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Mt Gambier Music Camp

Group Photo
​Group photo.


“James Morrison and Kate Ceberano at ‘Generations in Jazz’?  Sounds like a dream come true to me!” was the overall response of every one of the participants from Inglewood P-10 SS Jazz Band to the recent trip to Mt Gambier, SA.

Organised by the Instrumental teacher/conductor Mr Bruce Eddiehausen, the trip was an amazing experience for all involved and is sure to remain firmly etched in the minds of our young musicians for all time.  Bruce hails from

Warwick and teaches at several small schools which, on their own, are unable to play as a band.  Bruce holds regular weekend practices where the more advanced children come together to experience the feel of playing ‘as a band’ and enters the students in musical competitions (as the ‘Southern Downs Big Band’). This time, his vision went one further. 

A chance meeting at a music seminar gave Bruce the opportunity to explain to James Morrison (Australian Trumpeter) the plight of our small schools and how we regularly overcome the tyranny of distance. 

James became interested and offered to assist the students to come to his own festival in Mt Gambier (the epitome of all things Jazz in school music)!

Approximately 4000 school students attended the event which was mind-blowing for our Inglewood P-10 SS contingent.

We arrived late in Mt Gambier on the Friday 6 May (travelling by private charter plane is exciting) and proceeded straight to dinner at the Generations in Jazz venue.  Following this, a fantastic mini-concert began featuring James Morrison, Kate Ceberano, the Idea of North (a Vocal Ensemble group – think Pitch Perfect – with a very interesting percussionist, Kaichiro Kitamura from Japan) and Wycliffe Gordon (US Trombonist – who thrilled us all with his Mississippi accent).  What a line-up of talent! 

The next day, the previous night’s performances inspired us to play terrifically! At our 9:30am performance, our students did themselves, their school and their parents proud.  Many months of hard work and preparation had paid off spectacularly! The great beauty of this timeslot was that it got the nerves out of the way reasonably early and gave us the opportunity to spend the rest of the day soaking up Jazz in every pore of our beings.

The day was spent watching the ‘best of the best’ bands and vocal ensembles battle it out for supremacy (the awards and scholarships being given were not a bad little bonus either!) and if we weren’t impressed before by what mere school students could achieve, we certainly were now.  Every child came away with a dream of how they, too, could one day be that good. 

The final concert on the Saturday night featured award winners from last year, Super Bands (where the adjudicator picks individuals from all the bands in his/her division to create a Super Band), the performers from the previous night plus the added extras of the One O’Clock Lab Band (from the University of North Texas) and students attending James Morrison’s Academy of Music – whew!!  Suffice to say, we were starting to get a very real understanding of Jazz and all its complexities – and loving it!

We trooped very tiredly to our workshop with James Morrison on the final day of our tour (Sunday).  James soon energised us however, as his love for music and all things Jazz is exuberant and infectious.  Whilst playing intermittently with his band, he patiently answered all questions and infused in all a love of music and performing, and a passion for creating jazz.  The students could not have asked for a more perfect end to an amazing couple of days.

Three schools comprised our band – Inglewood, Killarney and Stanthorpe State Schools and all were easy companions on the journey.  Congratulations to Emily, Rebecca, Ebony, Madi, Amelia, Molly, Eloise, Stacey, Kate and Kaitlyn  – Inglewood P-10 SS is very proud of you and your achievements!

Thanks to the Inglewood P-10 SS P&C, the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), James Morrison and Inglewood businesses for their support of our group as an opportunity like this does not come cheaply.  The fundraising efforts of Kim Osborne and Sally West should also be applauded and the students (and parents!) are very sincerely appreciative. As to the ever-visionary Mr E – his capacity to seek the best for our rural students and provide opportunities for their musical development is truly extra-ordinary!  For having a dream and despite challenges, seeing it through to fruition, we thank him from the bottom of our hearts.