The Ruyton Reporter - Spring 2014 - page 9

9
spring 2014
The inaugural African Drumming Ensemble in the Junior
School began in Term 2 this year. This developed out
of an interest expressed by a large number of girls.
The ensemble is for girls in Years 3–6 and runs on
Thursday mornings in Terms 2 and 3 only. The conductor
is Ousmane Sonko, a Griot (Traditional Culture Keeper)
through his mother’s ancestry of Malian Manding
culture, from Senegal. He has been playing and
performing professionally since the age of 12. As well
as an accomplished artist, Ousmane has been an
inspirational teacher to numerous students from
around the world, including in Japan, Europe and
Australia. Ousmane also travelled to Munich and London
to perform as a drummer and dancer in the critically
acclaimed
Afrika Afrika,
a major touring drum, dance
and acrobatic performance, featuring an international
Pan-African cast which performed at London’s 02
Centre. Ousmane has taught the girls to play the
djembe and also teaches them about African singing,
dancing and the language, so they get a complete
cultural experience.
‘I have really enjoyed learning to play the
different tones on the djembe and singing
the songs for everyone as they walked in to
Assembly.’
Jemima McLeish 3GM
‘I love learning about the different drums,
especially the dun duns.’
Kamilah Cox 4CH
‘I love playing the djembe and hearing about
Ousmane’s home town, Senegal in West Africa.’
Talia Giannarelli 4CH
Mrs Rebecca Barker,
Director of Music, Junior School
*‘Out of Africa, always something new’
from the Latin
‘Ex Africa semper aliquid novi.’
Used by Karen Blixen as
the title of her poem in 1915.
First Prize for Mini Mads
Our Mini Mads continue to enthral audiences and to be
recognised in the wider community for their excellence.
Mini Mads (singers in Years 5 and 6) performed at the
Melbourne Eisteddfod at Deakin Edge in June. With
Mrs Rebecca Barker conducting and Mr Shaun Jones as
the accompanist, the girls sang
J’entends le Moulin
and
A Bird’s Lament.
Mini Mads were awarded first prize in
the Hal Leonard Primary/Middle School Choirs Section.
Dr Kathleen McGuire commented on their beautiful
tone, stunning harmonies, phrasing and balance. As part
of the prize, the girls received a free workshop with
Dr Jonothan Welch AM and an opportunity to perform
with the Choir of Hard Knocks in concert later in the
year. This is a tremendous experience for our girls and
we are grateful for the support we received from family
and friends who came along to Federation Square to
listen to them sing.
Mrs Rebecca Barker,
Director of Music Junior School
First timers
The Paganini Strings group performed for the first time this year at the Victorian Schools’ Music Festival in the
beginner’s string group at Deakin Edge. The group is comprised of girls from Years 2–6 and for many it was
their first performance outside School. They were ably led by Ms Fran Johnson and accompanied by Mr Shaun
Jones. Among a varied repertoire the girls also played
The Russian Music Box
and
A Little Bit of Sparkle.
Their
performance was received most favourably by the adjudicators who made comments such as,
‘A most
impressive string group. Commendable playing. Impressive attention to detail. Lovely contrasts and excellent
direction.’
What a terrific achievement for many who were first timers.
Mrs Rebecca Barker,
Director of Music, Junior School
‘Out of Africa, always something new’
*
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