Matthew Panopoulos teaches music at Nowra Anglican College while coordinating and conducting the Senior Jazz Ensemble, Birdland Band and the advanced jazz band.
I have been privileged to witness amazing growth among our musicians be it Year 7 and 8 students finding their feet as performers, or our veteran HSC music performers. As a group our musicians all demonstrate the ideals every school should strive for: commitment, cooperation, support, and trust. It's these that make them so successful.
At the close of 2018, a very green vocalist of the Senior Jazz Ensemble was to perform the vocals to a re-orchestration of Kosma and Mercer's Autumn Leaves. This is no small task for any school-aged vocalist. With only three weeks to prepare, she closed the band’s set at presentation evening, delivering a stellar performance.
I had witnessed the preparation for this performance; the hours of coaching and mentoring by the group's other, more experienced vocalist, the constant encouragement by other members of the band, and the visible growth in this young woman’s abilities as a performer. These unseen, yet invaluable, aspects of what made that performance happen were a testament to the loving fraternity that these groups had become.
I’m privileged to see a performance begin from fresh sheet music and transform into a mesmerising rendition of a timeless jazz classic. It’s one of the reasons that I love doing what I do, and why I am so proud of my students.