Creative and Performing Arts

Primary Music News

Introducing Miss Evelyn Russell.

In the last week of Term 2 Year 4CG, MS Gitzel and Mr Ross were treated to an exciting debut performance of “Midnight Dance”, composed by Evelyn Russell (Year 4CG) for Violin. Evelyn and her sister, Lucinda (Year 2AK) performed Evelyn’s first composition to rapturous applause. Evelyn’s composition is quite an achievement for a student her age. Both Evelyn and Lucinda are very excited to record her composition this Term.

My name is Evelyn Russell and I am 9 years old. I have composed a piece for the violin called “Midnight Dance”. The way I thought of a name for the piece was because of the spooky minor feeling it gives when it is played. At first, it was a small tune that I made up and liked the sound of, but then it started to build. I added chords, more sections to the song and dynamics. After that I thought I might write it out. I decided after that to write a second part for my sister, who is in Year 2. Her part was slightly more challenging for her but she got the hang of it. I also got some help from my violin teacher Mr Rodney Wickstrom, for the second part. He told me about certain notes that go well together. Midnight Dance is in A Minor, this was so it could use B and E, I also used C# but I added that as an accidental.

Evelyn Russell, Year 4CG

Instrumental Teacher Profile

Robbie Long is a multi-instrumentalist who has covered miles of styles in his weird & wonderful career. He has been a working man’s musician since leaving school, walking the boards with countless acts on stages and in studios over the past thirty years in Australia, New Zealand, Europe.

Rob is a highly experience and passionate teacher, with over 30 years’ experience teaching beginners to advanced and professional players. ​He has a wealth of skills and knowledge to impart, mixed with relaxed, friendly approach and deep well of patience!

Robbie cut his teeth at an early age playing rock & country in pubs & clubs, and at seventeen began studying jazz with the internationally renowned guitarist Ike Issacs. Through his twenties he toured Australia and New Zealand with countless working outfits (including a stint as George in the Beatles Show!), and also began session work in various Sydney studios. From sessioning he moved in programming, arranging, and eventually engineering & producing. In the early 90s Rob set up a recording studio in Sydney (Sound Ideas), and relocated to Newcastle in 2002. He was recently nominated for three Golden Guitars at Tamworth CMF as producer.

Although he has jazz/rock foundations, he has gathered tools from a spectrum of musical genres through his musical journeys, adding spice and depth to his playing. During the early 2000’s Robbie became involved with several well-known figures in the Australian bluegrass scene, including Fiddler Andrew Clermont and Banjo virtuoso Dave Hellens. These new influences opened up new musical horizons and introduced Rob to Bluegrass, which led towards competing in the National Bluegrass Championships at Tamworth, where he won National Flat-pick Guitar champion 2008 & 2010.

Rob is currently working with Aussie King of Vaudeville, Mic Conway, and with 2012 Toyota Starmaker Winner Bob Corbett & The Roograss Band. As well as this, he works locally in the Hunter with a host of high profile acts including Mark Wells, Justin Ngariki, Gleny Ray, and Greg Bryce (DV8).

In 2001 Rob completed a Bachelor of Arts, and in 2001 attained a Diploma of Education (Secondary). During 2002-2003 he taught briefly at both Newcastle and New Lambton High Schools before being commissioned to work for Hunter Institute of TAFE, specialising in sound production and music industry skills. Rob currently teaches both privately and at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music as guitar specialist, and as a lecturer in Pop, Funk and Jazz.

Rob also writes a column on recording tips for Australian Guitar Player magazine.

Currently, Mr Long is the College Guitar and Mandolin teacher, and conducts the College Year 3 and 4 Guitar Ensembles.

At Bishop Tyrrell we offer Instrumental lessons with some of the most qualified and experienced Instrumental teachers in the Hunter region. Lessons are currently available both on the College Campus before, during and after College hours, and online throughout the week – according to the availability of the individual tutors. Please click on the Instrumental Music Lessons tab on the College Caleb Co-Curricular page and you will be directed to the available instrumental teaching staff and gain access to their College contact details.

Gareth Ross
Head of Creative Arts and Performance