My Grammar

Year 11 Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School (IGGS) student Sophie Richardson has been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember.

“I started playing the violin when I was eight years old, and switched to the Viola in Year 8,” Sophie said. “I love music because it gives me the opportunity to be expressive and collaborative in a way that nothing else does. It is engaging, challenging and calming.”

During her time at IGGS, Sophie has been in many School ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra, String Quartet, Dance Troupe, choirs and Contemporary Band.

Recently, she participated in the Australian Honours Ensemble Program. Chosen from a competitive field of applicants from around the country, students participated in more than twenty hours of intensive rehearsal over four days.

Sophie met people from Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast, Cairns, Toowoomba and rural New South Wales. Many students, like Sophie, were the only people from their school and did not know anyone.

“I was so lucky to have Jonny Ng as a condutor, violinist in Camerata Strings,” Sophie said. “We also had a masterclass with QSO violinist and Queensland Conservatorium of Music teacher Jann Keir-Haanterra. Here, we discussed bowing techniques, tone production, vibrato and musicianship.”

“We played a variety of challenging repertoire spanning time periods, countries and styles, from Brisbane composers, to mariachi and Tchaikovsky. The event ended with a concert which was so much fun. It was a fantastic experience that taught me so much about orchestral playing, and I am excited to apply the skills I learnt in our IGGS ensembles.”

While music has always been a part of her life, Sophie said she has had some opportunities to stretch herself as a performer. Playing a lead role in the IGGS and IGS musical Strictly Ballroom, Sophie combined singing, acting and dancing, which she said was a totally new experience for her.

“I started taking singing lessons for the role, which I continued as one of the soloists in our school’s Contemporary Band.”

In addition to her musical success, Sophie is one of the top academic performs in Year 11 at IGGS. This year, she won the prize for First in Year 11, as well as prizes for English, German, Mathematical Methods, Physics and Strings.

Head of Co-curricular Performing Arts at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School Zoe Brecht said Sophie was an outstanding addition to the co-curricular performing arts program.

“Sophie is one of our most dedicated musicians and among our top string students,” Ms Brecht said. “Her commitment to her musical and performance commitments while maintaining such a strong academic standard is something to be proud of. I commend Sophie for all of her hard work this year and look forward to seeing what she does next year as an IGGS Senior, and leader in the Performing Arts.”