Over the last 4 days, Coomera Anglican College musicians were well represented at both the State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP) and the inaugural Australian Honours Ensemble Program (AHEP) in choirs, bands and orchestras. This year, 1500 of the state’s best young musicians, selected from the 10000 students who applied, gathered at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University for SHEP, with 900 of these travelling from close to the border to as far away as the Cape and Mt Isa, the biggest event in the program’s history. For the prestigious AHEP (where instrumentalists are required to be a minimum standard of Grade 7 AMEB), 800 students auditioned resulting in 300 successful applicants from NSW, Victoria and the ACT, and 15 American students represented Pacific Honours Ensemble Program (PHEP). 170 students who successfully auditioned were from Queensland.


The opportunity for these students to work under first class conductors and with students at a similar advanced standard allows them to grow musically. The AHEP program was intense, with the students completing 10-12 hour days (excluding travel time!) and also attending concerts at the Conservatorium as part of this. Harrison Hanley (Year 9) and Baxter Dent (Year 10) performed in the AHEP Vocal Ensemble, presenting challenging repertoire that was performed with finesse at the final concert after only three days of intensive rehearsals. Similarly, the SHEP students spent long hours in rehearsals and were excited with the musical works they produced. The following students were part of SHEP:


  • Chanelle Chardon (Year 9) – cello
  • Gemma Jacob (Year 11) – violin
  • Lily Taylor (Year 11) – flute
  • Alexa Ripsher (Year 12) – vocals
  • Lilli White (Year 9) – vocals
  • Cullyn Beckton (Year 10) – vocals


Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the program had grown from modest beginnings to a record number of students attending this year. “This is our largest ever cohort with many more nominations received from schools than we were able to accommodate. It is a delight to welcome hundreds of emerging musicians to our state-of-the-art facilities at South Bank. SHEP is now a firmly established aspect of music education in Queensland, bringing together young people from across the state to share their passion for music.”