The Instrumental Music Program is co-ordinated by Vern O’Hara. Vern has been teaching at FPS since 2001 and since then has overseen the expansion and growth of the program and the building of a purpose built music centre, a rarity in the State Education system.
We would like to welcome three new instrumental music teachers who joined us this year;
Esther trained as a classical violinist and studied jazz and pop music after school at VCA/Monash University. She has toured nationally with Bob Evans (Jebediah), Didirri, recorded with Danika Smith, Lucky Oceans, Moreton, and performed and recorded alongside Paul Bender (Hiatus Kaiyote) with Hannah Macklin. She has toured extensively with psych surf/disco band Tek Tek Ensemble and plays with Loretta Miller (Jazz Party). Esther writes collaboratively with brother Will Henderson for pop duo Gimme Gimme, with whom she has toured the Mid-North Coast of Australia and Germany. Gimme Gimme released their debut EP Taylor St in early 2020 which featured a track with Grammy nominated artist, Van Hunt, and have completed a second EP. Esther and best-friend/musical right-hand-woman Nitida Atkinson's girl band Don't Thank Me, Spank Me! is also on an exciting trajectory. The duo are midway through recording their first full length album, with Myka Wallace (Thundamentals, Birdz, Moreton, Mo’ju, Emma Louise) and Hudson Whitlock (Mo'Ju, Tanzer, Karate Boogaloo) on drums, engineered by Henry Jenkins (Karate Boogaloo, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks). They hope to have the album finished by November and ready to tour in 2022. Esther helps run a special strings program called Harmony in Strings alongside composer, cellist,
sound artist and founder, Zoë Barry. The program is philanthropically funded, providing free violin and cello classes twice a week to all children from grades 3-6 at Sacred Heart School Fitzroy the children of which are predominantly 2nd generation migrant/refugee families. Esther is constantly working on original music collaborations, expanding her teachin
g pedagogy, learning music to tour with the projects she is part of, and recording strings from her home studio for sessions. She has been teaching violin in schools and privately for over 10 years.
Katherine has been teaching flute, clarinet and saxophone with the Moonee Vale Instrumenttal Music Program since 2006 and also teaches classroom music at Ascot Vale Primary and St Monica’s Footscray.
Katherine has a Bachelor of Arts/Music and Bachelor of Primary Teaching from Melbourne University and regularly performs in amateur musicals and community ensembles. She is the piccolo player in the Essendon Symphony, co-leader of the Victorian Flute Guild Ensemble’s ‘West Winds’ group and lead saxophone with Boorondara Symphonic Band. Katherine has performed in many amateur musicals over the years, including ‘Cats’, ‘Les Miserables’ and, most recently, Western Arts Theatre’s production of ‘Suessical’ in 2019.
Katherine has been teaching classroom and instrumental music for over twenty years and is enthusiastic about helping all students find their own way to enjoy music. She has taught both individual and classroom based recorder lessons and regularly uses elements of the Orff approach to music education. She has prepared flute, clarinet and saxophone students for AMEB exams, VCE exams, solo recitals and ensemble performances. Katherine is also enthusiastic about students sharing their music with the local community.
Hi, my name is Oskar Moore, and I'm the new brass (trumpet and trombone) teacher here at FPS. I'm very excited to be back after having been a student here myself!
After leaving FPS, I went to Princes Hill Secondary College, for years 7-9, and then to the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, for years 10-12. I'm now studying Music and Science at Monash University, as well as performing all around Melbourne, and Victoria, with bands such as Horns of Leroy. Outside of playing music and studying science, I also love to ride my bike, and one day I want to race the Tour de France!
I'm very excited to see lots of new faces, and maybe even some old ones too!
The program employs 12 part time instrumental music teachers and offers tuition in the following instruments by the following teachers.
Piano: Vern O’Hara, Leigh Raymond, Rosey Beer, Anna Robinson and Pauline Qua
Violin: Esther Henderson
Cello: Michael Celata
Trumpet & Trombone: Oskar Moore
Recorder, Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone: Katherine Anderson
Drums & Drumming class: Dave Williams
Ukulele & Guitar: Brett Delavadova
Singing: Darren Wicks
Once the students reach the required standard, they are able to join one of our 7 ensembles: Junior and Senior Choir, Junior and Senior Strings, Junior and Senior Rock Band or Concert Band. The ensembles rehearse at lunchtime and are directed by one of the instrumental teachers.
Each teacher holds a soiree for their students at least once a year and the ensembles perform at the annual Mid and End of Year concerts. A parent committee helps support the organisation and running of the concerts. If your child is enrolled in lessons and you would like to be part of the support committee, please contact Vern.
Parents wishing to enrol their child in the program can do so by completing the Expression of Interest form attached, which are also available from the office or the pamphlet holders in the music wing corridor.
Contact Vern either at school or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on his mobile 0403777050 if you require further information.