Fanfare for top Queensland state school ensembles
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Fanfare for top Queensland state school ensembles

Two Queensland state school ensembles have been declared top of the pops, playing their way to glory at the 2022 Instrumental Fanfare state finals.

Education Minister Grace Grace congratulated Robertson State School Paganini Strings and Brisbane State High School Symphonic Band for taking out top honours at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

“I’d like to congratulate all five primary and five secondary state school ensembles on their spectacular state final performances, as well as every single school and student that took part in the Fanfare program this year,” Ms Grace said.

“They truly impressed audiences at both the Primary State Final matinee on Monday 22 August and at last night’s Secondary Final, as well as throughout regional heats.

“The quality of Queensland’s state school instrumental music program is second to none across Australia, so if you haven’t attended a Fanfare concert before – do yourself a favour and mark your diary for this biennial event in 2024!

“Some of the performances of these exceptionally talented youngsters are on par with professionally paid musicians and this is tribute to both the students and their expert teachers.”

Brisbane State High School Symphonic Band was presented with The Erica Brindley Memorial Trophy in honour of an accomplished musician and teacher who tragically lost her life at Carnarvon Gorge in 2002, during the Urangan State High School Concert Band’s outback music tour.

Meanwhile Robertson State School Paganini Strings took out the top gong at the Primary State Final matinee.

It was not the first time Robertson State School Paganini Strings conductor Robyn Gray has won Fanfare, as she was part of the Bundaberg State High School String Ensemble that won the Lin Powell Perpetual Trophy at Instrumental Fanfare 1998.

Local Member for Toohey Peter Russo said the community was very proud of Robertson State School’s musical achievements.

“This award is very well deserved and is a testament to the hard work of school staff, parents and students that goes into Robertson State School’s fantastic music program,” Mr Russo said.

Minister Grace said the Fanfare festival warmly encourages participation, showcases outstanding talent, promotes the highest possible performance standards and inspires young students to strive for excellence.

“After a break in 2020 due to the pandemic it was great to see Fanfare back, brighter than ever, and it has been wonderful to have young people playing music together again in front of live audiences,” Ms Grace said.

“I thank Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University for providing their state-of-the-art venue for the state finals and for continuing their invaluable support as Major Sponsor of Fanfare.”

Fanfare was initiated in 1985 to showcase instrumental music education in state schools right across Queensland, through regional festivals and finals which culminate in state finals.

Since then, more than 160,000 Queensland state school instrumental music students have taken part, including 30,000 state school students this year alone, during May through to August.

Fanfare offers students and teachers the invaluable experience of receiving expert adjudication; an opportunity to perform in a music festival with ensembles from other state schools; and provides an opportunity to celebrate young musicians and instrumental teachers.

In 2022, 967 ensembles from more than 400 state schools participated in 59 regional festivals across Queensland.

For more information on Fanfare visit

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