Kirrawee High has an extensive Co Curricular Program consisting of a Jazz Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, String Ensemble, Concert Band, Stage Band, 3 Acapella groups, a guitar group and Kirra-daiko – the Japanese Drumming Group. These groups rehearse weekly and perform at various concerts, eisteddfods, music festivals, competitions, community events and functions both here and abroad.
The Kirrawee HS Jazz Orchestra, Wind Orchestra and 'Kaleidoscope' (Acapella Group) are the three Premier Ensembles at the school. All of these groups require an audition but are open to students of all years. These groups regularly perform at school and community events.
The Jazz Orchestra began in 1991 and is responsible for training some of the state’s great jazz musicians, Emma Pask being the most well known. It is an auditioned band, open to all years. Their connection with James Morrison remains strong and since 2015, they have not only competed in the National Stage Band and Vocal Ensemble Festival in Mt Gambier, but they have also hosted the JMAJO at the Annual Morrison Concert. They are regular performers at NSW Band Festival, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival and the Essentially Ellington National Event. Over the years, they have toured to South Africa, China, Cuba and New York.
The Symphonic Wind Orchestra perform at school and music festivals and events, representing the school at the NSW State Band Festival. Previous tours include: Port Macquarie, Hay, Leeton and the Gold Coast where they performed at SeaWorld and MovieWorld.
'Kaleidoscope' are often seen performing for Probus luncheons, at local nursing homes or as a support act for major artists at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre. They represent the school in The Choral Concerts at Town Hall, Secondary Schools Acapella Festival and various other concert events.
Our Intermediate Program acts as the training ground for our younger musicians. These ensembles are open to all students of all levels. The Stage Band, Concert Band, Male Acapella and Female Acapella fit under this umbrella.
The Stage Band are open to all students who play brass, saxes, piano, bass, drums and guitar. This group is the training ground for our jazz musicians. They regularly perform at school events, the Gymea Miranda Uniting Church annual event and other community fetes. The Concert Band consists of students ranging from two to six years musical experience. Previous events include Sutherland Shire World’s Biggest Morning Tea, raising money for the Cancer Council and have won Gold and silverawards in the Engadine Music Band Festival. Our vocal program also consists of a male and female acapella group, with these students performing at Town Hall and in the School Spectacular Secondary Choir. They can also be seen performing at school and community events.
Our String Group has gone from strength to strength and has been invited to play several prominent public performances, including State Government receptions and Department of Education events. They combine with the local primary schools to participate in large concert events. They are currently expanding their repertoire to include some small orchestral numbers.
Being a school of languages, it made perfect sense to start 'Kirra Daiko' – The Japanese Drumming Group. This group began in 2016. They rehearse one lunch hour a week. It is open to all students and so far, they have performed for running festivals and local community events including the Madiba Project.
Individual Kirrawee musicians have won medals in state and national championships, while several others winning awards at local bandfests and other competitions. Students are also selected to perform at the School Spectacular and Southern Stars. Many of our students are also members of the Arts Unit Ensembles.
So many community groups and individuals have generously supported our music programs. Our major supporters over the years include Engadine Music Education Centre, Como Jannali Rotary, Kirrawee Probus Club, Engadine Probus Club and Gymea Probus Club.
The school offers private instrumental tuition for students, on a range of instruments. This is open to all students. Kirrawee also has an instrument hiring scheme available.