We were out last night listening the the eldest daughter performing as part of a group of about 300 music students known collectively as the HICES. It’s an annual event and places are hotly contested amongst students of the schools involved.The group, all drawn from years 5 – 8 of Independent Co-Ed schools across New South Wales, spend 3 days at a camp in southern NSW working and playing together to prepare for the festival. The format includes string ensembles, choirs and bands.
Bearing in mind how little time these kids have to practise together as as group it’s amazing the level of performance they produce. Admittedly they are the best around for their ages, but even so the level of ability of their teachers has to be marvelled at as well since it is they who manage to get them performing as a cohesive whole. Obviously the music selection heavily influences the outcome as well and again I think it was all done very well indeed.
The daughter performed well both with her flute in her band, and the combined choral group but I must say I thought both the the boys choir and second string ensemble were exceptional.
Overall we had a very enjoyable, if late, night. After three very hard days rehearsing and playing culminating in the performance and a ride home that saw us arrive just prior to midnight, the daughter is very tired. I *was* going to wake her early to get to school for her flute lesson, but on reflection I might let her have the extra 30 mins sleep. Both she *and* her sister will be like bears with sore heads as it is so maybe those few extra minutes will help temper their tempers.
Next years HICES will feature years 7 – 9 and as the daughter will be in year 7 next year she might go again! We can but hope… and nag her to practice.
Note: HICES is an acronym for ‘Heads of Independent Co-Educational Schools’ – what this has to do with the music is anyone’s guess!