Perth Modern School celebrating 50 years of musical excellence at Perth Concert Hall

Joseph Hays (Year 11), Roger Hey (Director of Music Perth Modern), Jiwan Park (Year 11) and Gregory Bell (Year 11). Perth Modern Music is celebrating 50 years of their program - students, alumni and some special guests will be coming together for a performance at Perth Concert Hall. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Joseph Hays (Year 11), Roger Hey (Director of Music Perth Modern), Jiwan Park (Year 11) and Gregory Bell (Year 11). Perth Modern Music is celebrating 50 years of their program - students, alumni and some special guests will be coming together for a performance at Perth Concert Hall. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

THE halls are alive with the sound of music at Perth Modern School.

The school is celebrating half a century of gifted and talented music tuition, with current students and internationally-lauded alumni set to come together for a landmark anniversary performance at Perth Concert Hall.

Director of Music Roger Hey said the music program at Perth Modern was the first specially developed to cater to gifted and talented music students in public schools back in 1968.

All lessons were given before or after school, with the infancy of the program meaning there were not many ensembles or performances.

“At that time, students were not faced with anywhere near the number of options and distractions that are common today, and the music students quickly developed a closeness and cohesiveness that whilst still very evident and important today, was a reason why they all developed their music skills to a high degree in a very short period of time,” he said.

There are now over 500 students learning instruments at Perth Modern, with lessons taking place throughout the day, and more than 25 ensembles and a variety of concerts and performances to take part in.

“This is my 23rd year as Director of Music at Perth Modern. I have seen and heard some absolutely amazing performances over this time, performances that are generally far beyond that which is expected of any school group,” Mr Hey said.

“Music has retained its worth and special status as a hugely important and worthwhile option for our students.”

Guest artists Emma Matthews, an international opera star and now Head of Classical Voice and Opera at WAAPA, and Brent Grapes, principal trumpet player with WASO, are both alumni of the school and will take to the stage at the 50th anniversary concert as soloists.

The school’s symphony orchestra, senior wind orchestra, combined Year 8 and 9 choirs and the senior chorale will all perform; the chorale will also be joined by the Friends of Perth Modern School Choir, consisting of over 100 former students.

The final item will feature all 500 plus students playing and singing together, and bring together some of the school’s youngest students with some of their oldest former students.

Perth Modern’s 50th Anniversary Music Concert takes place on Monday, June 25, from 7pm at Perth Concert Hall.

Tickets are available now from perthconcerthall.com.au or by calling 9231 9999.

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