International Music Summer School 2024

St Laurence's College was proud to host the 2024 International Music Summer School over the past two weeks.

Run through the Cuskelly College of Music and directed by internationally recognised Dr James Cuskelly OAM and Michael Muller, the Summer School saw 350 musicians involved in the 2024 program.

“The 2024 Summer School has been a tremendous success and this is in no small way due to the generosity and support of the St Laurence’s College Community. It has been a delight to welcome both students and staff to the Summer School and such a pleasure to see College families attending concerts and performances. This is an extensive program, with many concurrent activities and events and the impressive facilities, offered by Lauries, has meant that we can operate this large event with ease. We extend our sincere thanks to the Principal, Mr Chris Leadbetter and all members of the College Community for their welcome and hospitality,” Dr Cuskelly said.

There were a range of programs offered, catering for Primary students through to tertiary educators, to which Lauries staff and students featured heavily.

"As hosts of the Summer School, an invitation was extended to Lauries students and staff to attend the program at a heavily discounted rate [and] many took advantage of the offer with Lauries staff even returning to the role of student for the two weeks whilst working with many nationally and internationally acclaimed lecturers," Dr Cuskelly said.

"Watching Pete Churchill work with musicians of all ages with disparate abilities has been an inspiration," College Big Band Director, Mr Rob Anders said.

“The Summer School has been a wonderful opportunity to learn from word class practitioners and advance our skills across many fields of music," College Music Teacher, Ms Angelina Ellis said. 

Delegates travelled both interstate and internationally from countries such as the UK, China, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Malaysia and New Zealand to deliver the intensive two-week course. Participants saw a great improvement in all skill areas including music teaching methodology, Jazz, composition, chamber music, large ensembles, opera and instrumental music.

The Summer School’s approach echoes that of St Laurence’s College, following the work of Zoltán Kodály who believed good music education should be available to all and that a musician should have, a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart and a well-trained hand. Accordingly, Dr Cuskelly has a strong interest in Music and Community and is dedicated to providing meaningful learning opportunities for all.

Our very own Dr Anthony Young was one of many lecturers and has been involved with the program for over 30 years. Dr Young is a highly respected Choral Conductor, renowned for his work with boys/young men and changing voices.

“The Summer School makes a huge contribution to the cultural life of St Laurence’s College, offers both staff and students a unique opportunity to work with the best musicians from around the world. While I have always been grateful for the contribution of the Summer School to the development of our students and staff, I really appreciate the powerful role that the Summer School plays in development music and musicians, both in Australia and overseas,” Dr Young said.

This year Dr Young was joined by renowned musicians including Astrid Jorgensen OAM (Founding Director of global phenomenon, Pub Choir), Professor Gilbert de Greeve (Director Emeritus of the State Music Academy of Antwerp and Professor Emeritus of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Antwerp), Kata Kortvesi (Conductor, Educator and Lecturer at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Hungary), Lucinda Geoghegan (Creative Learning Director of NYCOS, a theory and musicianship lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a regular tutor, member of the Trustees and Chair of the Education Planning board for the British Kodály Academy, Director on the Board of the International Kodály Society, and a tutor for the Benedetti Foundation), Maree Hennessy (Director of Holy Names College San Francisco, Lecturer in Aural Methodology, classroom music teacher, Past President of KMEIA Qld), Pete Churchill (Former Professor of Jazz Studies and the Guildhall School of Music and Head of Jazz Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London), Raymond Connell (Internationally recognised voice specialist), Richard Lewis (Conductor, Chorus Master, conducting Opera’s in the UK, Germany, Austria, Budapest, Australian and Holland) and Sally Wilson (former international Soprano with over twenty year’s industry experience).

These International guests were also joined by highly regarded teachers from around the country. Including Heads of Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium and the University of Queensland.

In summary, the Summer School has been a wonderful gathering for musicians at all stages of their musical journey and from all corners of the globe; from those just starting to the experienced educators and music maestros.

Lauries have been proud to host this year’s event.

Check out some snippets from the 2024 event HERE.