Gala Festival – lifting our community through music

Posted 26 September 2019 4:11pm

The Gala Festival was one of the highlights in a busy year for the Music Academy. This event showcased all ensembles from across the Junior and Senior schools as well as the Community Choir and Glanville-Hicks Symphony Orchestra featuring external students and community members. Spread over four performance venues at the Senior School, the Gala Festival showcased the incredible diversity of the Music Academy programs and the enthusiasm and passion of all performers involved. 

The night started with a stirring rendition of the opening of the Strauss work, Also sprach Zarathustra performed by the Glanville-Hicks Symphony Orchestra.  All students from Prep-Year 12 and community members then combined for a performance of Baba Yetu by Christopher Tin accompanied by the Glanville-Hicks Symphony Orchestra.  This Swahili setting of the Lord’s Prayer was dedicated to the late Reverend Dr David Willsher and was a fitting tribute from those involved in Music at CGGS.

Following this performance, the festival commenced with over 600 audience members dispersing to enjoy the varied musical offerings across the campus. Our many choirs warmed the Chapel with their voices; the Hall was enlivened by our concert and jazz bands; string orchestras, guitar ensembles and the ever-growing handbell ensembles graced the Science Atrium. The Recital Room played host to our chamber ensembles and pop musicians.  The ability to appreciate all of the phenomenal music on offer could not have been possible without our student helpers who made sure the venues were operating as scheduled. 

As always, the incredible Friends of Music (FoM) team worked tirelessly providing food and drink throughout the afternoon and evening, sustaining both audience members and performers for the duration of the Festival.  The atmosphere created on the night was amplified by our wonderful FoM team and we can’t thank them enough for their contribution to our music events at CGGS.   

Friends of Music (FOM), is a group of 26 parents (Junior & Senior School) who volunteer their time to support the Music Academy at CGGS.  Over the past two years, FoM have: contributed funds towards the purchase of the choir risers in the Senior School in conjunction with the CGGS Parents and Friends Association; they fund the double reed and brass programs; they designed and purchased the new altar cloth for the chapel; and procured a new drum kit for the Junior School in addition to sets of chimes for both the Junior and Senior Schools.  In 2019, FoM have supported ten major Concert Series events! 

FoM are always looking for new members and interested parents can contact Sue Borgo, Convenor on or Wendy Craig, Secretary on  All are welcome!

Joel Copeland
Dean of Music

Photo above: Performers on stage for the opening of the Gala Festival 2019

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