Music Matters

Senior Girls’ Chamber Choir take first place at Boroondara Eisteddfod

On Monday evening, 15 May the Senior Girls’ Chamber Choir competed in the 18 Years and under a cappella section of the Boroondara Eisteddfod. We performed two contrasting pieces: Lineage and Tuxedo Junction. It was amazing to see the transition within the choir members before, during and after the performance. At the beginning we were a little nervous, and anxious about how well we would perform, but once we stepped on stage, emotions turned into concentration as we focused intently on our singing.

The beautiful venue (Hawthorn Arts Centre) provided great acoustics, and the voices of each choir could be heard ringing around the hall. It was an enjoyable experience to hear the other choirs perform as they sang beautifully, and were worthy entrants in the competition. Once the end-of-section announcements started, the judge left the stage at one point to double-check her results, as she was unsure about 2nd and 3rd place. This caused quite a murmur of anticipation within the audience, as we were unsure whether we were in the running for a top three placing. Eventually the second spot was revealed, and we realised that the first place had been awarded to none other than Tintern! Lucy and Lovelyn hurriedly walked up onto the stage with big smiles on their faces as they received the award on behalf of Mrs Bezaire and the choir. The adjudicator, Ms Sadler, complimented the choir on their ‘gorgeous tone across the range, diction so together and the intent so powerful’. It was an amazing night with a big celebration from the entire Chamber Choir. We are very proud of everyone. You were great ambassadors for the school and we hope that this memory will remain in your minds as a highlight of 2017!

by Lovelyn Lim (Choral Captain) & Alison Yang (Instrumental Captain)

Over 120 students bring their musical spirit to St Paul’s Cathedral

As many will be aware, on Sunday 7 May the Tintern Grammar Annual Cathedral Service was held in the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Many musical items were prepared for the occasion, which both created thoughtful atmospheres or supported the proceedings of the service. The Chamber Orchestra began with an introit, La Follia (Corelli). Then the school psalm, Psalm 121 (Thwaites) was played and sung by combined choirs and orchestra. The Concert Choir performed The Power of Your Love (Bullock) and the Girls Chamber Choir presented two items, Amazing Grace, which Grace Power (Year 12) led with a stunning solo, and the blessing A Clare Benediction (Rutter). The Kelson String Quartet also accompanied the litany playing Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky (Arensky). However, the grandest piece by far was Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, sung by members of all our secondary school choirs, as well as present teachers, past teachers and alumni who came in to help out and join in the celebration. Two trumpeters Christopher Eury and Tarquin Bishop also kindly came in to join the orchestra, percussion and keyboard, playing an incredibly complicated trumpet part and further helping us to “lift the roof” (which is really quite a feat to attempt in the cathedral!) This piece was a wonderful way to bring the community together – we had a lot of fun and it was a fulfilling experience performing it in the acoustic that is St Paul’s.

A special mention goes to the music staff – Mrs Bezaire, Ms Bortolussi, Mr Kidd, Mr Veldman and Ms McKenzie, for selecting and preparing the music and all the work they put in supporting the students. A massive thankyou to everyone who put in hours of practice, planning and rehearsals to make this service very special.

by Molly Fleming, School Pianist 2017

Many thanks to the following staff (both current and ex) and alumni who joined us to sing the Hallelujah Chorus:

Naomi Baulch Catherine Groseclos
Anne Bortolussi Adam Kenny
Peter Buckingham (ex-VP) Rowan Kidd
Jenni Campbell (ex-Music Teacher) Di Lacey
Oriana Constable Steven Lo
Liz Cutter Carole McKenzie
Lanna Derry Heather Ross
Vince Di Mitrio Christine Stewart
Tisha Eggleston Brett Trollope
Kelli Green Jan Wagner
Charlotte Anderson (YG 2014) Simon Pywell (YG 2016)
Jemima Capper (YG 2010)  Corey Robinson (YG 2016)
Rhys Kaigg (YG 2016) Jan Sparks (YG 1959)
Jemma Osbourne (YG 2014) Caitlin Spears (YG 2011)


by Alison Bezaire, Director of Music

Zeb Lyons, our resident bagpiper, enters and succeeds at his first competition at Haileybury

On Sunday 30 April, I competed in my first solo bagpipe contest. It was held by the Victorian Pipers’ Association at Haileybury College, Melbourne. I played in three individual contests and placed 2nd in the March contest and 3rd in the classical bagpipe music called Piobaireachd (pee-broc).

I was delighted with my achievement and I am looking forward to the next contest in Camperdown on 22nd May.

by Zeb Lyons, Year 9

Very exciting opportunity (and coup!) for Tintern Music Department

We are very excited that we will hosting a visit from eminent Australian conductor, Ben Northey next month! Mr Northey will work with our Symphony Orchestra, including budding student conductors. This is an amazing opportunity for our staff and students to learn from a leading professional in the industry. We thank Mr Kelson for asking Mr Northey to make a visit to Tintern.

Since returning to Australia from Europe in 2006, Benjamin Northey has rapidly emerged as one of the nation’s leading musical figures.  Since 2011, he has held the position of Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and, in 2015, he became Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

He has conducted all the major Australian orchestras, the HKPO, the NZSO and Turandot for Opera Australia. In Australia, Mr Northey has made his mark through his many critically acclaimed appearances as a guest conductor with all the Australian state symphony orchestras as well as opera productions. His recordings include several orchestral releases for ABC Classics with the Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. 

In 2009, Northey was selected as one of three conductors worldwide to the Allianz International Conductor’s Academy where he conducted the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestras under the mentorship of Vladimir Jurovsky and Chritoph von Dohnanyi. 

We look forward to welcoming Mr Northey to Tintern on 7 June.

Kelson Awards 2017

The Kelson and Penelope Thwaites Music Awards are now into their fourteenth year. Auditions have been completed and award recipients notified.

We look forward to welcoming back to Tintern Mr and Mrs Michael Kelson for the presentation of these annual awards next month. Our music students at Tintern are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to audition for these awards each year, which Mr Kelson set up in 2004 in order to honour the name of his mother, Mrs Ilma Kelson, who was Director of Music at Tintern from 1958 to 1973.

Award recipients for 2017 are:


Outstanding Senior Performer                 

Ron Chen                            Piano                                     Year 10

Encouragement Award for Desirable Instrument             

Siobhan Muirhead           Oboe                                   Year 11

Charlotte Du Blêt             Trumpet                            Year 5


Best Performance of an Australian Composition              

Sophia Li                              Piano                                     Year 5

There was no entry in the Best Original Composition section this year.

We congratulate all of these students on their fine achievements.

Friends of Music Jazz Night, Saturday 27 May, 7.00pm

It’s the highlight of the Tintern Musical Social Calendar! The Friends of Music Jazz Night is fast approaching, so avoid disappointment and book your table now. Click on the following link for further booking details: 

by Alison Bezaire, Director of Music



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