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2011 National Awards
for Excellence in
School Music Education

2011 Awards

Special Commendation, Teacher Award

Mr Andrew Butt
Head of Music
Marist College Ashgrove, Ashgrove, QLD

In his role as Head of Music at Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane, Andrew Butt co-ordinates both the curricular and co-curricular music programs from Year 5 to Year 12, and is active as both a classroom teacher and director of many ensembles, including the college’s Symphony Orchestra and Big Band 1. Andrew developed the music program from humble beginnings over twenty years ago, when there used to be a dominant co-curricular sports culture of rugby and cricket. Now over one-third of the students take music to Year 12, and over 500 students participate in the college’s extensive co-curricular music program. Andrew has organised various touring experiences, including a combined Big Band 1 and 1st Fifteen Rugby tour to rural Fiji and far north and outback Queensland.

The success of the college’s music program is due to Andrew’s development of innovative curriculum with a focus on student centred learning, students’ diverse musical interests and the incorporation of multiple technologies in both classroom and co-curricular environments; for example, students explore the music of Mozart, Stravinsky and Coldplay while also working through instructional resources for score and audio production and the latest DJ turntable performance techniques. Andrew remains active as a performer and is regularly invited to act as a guest lecturer at tertiary institutions.

Special Commendation, Teacher Award

Ms Ann Phelan
Music Teacher
Bellingen High School/Bellingen Primary School, Bellingen, NSW

Ann Phelan is based at Bellingen High School, on the NSW Mid-north coast. In addition to providing extensive music education for students at the high school and at Bellingen Primary School, Ann has been instrumental in the formation of the Bellingen Youth Orchestra which caters for approximately fifty young people from both public and private schools in the local region. Ann organises voluntary tutors to assist student learning in the orchestra and has developed a strong culture of mentoring of younger musicians by older musicians in all orchestral activities. Ann nurtures students in the Bellingen Primary School music program, and provides a large range of ensemble experiences for both primary and high school students. Ann adapts the repertoire of the ensembles as needed according to the level of the students involved at the time, ensuring that students are challenged to increase their knowledge and skill levels.

Ann works collaboratively with community groups in Bellingen, and, in partnership with students and parents, is working towards the construction of a performance venue in Bellingen. In addition, Ann provides free musicianship classes to interested students after school, and assists in the regional 5-day Camp Creative event held each January at Bellingen High School.

Under Ann’s direction, the music program has grown significantly with the positive effects of music on the whole school, in both the high school and the primary school, being readily observable and significant.