Maclean High School student Kate Thomson played violin for two of her four HSC music performances.
Maclean High School student Kate Thomson played violin for two of her four HSC music performances. Adam Hourigan

ENCORE: Musical maestros on Opera House shortlist

THEY come from different styles, but for two Maclean High students their musical journey could meet up on the stage of the Sydney Opera House.

Kate Thomson and Nick Jansen have been nominated from their HSC Music performance for the "Encore" show, a showcase of the best work of each year's practical music exams, and for Kate it's a vote of confidence in her work.

"I've never really been able to gauge how I've done in a performance, so it's very reassuring," she said.

Kate played two pieces on violin, and performed two vocal performances, one of which was a trio with local singers Connor Willmore and Troy Castle.

And while she plans to study pharmacy next year, Kate said it was a great ending to her school musical career.

"I've been helping out playing for other people's exams since year 7, and on the day it was a bit doing my own," she said. "I think I was more nervous for other people's exams rather than mine.

"To play on the Opera House stage if my piece gets selected would be really cool."

Far from Kate's classical base, Nick Jansen took up the guitar as he started high school, and said guitar teacher Ryan Enns introduced him to a lot of acoustic playing that has guided his style in recent years, including playing in well known duo "Nick and Sam" at festivals over the years.

 

 

Nick Jansen at home with one of his guitars.
Nick Jansen at home with one of his guitars. Adam Hourigan

Nick played three guitar solos, and one on bass for his performance work, and says it was the great pool of talent in his year that pushed him along.

"Everyone in the class is really good, and for three out of my four songs I had classmates playing and singing with me," he said.

"And everyone helps each other out and pushes you which has been most of the fun of doing it.

"I'm pretty stoked about the nomination - it makes you feel pretty good."

Both students paid tribute to their teachers within the school and outside, and head teacher of creative and performing arts at Maclean High Matt Fisher said the two had been wonderful students for the school.

"Both students have always been outstanding musicians from vastly different musical styles," he said.

"They have been fantastic ambassadors for music at Maclean High School. Their personalities, their skills and their all-round willingness to help will be greatly missed."



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