Music Archives - The Caulfield Grammarians' Association

Music

A Love of the Stage – Lexie Van Maanen

Just days before Alexis (Lexie) Van Maanen (2017) walked through the gates of Caulfield Grammar School for the last time she received a call that would change her life. Lexie had been cast in her first ever professional role as the Mistress in Opera Australia’s 40th Anniversary production of Evita, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical. She was stunned to learn that not only had she landed a role of her dreams but that she would be performing at the Sydney Opera House alongside her idol, Tina Arena. From a young age, Lexie had watched Tina on TV and followed her career so it was quite overwhelming to walk into the first day of rehersals. Despite her trepidation, Lexie found the cast very welcoming and willing to take her under their wing. The production became a great environment to build o...

Big Band Report – June 2019

“The Fields” Big Band consists of past music students of the School. The full band, or members of it, perform regularly at CGA reunions and at other school and community events. The Band’s membership is sometimes supplemented by current school musicians. It is jointly led by School Music Department staff members Joe O’Callaghan and Karen Bouyer. Members of the Big Band entertained guests at a number of CGA class reunions in 2018 and the full band performed at Yarra Campus Open Day in November. Last year the Band also teamed up with the SLAMS Musical Theatre Company to present “Sounds of Swing” at the Knox Community Arts Centre, the show being directed by past students Rob Valk and Marcus Fleming (both Class of 2001). This production later took out Best Musical Direction and Best Production...

Grammarian Singers Report – November 2018

The Grammarian Singers have continued to have an exciting year. After a musically challenging and triumphant sacred music program for the winter concert, the choir well and truly welcomed in spring with an action packed and high energy Showtime concert, featuring well known Broadway musical numbers from shows including West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Cabaret and Les Miserables. An entertaining and fun-filled night for singers and audience alike, Broadway musicals are likely to be a recurring theme in the Grammarian Singers calendar. Behind the scenes, the committee has been spending time planning the choir’s future as it has become clear there is commitment from the group, the CGA community and from our audience for us to keep singing. Having recorded the Showtime concert (with special th...

Music in Fashion – Alex Trail

By the time Alex Trail (1998-2008) reached secondary school, he was well on his way to making a significant mark in music. Playing the saxophone and drums, he was a constant performer in most of the school’s bands and ensembles, gaining triple colours for music and colours for service on the way. In 2007, with William Green (1999-2008) and Andrew Szetho (2005-10), Alex formed a heavy metal rock band, the life of which extended way beyond their school days. Alex commenced an arts degree and diploma in language courses at the University of Melbourne in 2009 and continued to write songs for the band. A “demo” extended play CD was cut in Sydney and the band performed around Australia. Re-branded as Storm the Sky in 2010, the band recorded again that year and in 2011. Their Vigilance extended p...

Grammarian Singers Report – August 2018

“Everything is awesome!” — The Lego Movie. Fully aware that I am somewhat biased about this group, I think it’s true to say that everything really is awesome for the Grammarian Singers. This year kicked off with great energy and enthusiasm; the group feeling it had established that it truly can create great music. The first performance for the year came at the CGA’s Founder’s Day Dinner in April; the warm reception and interest from the attendees left the ensemble on a musical high and feeling like an established part of the CGA community. The 2018 Winter Concert in May produced a spectacular collection of sacred works. Entering the auditorium in procession, singing a 13th century plainchant and finishing with the vibrant and inspiring Halley’s Freedom Trilogy, the Singers were overwhelmed...

From the Cripps to the Ivy League – Oscar Mason

Born in Melbourne in 1993 Oscar Mason took music lessons from an early age in a variety of different instruments including piano, percussion, violin and guitar, before settling on the trumpet at the age of 13. Oscar attended Caulfield Campus from 2007 to 2011 and was involved in a wide variety of school activities. He was a member of the School Committee in his final year and was awarded triple colours for music. At Speech night 2011 he was presented with the School Prize for Music and the Herbert McDonnell Shaw Prize for Service to the School. During his time at Caulfield, Oscar was also awarded a Jazz Improvisation Scholarship which allowed him to explore his love of Jazz Music, whilst still maintaining a strong focus on classical repertoire. Oscar says that “pursuing a musical career ha...

APRA Award Winner – Phil Barton

Phil Barton (1984-92) was the winner of the Overseas Recognition Award and co-winner of the Blues & Roots Work of the Year Award at the 2016 APRA Music Awards. While attending the Wheelers Hill Campus from Year 4 to Year 12, Phil was an active member of vocal groups, appeared in many productions and studied music to VCE level. He was music captain in 1992. Phil’s music achievements started at Caulfield when his group First Priority won numerous Battles of the Bands. He is now a very successful international song-writer. Phil moved to Nashville eight years ago and now writes for the very successful Liz Rose Music/Warner Chappell Company. He had his first Billboard No.1 song in the USA in 2012 with the Lee Brice hit “A Woman Like You”, which was No. 1 for many weeks and went platinum wit...

Law & Music – Yvonne Kushnir

It has been an interesting and varied journey for Yvonne Kushnir (1995-2008) who was admitted to practise law at a ceremony at the Supreme Court on 19 September. Yvonne graduated from Monash University in 2012 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce degrees while working part-time. The law beckoned and Yvonne began at the University of Melbourne’s School of Law in 2014, graduating with the degree of Juris Doctor in 2016. In 2014, she did a short internship with a criminal defence attorney in Philadelphia. The following year, she volunteered with the Prison Legal Education and Assistance Program which involved speaking to prisoners about their rights and educating them on court procedures. At the end of 2015, she undertook a summer clerkship with solicitors Herbert Smith Freehills. N...

Jazz at the Junction

Jazz @ the Junction on Sunday 19 November provided a terrific opportunity for families to come together and celebrate the 70th anniversary of Yarra Junction Campus. A warm, sunny day provided the perfect opportunity for families to explore the campus, including milking cows at the dairy, rustic furniture building, and getting the heart pumping on the leap of faith and high ropes course. The celebration showcased all the best YJ has to offer along with a pop-up food truck park and the main event, a music festival held in one of the paddocks. An elaborate stage was erected and student musicians from across the school gathered to perform to the crowd. Jazz groups, vocal ensembles and a big band were all a part of the line-up, the culmination of which was the headline act; Melbourne-based funk...