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Spring Edition - 2002

Dear Students and Friends

Spring at last and it is beginning to look a lot like Spring in Leura with the ornamental prunus and peach trees in full blossom, and early flowering camellias and rhododendrons adding beautiful colours to the gardens.

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I never cease to marvel at the way Spring just seems to happen overnight! You can see some of the garden colours in the web site "Photo Gallery" in the Newsletter folder.

And now to bring you up to date with some of the studio activities and students’ news.

The AMEB country examination series for the Blue Mountains region was held at the beginning of August and I am pleased to announce that Andrew Goddard received Honours for Grade 4 Singing, and Sherryn Kew received Credit for Grade 7 Singing. Cathy Laws was thrilled with her result for the Certificate of Music examination and is now looking forward to preparing for the AMusA diploma. Christine Wallace (AMusA in Singing), Sally McEwan (Piano Performers Certificate, Trinity College, London) and Starlee Hope (Grade 2 Singing) are putting the finishing touches on their programs for the final examination series for the year to be held in early December.

At the Penrith Eisteddfod Chloe Gillespie entered the Intermediate division for singers aged between 17 and 21 and was awarded a first place in the Art Song section and a second place in the Sacred Vocal Solo section. Andrew Tipple was also successful gaining 1st place in the Senior division in the Sacred Solo section 3rd place in the Music Theatre section. Julie Aysom was rewarded in the Senior School Choir section with a second place, which pleased her as well as giving the girls in the choir a great sense of achievement. Gillian Scott-Mears got rave review notices for her performances and recitals in Wollongong while at the same time gaining distinctions for university course work as she prepares for the final semester for her Bachelor of Creative Arts degree.

University results for other students are also impressive and indicate that there has been no slackening off in studies. Sherryn Kew gained distinctions and credits for subjects in the BA (Music) course at the University of Western Sydney as did Cathi Procter, a BEd student at the same university, while Judie Whybrow gained a string of distinctions for course work in the BEd course at the University of New England.
Musical Societies around Sydney are continuing to acknowledge the skills of studio members by casting them in current productions. Vince O’Neill is again putting on the grease paint in a production of "Fame The Musical" with Rockdale Musical Society while VickI Collins is preparing for her role in Berowra Musical Society’s forthcoming production of "Godspell". Kelly Outzen has just completed a successful run in the Out of the Blue production of "Godspell" at the Springwood Community Theatre, and Erin Thursby is excited about her successful audition and casting as Velma in Pandora’s Box production of "West Side Story". Details of dates and venues of shows are given on the web site "Calendar".

Lee Heylen-Norfolk performed recently at a concert arranged by the Ermington Neighbourhood Watch for Senior Citizens in the Parramatta/Ryde district. As usual Lee received a warm reception from a discerning audience for her renditions of popular favourites by Jerome Kern and Franz Lehar and finishing with "This Is My Beloved" from "Kismet". Chloe Gillespie and Vicki Collins were guest artists at a concert at the Edinglassie Retirement Village in Emu Plains and their performances were much appreciated by the enthusiastic audience made up of residents of the village and their friends and relatives.

Other students have also been working hard after the drama and trauma of exams earlier in the year, and I look forward to highlighting some of their activities in later newsletters.

But it has not been "all work and no play" for some of the students, and those of you who make regular visits to the web site will have read about Mandy and Kellie Eminson’s holiday in Beijing and Hong Kong. You can see and read about it in the "Photo Gallery" section on the web. Sue Alexander and her husband, Marcus, enjoyed a well earned holiday and rest, and Susie North and husband, John, and daughter, Charlotte, are preparing for a trip to England to visit her family. They will also be able to catch up on son, James, who is working at one of the English Public Schools as House Master for a year before he comes back to Australia to commence tertiary studies.

I have just received news of the birth of a second son to Debbie and Don Smith, and a brother to Cameron. Debbie will have her hands full for a while which means that the hands won’t be finding their way to the keyboard for a couple of months. Good Luck Debbie!!

The latest news of my activities is more of the same! I spent a lot of time travelling thousands of kilometres on several examination tours for the AMEB. My first assignment was on the Central Coast beginning in Gosford and then three days at Eleebana where I had the most beautiful working environment in a studio on the waterfront of Lake Macquarie. This was followed by a day at St Joseph’s Convent in Cardiff and the tour concluded with two days at the Newcastle Conservatorium.

My next assignment was to the Central West where I conducted examinations in Dubbo, Gulgong and Mudgee. Bill accompanied me on this tour and he enjoyed his visits to the Dubbo Zoo, the Gulgong Historical Museum and the vineyards in Mudgee. On the way home from Mudgee I was able to take several photographs on one of my favourite mountain views, the Capertee Valley, and I have added the photographs to the “Photo Gallery” in the Examination Tour folder.

The last examination tour was quite extensive and lasted twelve days on the north coast of New South Wales. I had long drives between centres starting in Singleton for one day followed by another day at Green Point near Forster. I then had to drive for three hours to reach Coffs Harbour ready for another day of examining before moving on to Grafton. From Grafton I had a short drive to Lismore where I was based for 5 days, and I even had a free day to enjoy a leisurely drive to Ballina and Byron Bay and returning to Lismore via some tiny villages like Bangalow. On the way back home I had another day of examining in Grafton which made a total of twelve days away, and I was glad to get home where Bill and Sparky were waiting for me. I took some photographs taken while on the north coast tour and they can be viewed also in the Photo Gallery in the Examination Tour folder.

Well, that should be enough news until the summer edition at the end of the year. As the final part of the year draw near I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those students well in the HSC and other school exams as well as to the university students who are completing their degrees our who are still on the way. I look forward to posting results in the next newsletter.
Enjoy the rest of Spring!

From - Richard

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