Director of Music, Shaun Evans has made a huge impact on the music program in the three short years he has been with Braemar College.
When he was appointed Director of Music, he was able to bring his extensive industry experience to the role.
Shaun spent nearly a decade as musical director for major cruise lines. He has also spent many years on the road as a woodwind player of jazz, rock, calypso and reggae.
Shaun sees teaching as an opportunity to give back to the industry and pay tribute to the people who taught him, fostered his love of music and gave him guidance.
He started teaching young musicians in junior orchestra in the Year 9 Niagra Youth Orchestra. He has extensive experience working with youth and community bands, and was previously involved with the Naturally Cool Big Band, The Northo Town Music Enjoyment League and The Wild Bunch where he plays clarinet and sax, and sings.
Shaun enjoys working with up and coming musicians. He says,
I love inspiring and enthusing young hearts and minds – getting them excited about making a big noise and having fun working together as a group – reinforcing the notion that music is as much a team sport as any other activity.
He says that one of the unique characteristics of his role at Braemar is the faith that leadership have put in him to reinvigorate and redesign the music program to make it more contemporary yet still give support to the classical basics.
Shaun’s aim for the music program is to appeal to all types of musicians.
He also loves the physical environment at the College and says that it is definitely a huge motivator.
It’s literally a breath of fresh air. It’s a fantastic place to be. The sense of community is very strong, and I enjoy the well rounded nature of the school community as a whole.
He has introduced The Big Band and its partner group, The Beats Band. Shaun also put together The Street Band, a fun parade group that plays at events, and The Tuesday Night Band, a more serious ensemble for advanced musicians.
In addition to this, the College now has a Musical Theatre Group and a Jazz Choir to go with the existing Senior Choir.
2016 will see a big focus on a new technology lab for composition, electronic music and multimedia and sound production where students can write film scores and compose symphonies. The new facilities will also have an ensembles room.
2016 will also be a chance to breathe fresh air into the Music Technology program, providing students with real world tools to do more hands on activities. VET Music plays a big role in the student community with students helping to manage College events.
Celebration Night 2015 was a fantastic example of Shaun’s innovation and enthusiasm. The College band was more than double the size of previous years with 170 students on stage.
Shaun says, “It was a fantastic example of the team pulling together. Instrumental Music Staff were a huge part of it, and students at all levels got together to produce a fantastic outcome.”
When he’s not at the College, Shaun enjoys spending time with his family, playing gigs and recording. Sheet music arrangement is one of his other pastimes.