It was so good to be back, not only rehearsing but performing. For many of the students from Phoenix P-12 Community College, Stawell Secondary College, Nhill and Horsham Colleges it has been a full year. Wow, I really thought this may dent the quality of sound that the Mega Band would produce after a disastrous COVID-19 year of no performances, no rehearsals, and a big lack of motivation. I was so glad I was wrong; the enthusiasm and concentration levels from the students were so, so high. We ended up performing all seven charts we rehearsed which was a first. Not only performed them but nailed them.

The variety of repertoire selected by the four participating schools made it very interesting playing. The like of ‘Kokomo’ (Beach Boys and arranged by Nick Shirrefs), variations on a Celtic tune (based on the Irish song ‘Mo Ghile Mear’), an arrangement of ‘Shotgun’ (performed by George Ezra), ‘Hatikvah’ (Israeli National Anthem arranged by Elliot del Borgo), ‘When Summer Comes’ (a dreamy beautiful piece of music, based on ‘Danny Boy’), ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ (performed by Blue Swede in 1974, but in 2021 it was performed by ex-Phoenix student Emily Ward with the backing of the Band; an excellent performance which we were going to have at the 2020 Cabaret, maybe this year) and the last item was ‘Insert Super Hero Here’. This music chart was composed by Nick Shirrefs from Horsham College; what a ripper! It depicts slices of many superhero themes. The students loved playing this one. I am sure you will hear our version when you come and see us perform.

I am exceptionally proud of all our students who attended; their willingness to improve, listen, help, encourage other students was impeccable. Such a pleasure to perform side-by- side with them. Special thanks to Miss Felicity Liston and Emily Ward for “jumping in” and helping out.

Mr John Netherway—Music Coordinator