Students upbeat ahead of Generations in Jazz festival

A group of Blackfriars students is preparing to start Term 2 on a high note.

Blackfriars will take 25 students, from Stage Bands 1 and 2, to this weekend’s Generations in Jazz festival, Australia’s biggest celebration of school-based jazz bands and musicians.

“Generations in Jazz has become a rite of passage for Blackfriars’ music students and the highlight of the annual Music Department calendar,” said Head of Performing Arts Lucy Pope, who had been attending the festival for almost two decades.

“We’re so excited to be able to again give the boys this experience.

“I am looking forward to seeing them on stage and delivering a great performance.”

Last year, at the first in-person festival since the covid pandemic, Blackfriars’ Stage Band 1 finished 4th of the 19 schools in its division and was the 2nd-placed South Australian school.

There were outstanding solos from Max Roque (Year 11) and Edward Glatz (Year 12), who will return to Mount Gambier this year.

Edward Glatz will perform as part of Stage Band 1 at Generations in Jazz.

For 2024 Music Captain Tai-Son Nguyen, this year will be his first Generations in Jazz experience. A flautist, he this year added the baritone saxophone to his music skill set.

“I’m looking forward to meeting other students who play music,” Tai-Son said.

“Last year was a pretty good result, but hopefully this year we can do better. We lost a couple of good players from last year, but we’ve gained some really good players as well.”

Tai-Son says he loves being part of the music program at Blackfriars.

“I enjoy listening to the music and being around all the other students. We’re a really good group.”

Music Captain Tai-Son Nguyen will be in Mount Gambier for Generations in Jazz.

Fellow music student Jeffrey Leung, Year 11, was excited for his second appearance at Generations in Jazz.

“It’s pretty special. Ever since I went to Generations last year, I’ve loved jazz even more than I used to,” Jeffery said.

“Generations will be one of the highlights of my time at Blackfriars.”

As well as the competition, Generations in Jazz features performances by some of Australia’s – and the world’s – best musicians.

This year, music legend Kate Ceberano headlines the lineup.

ARIA award-winning Coodjinburra artist Budjerah – who has supported Ed Sheeran and Vance Joy on their tours – will also perform.

The event’s organisers described Generations in Jazz as “one of the most exemplary youth music events in Australia”.

“Today, Generations in Jazz has grown from a community event to a sophisticated celebration of jazz music, attracting music students from across the school sectors,” they said.​

“Whether striving to become a professional musician or fostering a lifelong love of music, students and staff through Generations have been able to realise and advance their vision.

“They master the skills and techniques of musical playing while developing self-motivation, leadership and personal growth.”

  • Generations in Jazz, Friday 3 May to Sunday 5 May, Mount Gambier.

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