News & Events

Students shine in Musician of the Year


Congratulations to Year 11 saxophonist Blaze Houlden who was awarded the prestigious Musician of the Year Award at the annual concert on Thursday 13 September.

Blaze played Strange Times by Australian composer Lachlan Davidson and was commended by the adjudicators for his virtuosic performance and his engagement with both his accompanist, Cheryl Long, and the audience.

Fifteen performers took to the stage at the annual event, impressing the audience with a wide variety of instruments, styles and genres.

The College was very fortunate to engage the services of two highly-experienced Bendigo musicians and educators to adjudicate the evening, Jacqui Vine and Matt Dudfield.

The competition was extremely close, making the decision difficult for the adjudicators. Second prize went to guitarist Harrison Jenner (Drifting by Andy McKee) and third prize to bagpiper Emily Earl (Hornpipe and Jig, The Train Journey North and Lord Dunmore).

The Emerging Artist Award was received by Maya Flood who played the clarinet (Allegretto by Joseph Kuffner). This award is presented to encourage a student who has significant potential, with an innate sense of musicality and who engages and communicates their musicianship with the audience.

I admire the bravery of all these students, who have put themselves forward for the Musician of the Year concert. Performing in front of an audience is the only way to learn to handle your nerves and improve your performance skills.

We are very grateful to Jacqui Vine and Matt Dudfield for adjudicating the evening and to Cheryl Long for accompanying our students. Thank you to our generous sponsors Fine Music and the Catherine McAuley College Alumni. Thank you also to our dedicated music and arts staff for their efforts in staging this evening.

This event is only one on the College’s busy performing arts calendar. The music program at Catherine McAuley College is growing exponentially. With a burgeoning concert band co-curricular program, as well as exposure to guitar, percussion and class concert bands as part of the classroom curriculum, students have a wealth of opportunities to develop their performance skills.

The new performing arts facility at the Coolock Campus (Years 7 – 9) is opening late this year and will further increase the opportunities for students of music and the broader arts program.

Mrs Ashleigh Yeates, Instrumental Music Coordinator



Catherine McAuley College Musician of the Year Award Winners. L_R: Maya Flood, Harrison Jenner, Blaze Houlden and Emily Earl
Musician of the Year winner Blaze Houlden with Ashleigh Yeates, Instrumental Music Coordinator
Blaze Houlden performing Strange Times by Lachlan Davidson on saxophone
Blaze Houlden with Cheryl Long, accompanist
Harrison Skinner, second prize winner in the CMC Musician of the Year, with Ashleigh Yeates, Instrumental Music Coordinator
Harrison Skinner playing Drifting by Andy McKee
Emily Earl, third prize winner in the CMC Musician of the Year, with Ashleigh Yeates, Instrumental Music Coordinator
Emily Earl performing Hornpipe and Jig, The Train Journey North and Lord Dunmore on bagpipes
Maya Flood, Emerging Artist Award winner in the CMC Musician of the Year, with Ashleigh Yeates, Instrumental Music Coordinator
Maya Flood playing Allegretto by Joseph Kuffner on the clarinet
Catherine McAuley College 2018 Entrants for Musician of the Year
Peter Shearman, Drum Kit
Corey Lionis, Violin
Isabella Rossi, Flute
Isabella Tuohey, Clarinet
Siahna Newland, Tenor Horn
Erin Howell, Piano
Erin Smeelie, Trombone
Chloe Edwards, Voice/Guitar
Sam Angove, Guitar
Lilly Skipper, Voice/Piano
Grace Broderick, Piano
Jacqui Vine, Adjudicator
Matt Dudfield, Adjudicator