concert Series and the end-of-year Music Night; popular events such as the Live & Wired Music Festival on Deshon Oval; music festivals (Queensland Catholic Schools and Colleges Music Festival); private functions (groups are often invited to assist at weddings and charity events); and bi-annual music tours (eg. Australian International Music Festival in Sydney)
The full list of performing ensembles includes:
- Symphony Orchestra (combined with Villanova College, Strings/Wind/Brass/Percussion)
- String Ensemble & Chamber Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass)
- Concert Bands 1 & 2 (Woodwind, Brass, Percussion)
- Guitar Ensembles 1 & 2 (Classical Guitar, Bass Guitar)
- Choirs (Junior Choir for Yrs 7-8, Senior Choir for Yrs 9-12, Chamber Choir for Yrs 7-10, Senior Chorale for Yrs 9-12)
- Big Band and Improvised Jazz Ensemble (Brass, Saxes, Bass & Electric Guitar, Piano, Drumkit, Voice)
- Sorelle & Exit Stage Left (Soul/Pop bands: Brass, Saxes, Voice, Piano, Bass & Electric Guitar, Drumkit)
- Percussion Ensembles 1 & 2 (all percussion)
- Flute Ensembles 1 & 2 (Flutes)
- Clarinet Ensembles 1 & 2 (Clarinets)
- Beginner Ensembles Scholarship Program (Brass, Strings, Percussion, Double Reeds) for students who have never played previously
All private music students are encouraged to participate in at least one of these groups. Participation in the Junior Choir, Senior Choir & Improvised Jazz Ensemble is open to all interested students. Beginner Brass and String Ensembles are selected by application at the start of each academic year. Auditions for all other groups are held towards the end of each school year.
Solo recitals are also held each term for students undertaking private tuition. In Term 2, the school runs an internal House Music Festival, open to all college students, involving solo, duet and ensemble sections. All students are encouraged to perform in at least one of these recitals and/or the Festival each year.
Private Music Tuition
Music tuition is available at the college for Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Euphonium, Percussion, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar and Voice.
Classes are also offered in Theory of Music for all A.M.E.B. grades.
Tuition at Loreto is offered primarily on an individual basis. However, in some instances, shared lessons (2 students) may be available, subject to demand (only available to students of similar performance level). It is expected that students would move on to individual lessons after one year’s tuition. Tuition fees are set in accordance to the recommendations of the Music Teachers Association of Queensland. Accounts are sent home four times per year at the beginning of each term and are payable in advance.
The convenience of undertaking Music Tuition at a school is based on the assumption that these lessons occur during the regular school day, that is, students come out of their curricular classes to attend music lessons. Tutors make every effort to be sure that students do not consistently miss the same academic class and special consideration is given, when possible, to senior students or students learning more than one instrument. In these cases, Tutors may endeavour to give one lesson outside class time. However, this is not always possible and is rarely available to students in lower year levels.
A limited number of school instruments are available for loan from the College by application to the Director of Music.
Instruments available include Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Bass Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba, Saxophones, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
These loans are normally available for a period of one year, after which time students are expected to provide their own instruments. In special circumstances, this loan period may be extended. While there is no hire charge, students are expected to pay for strings/reeds and breakages.
The college offers a variety of music scholarships each year. Firstly, a limited number of Full-Year Scholarships are offered each year to promising music students to assist them with their music tuition. The criteria for these scholarships are outlined in a newsletter towards the end of each school year and applications are then made for the following year. Full-Year Scholarships are for continuing students and are therefore not offered to new Year 7 students.
However, the college also each year runs a Beginner Ensemble Program incorporating Brass, Strings, Percussion & Double Reeds (Oboe/Bassoon). This is a semester long full scholarship program exclusively for new Year 7 students who have never previously played one of these instruments. Details of the Beginner Ensemble Program are advertised to students of the appropriate age level at the start of each year.
Lastly, scholarships are also occasionally made available for students to learn specific instruments. These scholarships are advertised in newsletters during the year and are usually offered to students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Parents’ Music Support Group
The Music Department is assisted by an active and enthusiastic parents’ Music Support Group, which runs a number of social and fundraising events throughout each year, assists at school concerts and provides a point of contact and communication with parents of music students. All parents are invited to participate in this group by attending monthly meetings, donating small prizes for fundraising, serving in the bar at concerts, or in many other small yet helpful ways. The group is a fantastic way of meeting like-minded parents whose daughters share an interest in music and performance!