There are a number of music events throughout the year that provide performance opportunities for students involved in the music program.
Music Camp is one of the highlights of the school year for Barker’s secondary school music students. Set in the relaxed environment of The Top's Conference Centre at Stanwell Tops. Music Camp is a great start to the school year and takes place in late January just prior to the resumption of school. The students have fun concentrating on their music in the company of their peers. New students have a wonderful opportunity to meet with other musicians and enjoy the highly supportive rehearsals and social activities. The three day Music Camp is compulsory for all Middle and Senior School musicians who participate in the co-curricular music ensemble program. Enrolment details and other information is sent to parents in Term 3 each year.
Symphony Under the Stars
Symphony Under the Stars is Barker Music's annual outdoor concert showcase. The event takes place on the OBA Soundstage in March and attracts an audience of over 2000 people. Some 400 Junior, Middle and Senior School musicians perform on the night. The evening concludes with the traditional combined instrumental performance of the Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ complete with dramatic cannon shots and a brilliant fireworks display. Families bring their own picnic-style refreshments and can order meals from the Friends of Barker Music to support their fundraising.
Band, Orchestra and Choral Concerts
Each music co-curricular program is represented at a concert that showcases performances from Junior, Middle and Senior School Ensembles. Student soloists and professional guest artists are sometimes also invited to perform at these events. The Band, Orchestra and Choral Concerts are held in Term 2 & 3.
From time to time, concerts are held at venues such as Sydney Town Hall and The Concourse in Chatswood.
Coffee House is a student-run rock concert which showcases many of the very best Barker student rock bands. The event is held in the last week of Term 2. For some young musicians, Coffee House is the first time their band hits the stage in front of an audience. For others, it is a chance to engage the audience and show off their musical skills. All bands gain valuable experience in the art of performing and musical expression and for many students, Coffee House is the highlight of contemporary music at Barker.
Barker Swings is held in week 2 of Term 3. The event is a coordinated by the Friends of Barker Music (FOBM) and is a showcase of the school’s jazz program. The event is also a major fundraiser for upcoming international tours being undertaken by music co-curricular ensembles. Each year a respected Australian Jazz musician spends a week in intensive rehearsals, workshops and classes with the students and performs on the night with the Barker Music Staff Invitational Big Band.
Barker Swings is a cabaret style dinner dance held in the Multi Purpose Hall. Tickets for Barker Swings include pre dinner nibbles, a two-course meal and licensed beverage service. Tickets for the event sell out very quickly.
HSC Showcase Concerts
Prior to their HSC Performance Exams, all Year 12 elective music students perform at special showcase concerts. The repertoire performed represents courses of study undertaken by the students in HSC Music Course 1, Course 2 and Extension Music. The audience of parents, students, tutors and staff enjoy outstanding performances of contemporary Australian music, baroque, classical, romantic, jazz, rock and pop styles. The HSC Showcase Concerts are held in Term 3 in the Malcolm Williamson Recital Hal for Music 2 and Music Extension and the The Rhodes Theatre for Music 1.
The annual Music Dinner is open to all students involved in music at Barker and their parents. Each year, a guest speaker involved in the music industry is invited to address the students. Recent guest speakers include Karen Carey, Francine Bell, Jim Moginie, rock musician with Midnight Oil, Ann Boyd, composer and Professor of Music at Sydney University, Lyn Williams OAM, Conductor of Gondwana Voices, Peter Garrett, former Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, and Iva Davies, rock musician with Icehouse. The Music Dinner is also an opportunity to express our thanks to the Year 12 students for their contribution to the music program over their school life. Tickets for the dinner include a two-course meal and licensed beverage service.
The annual Barker College Musical Production is one of the biggest music events of the year. It is staged in Week 3 of Term 4. Involvement in the musical production is open to Years 10 to 11. Students are also involved in the orchestra and backstage crew. The production of the show is overseen by the Music Department. Staff from Drama and other departments across the school are also involved in directing, choreography, and technical support. Recent Musicals have included How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Crazy For You and West Side Story
Carols at Sunset
Carols at Sunset is a relaxed outdoor concert on the OBA Soundstage in late November. Each of the college’s ensembles performs traditional Carols and Christmas tunes. Members of the audience are encouraged to join in with the community singing of the carols performed on the night.
Barker College enjoys an international reputation by having undertaken many overseas music tours over the years. International touring broadens and deepens the musical experience and understanding of our students and many have highly valued the performance opportunities, the cultural diversity and the richness of global perspective that comes from being in contact with the musical life of a variety of countries around the world. In recent years, these international tours have included a tour to Turkey (100th Anniversary of the ANZAC) and tours to the USA, Cuba, Europe and England and China. Barker ensembles have also travelled throughout Australia to national championships, music festivals and eisteddfods. Our Middle School ensembles have enjoyed several tours interstate and to NSW regional areas. In December 2016 the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Jazz Orchestra will be touring to Washington D.C, New York City and Los Angeles.