Capertee Public School’s percussion ensemble took away first place at the Bathurst Eisteddfod on Thursday, September 14.
Every Capertee student performed in the percussion ensemble, which is made up of 14 children from Kindergarten to Year 6 on instruments like the drums, shakers, xylophones and glockenspiels.
Anna Smith from the Mitchell Conservatorium gives weekly music lessons at the school. They have been working on their entry into the Eisteddfod, a song called ‘Hear the Music’ over the term.
“They were over the moon,” Ms Smith said.
“And I think it’s really nice for them because they work really, really hard on a piece for weeks and that persistence, working on something over and over again is hard for children.
“It’s a life skill because they learn some things don’t work automatically and they pushed through the discomfort of practice, so it is really encouraging for their morale.”
Because Capertee’s percussion group has to cater for children who are just starting to learn about music as well as older children who have developed instrument skills, Ms Smith arranges the songs the band learns.
“I arrange the music myself, so I write parts which suit each of the different skills and abilities in the school,” she said.
The original version of ‘Hear the music’ was written by Jay Althouse.
Capertee’s principal Duncan Peard said the quality of the competition among schools in the primary percussion ensemble category was high.
“We only won by a narrow margin with a score of 90 out of 100,” he said.
“Some of the feedback from the adjudicators was that it was a talented team and that we were well prepared.”
While Ms Smith teaches percussion at a few schools in the Lithgow region she said Capertee is the only one to “take the plunge” in entering the Bathurst Eisteddfod.
“Not only are they learning high level skills in music, they are learning to play as a team and work hard together,” Mr Peard said.
“There are a lot of benefits that come from that, including benefits you can see in the classroom and playground.”