Music is Alive and Well @ St Andrews College

The Creative and Performing Arts Faculty at St Andrews College not only provides Music students with class based opportunities in Performance, Musicology and Composition, but also opens up avenues for exploration into production and understanding industry standards. Students work with teachers on improving their level of musicianship, confidence, technical proficiency, attitude and motivation to succeed. It has been a very productive year in the Creative and Performing Arts. Some very unique, exciting and creative opportunities have been and continue to be presented to the students of St Andrews College.

Teachers draw on their experience to be able to connect students with real-life scenarios in music performance, composition, production and industry knowledge. Working closely with local celebrities for many years, Mr Chiappetta recently performed with three contestants from “THE VOICE” 2014 season in South Korea for a showcase at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. 

Antonio South Korea

                   Mr Chiappetta and members from the Voice 2014 in SOUTH KOREA

What’s Been Happening?
St Andrews College now has a fully produced album of songs composed by Music 1 students in Years 11 and 12. “Kool Skools” is an original music-recording project with $5000 funded studio time for high school Music students. St Andrews College was invited to apply. We presented our top compositions from Years 11 and 12 and were successful in receiving the grant. This is a true testament to the high standards of our student composers.

Why is the Kool Skools Project such a great opportunity for serious artists looking to expand their music after secondary education? Because, Like CAN, it gives our students a sense of industry standard, production and experience.

Kool Skools promotes, develops and supports a diverse range of talent and all genres of contemporary music writing and performance. Each eligible school or project gets to work in a professional studio in either Melbourne or Sydney, recording an album of original music by their own school bands. Each project receives 450 CDs containing their own music, graphics, photos and videos which are published on the web. An additional 50 CDs from each project are used for promotional and archive sets.

Each year State Awards Nights are held in November to showcase and celebrate the best songs and performances. Approximately 40 acts from the project get to perform live. The awards nights are modelled on the ‘ARIA Awards’ and feature well known industry personalities and some famous names as guests and sometimes also presenting the awards. For those who don’t play music or sing, Kool Skools also provides a great opportunity to be involved in making video, doing photography, designing the CD artwork and being part of the whole process. Kool Skools is a real gateway to the music world – not just a school project!

Kool Skools is a load of fun but it is also highly educational and a great workplace training experience for young people. It’s not just about making “Pop Stars”, the project offers the added benefits of schooling students in the recording, promotion and marketing of music. Students see how working as a team makes the music happen. Kool Skools Project offer students an education that assists them with any future business or project-based activity.

St Andrews College participated in a recording session in the September/October break at MUSICFEEDS Studio, St Peters. The Senior Music students performed and recorded their original compositions using professional equipment in a high-end studio environment. The learning that took place was extraordinary and much fun was had in the creative process over the two ten hour days.

“Introducing our highly skilled student musicians to members of the studio was an honour. The engineer could not believe the amount of talent that was compressed into one school. He believes that every track on the recorded album sounds true, musically mature and even inspiring. I was a very proud troop leader”, said Mr Antonio Chiappetta.

Musicfeed Studio

      Senior Music Students of St Andrews College @ MUSICFEED Studio, St Peters

“It was a pleasure to work with my students as recording artists in a professional environment outside of school. Sharing our gifts and passions are what make us comfortable in creativity. I love that I can share my experiences with my students and then have them inspire me with their compositions and determination to improve”.

Students got to enter all areas of the recording complex to get a feel for what occurs in the daily process. They quickly became comfortable and adapted to the professional environment. All recording went successfully, and the result is…(drum roll please )

a debut, 11 track studio album recorded by the Music students of St Andrews College. Mixed and mastered by professional studio engineers, produced by Mr Chiappetta and the music students of St Andrews College (Senior Campus).

Why Study Music at a Senior Level?
Students are finding that studying Music 1 at a senior level is a great balance to their studies. Studying Music 1 is more than just a music class, it is a team of individuals that support and encourage each other, collaborate together, share each other’s stories on a deeper level through composition. We perform to build confidence and share our amazing gifts with the school community.

Nicole Cadelina, a Year 11 Music Student says, “In my experience as a music student, I am thankful to be granted a broad variety of opportunities that give me a deeper insight into the performing arts aspect of St Andrews College. This includes the opportunity to be a part of showcases such as “Creative Arts Night”, and “A Night of Excellence Showcase” as it gives me the chance to acknowledge the school’s greatest efforts in executing such grandiose ideas – installing professional lighting rigs, hiring grand pianos, red carpet, and even a limousine to portray “Rock-Star” entrances on the night. These opportunities enable me, among other students/artists across the College, to express and display our creative skills, passions and talents. Not just strictly limited to Music, but also in Visual Arts, Drama, Photography and Dance. I also acknowledge the great opportunities at St Andrews College to collaborate with a number of students from a variety of distinctive creative backgrounds as it grants me new perspectives as I meet like-minded people. As music students, we are continuously encouraged to expand our repertoire, test our nerves and collaborate. It makes me glad to have this encouragement and support sustained by teachers with such a realistic and practical grasp on the modern performance and events industry.”

Last Celebrations (Yr 12)

                                      Saint John Paul II Centre (Last day Celebrations)

The performance culture is very active at St Andrews College. Students have always been very supportive and encouraging when it comes to performance. This is obvious from the audience reactions to performers in whole school events.

The following is a list of events, which have showcased the wonderful talents of our Senior Music Students. They all require music performance of varied styles and dynamics. Students who participate in these events gain skills and experience in a variety of musical environments. Certain students are also provided with music based opportunities in school holidays and once they graduate. All of the events below are frequent on the school calendar:

CAN (Creative Arts Night)
A Night of Excellence  (Major works showcase)
Musical items for every assembly (Senior Campus)
Retreats, Reflection Days, Liturgies
Trial and HSC public music performances
Unity Day
St Andrews Day
Last day celebrations Year 12
Graduation Mass
Graduation Ceremony
Blacktown Arts Centre Performance for Literacy
Blacktown Festival
Ex-Student Association Dinner
Recording of the School song and student compositions in a professional studio environment
Lunchtime Café performances in collaboration with Hospitality Students
Café style performances outside the canteen in the summer.
Dance party fundraisers in the St John Paul II Centre
Musical repertoire for athletics and swimming carnivals
Brother Albert Nursing Home Christmas performance
Holy Family Childcare Christmas performance
SWR FM live radio interviews and musical performances
“Gateway to the Industry” workshops. (Exposing students to celebrity performances by contestants from “The Voice” past and present in live sessions at professional recording studios.

This year we have had a student short-listed for the encore performance at the Opera House. Phi Nguyen from Year 12 Music 1, 3rd aggregate overall and placed first in Music 1. We have submitted a major works video and are waiting on the final selection process for Encore. We wish Phi all the very best of luck in his quest to perform as Australia’s Music student elite at the Opera House.

Based on the creative culture of St Andrews College, we are doing more and going beyond, our students are building skills, confidence, maturity and an overall appreciation for the arts. At St Andrews College we are offering students real music education, exposing them to professional opportunities in and out of school. Guiding them with a sense of security, shaping their options for different musical paths, and providing a fun, exciting and creative environment to learn in.

Year 12 Celebrations