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Sherborne International Summer School for Wind Conductors

AUSTRALIA

The recent conference of ABODA, Australia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, in Brisbane, featured world premieres of two new commissions by Jodie Blackshaw.

Jodie Blackshaw studied a Bachelor of Music in Composition with Larry Sitsky at the Canberra School of Music, graduating in 1992. Since then, she has worked in several different settings, from outback Australia to inner-city Sydney, teaching music to students of all ages and conducting a variety of concert bands. Through her teaching, conducting and composing, Blackshaw has passionately searched for a new approach to young band that offers band directors with a product that centres on musical elements other than melody and harmony. In 2001 Jodie completed her Graduate Diploma in Education and during this time, she discovered the Orff-Schulwerk methodology for music education. This approach was the answer she had been searching for and consequently, it has been a significant influence in her works for young musicians.

In 2005 Jodie won the inaugural Frank Ticheli Composition Contest that earned publication of her Grade 1 piece Whirlwind with Manhattan Beach Music.

Whirlwind

Singapore American School Middle School 6th grade Beginner and Intermediate combined band, conducted by Brian White.

Two works were premiered at the recent ABODA Conference. The first is designed to be at Grade 2 level with a working title Beulah Sun Woman. The work will be educationally designed to develop young musicians over a period of time. It is based on a compelling story of Belah Sun Woman, an Indigenous tale from the ancient people of the Flinders Rangers in South Australia. ‘Belah’ is planned to be a highly unusual work in 5 movements that draws upon teaching experiences from both the classroom and the podium. Students will be inspired to become more open-minded, expressive and collaborative musical thinkers.

The single, ultimate goal of the piece will be that of ‘awareness’.

For more advanced bands at Grade 4 level, the work was entitled Twist

This work for advancing high school band will be a hoot to play and conduct. Your audience will also be struck by the constantly changing timbres and meandering, lyrical passages. The piece is being inspired by both landscape and ancient tales of Australia’s most cherished water source, the Murray River. The ever-changing nature of this magnanimous waterway was experienced first-hand by the composer who was born and raised in the Riverina N.S.W. It has long been her desire to emulate the beauty of the Murray and all of its surrounds in a piece that is both exhilarating and beautiful.

Jodie is fanatical about producing quality, meaningful works for band and desires that her music not just be “another piece, but an educational and spiritual journey for both the players and the director”.

Contact Jodie Blackshaw davidandjodie@iinet.net.au