Introducing “Disciples, Kneeling, at the Cross” – a powerful and moving brass band arrangement of “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” by Ira D Sankey and “At the Cross” by Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan.
The first song “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” is a 19th century hymn written by Ira D. Sankey. It is a powerful song that encourages believers to be steadfast in their faith, like soldiers in battle. It reminds us of the sacrifices we make as Christians, and our commitment to follow Jesus, even in the face of adversity.
The second song “At the Cross” by Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan is a modern worship song that reflects on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is a reminder of the love and grace that God offers to all who believe, and a call to worship and surrender to Him. The song encourages people to leave their burdens at the cross and experience the freedom and forgiveness that can only come through Jesus.
Expertly arranged by Ben Clapton for a British style brass band, this piece was originally performed by the esteemed Melbourne Staff Band of The Salvation Army in 2013. The British-style brass band is the perfect ensemble to convey the emotions of the two songs combined, with its rich and powerful sound. The brass band adds a new dimension of emotion and power to these already moving songs.
Immerse yourself in the rich and uplifting sound of a brass band as they pay tribute to the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. Perfect for church services, concerts, or any event where a powerful message of faith and devotion is needed. Experience the majesty and power of “Disciples, Kneeling, at the Cross” today! This arrangement is an excellent way to honour the sacrifice of Jesus and to remind ourselves of our commitment to follow Him. It is a powerful reminder of the love and grace that God offers to all who believe and it will leave a lasting impression on the audience.
Today I attended my first official PD day as a teacher – and I haven’t even started as a teacher. That’s because over the summer holidays, the WA chapter of the Australian Society of Music Education (ASME) hold their summer school. Two full days of professional learning sessions that aim to upskill, inform, inspire and provide networking opportunities for music educators in WA. Teachers give up two days of their school holidays to come and engage in a wide variety of sessions. These sessions range from early childhood through to ATAR streams, and everything inbetween.
Last year, I had the opportunity to attend as a volunteer. As a Edith Cowan University School of Education student, the opportunity was provided to attend (and gain free membership to ASME for a year) in return for helping set up, introduce sessions, be a gopher, and pack up. This year, however, I was excited to attend as a participant. The choice of sessions was up to me, choosing ones that I felt would best aid me as I enter my new role.
Keynote address – Functions of Music
The day formally started with a Welcome to Country, initial welcome to the ASME Summer School and a singalong (to which I got many ideas from). Then Dr Jason Goopy – ECU lecturer in Seconday Music Education amongst many other things – presented the keynote on stepping outside the structures of curriculums and syllabus and to explore the various functions of music in our lives and how school-based music education prepares students to become musical people. This was a really interesting topic, and one that would expand into other areas as we consider curriculum changes. In effect, the curriculum will change what we teach. However, the end goal of music education is to prepare children and young people to become musical people, because to be human is to be musical.
Dr Goopy based a lot of his talk of Merriam’s Uses and Functions of Music. However, I was particularly interested in his link to Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow theory, and the idea of music being an autotelic experience. An autotelic experience is something where doing the experience is the reward in and of itself. I also particularly liked one quote by Dr Goopy. He said more and more young people were experiencing music by “messing around to deeper immersion through geeking out.” I think that’s certainly an idea that I would like to explore further.
Neurodiverse music education
Then I had my first session, where I attended Delyse Clayden’s session entitled Teaching Music to Neurodiverse and Disabled Students. Dee is a PhD candidate at ECU, and uses her teaching and personal experience to inspire her study into giving disabled students a voice in the formation of their IEPs. Dee gave us a thorough background about the appropriate language to use (including noting that it is a flexible thing and often changes). She then explored ideas around how to create inclusive education for all students. This was done through differentiation, reasonable adjustments and universal design for learning.
This was a great session – and one that is very much needed. However, as someone who is neurodivergent and lives with a neurodivergent family, I had hoped for some more practical ideas as to how to approach teaching, as opposed to the history and language which I’m already well aware of. But I’m sure that for those who are still new to this space, it was a very helpful unit.
Following morning tea, and a brief Taiko demonstration, we had a panel Question and Answer session. There were a number of questions about panellists’ research (particularly Jason Goopy’s upcoming research into community music groups and their work in trauma informed practice), ways of advocating for music education in schools – both at a school level and a departmental/governmental level, and the use of various programs/instruments in school settings.
It was then lunch time, and then I had two sessions with Su-Lyn Chong on Choral Conducting. These were the sessions that I was most looking forward to, as I will be starting up a new choir at my school. I realised it has been near on 10 years since I last conducted a choir. Going through some excellent practices and techniques to support students in their singing has given me an excellent starting point heading forward. There’s still going to be a lot to learn, but I now know a lot of where to be starting from in looking for additional resources.
ASME Summer School Networking
Finally, it was a time for networking at ECU’s Birra Bar. A fantastic time to catch up with friends and colleagues, and discuss what had been happening over the last year. As music teachers, often we are the only one in our school – where as there might be 4 or 5 (or more) English or Maths teachers, there is often only one music teacher. That means that these opportunities to network, catch up, reminisce, inspire are vitally important. An interesting thing that I noted was that there were three students from my high school who were in attendance as music teachers, as well as one of our music teachers, who went on to become the head of music at that school, and the current head of music at that school who had taken over from our music teacher. It’s amazing to think of the legacy that has been forged through these teachers because of the influence they had on our lives.
So that was my experience of Day one of the 2023 ASME Summer School. It’s been a full on day, and I am looking forward to another day tomorrow, for another three sessions that I’m sure will spark a lot of ideas for me.
The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (MetSO) is holding their Young Artists Gala concert at Government House Ballroom on Sunday February 26. This special event will feature the talented MetSO Young Artists in solo performances, the MetSO Wind ensemble performing Strauss’ Serenade in E flat Major, Op. 7, and the world premiere of the “Karrinyup Fanfare” composed by MetSO Concertmaster Ben Clapton.
The concert showcases the talents of the MetSO Young Artists who have performed with the orchestra in 2022 and will now take the spotlight by themselves. The orchestra will also be announcing their new MetSO Young Artists, as well as celebrating new life memberships awarded by the orchestra’s patron, His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson APM, 34th Governor of Western Australia.
In addition, the MetSO Winds will perform the Serenade in E Flat Major, Op. 7 by Richard Strauss, one of the most celebrated composers of the romantic era. The ensemble, made up of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and tuba will bring to life the rich, complex textures and harmonies of Strauss’ music.
The concert will open with the world premiere of the Karrinyup Fanfare, a new composition by MetSO Concertmaster Ben Clapton. This exciting new work inspired by the orchestra’s history and future will be an exciting way to start an afternoon that celebrates local talent.
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the exceptional musicians of the MetSO in concert at the Government House Ballroom. Tickets are limited, so act now to experience the beauty and power of live classical music.
2022 was a year that sparked inspiration for me. I am not talking about just one spark either, but a series that beautifully led me to the creation of my piece. After seeing the 2022 MetSO program it was evident that it lightly using the Brass players, and I knew they were feeling a bit underutilised. Which sparked the first idea in my mind to write a piece that would take full advantage of their skills, and heavily use brass instruments. The program coincided with the 45th Anniversay of the Orchestra which started it life as the Karrinyup Symphony Orchestra. Rekindling the orchestra’s relationship with the City of Stirling and returning to the City of Stirling as a rehearsal venue in 2023, was another spark of inspiration which led me towards the piece’s naming… the ‘Karrinyup Fanfare’. The last spark of inspiration was a query inside my mind. The opening of the piece contrasts two somewhat conflicting meanings of the word Karrinyup. During an Aboriginal Studies unit, I discovered that Karrinyup is a Noongar word that translates to “the place where there are spiders”. However, this differs from the City of Stirling official meaning of the name Karrinyup on the website. It states the word means “the place where Kangaroos drink”, possibly because it sounds much more pleasant and doesn’t inspire the fear that spiders often do. It was this contrary interpretation of the word ‘Karrinyup’ which provided the final spark of inspiration I needed for this composition. You see, when you listen to the opening, the theme jumps up and down through the horns, and represents the Kangaroo – Yongka. Whilst as the fanfare continues, you will notice the second theme – the crawling strings represent the spider – Kar. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it. May it, and this new year, spark inspiration for you.