Continuing the dive into the music department at Sancta Maria, another eminent member of our community is Mr Hamish Arthur!
From a young age, Mr Arthur cherished his experiences within various music groups – playing trombone in jazz and concert bands both in school, as well as in other professional community groups. His passion for music led him to pursue a music and arts degree in university along with a teaching diploma. It opened an opportunity for a career that was the perfect balance of practical music and daily lifestyle.
“At the moment, I’m enjoying directing so much and being able to play all day with teaching. And I also think my interest is heightened through a variety of other things (such as) art, video games and generally different parts of life. They inspire me and bring me to music with a fresh mind.”
Mr Arthur became a full-time itinerant teacher in 2006 and has been teaching ever since! Currently, he is involved at 6 different schools including Sancta Maria and the Saint Andrews Big Band. In every school, he leads a band (in a range of forms such as jazz band, concert band, big band) and teaches brass instruments. Over time, he has even had experience as a Dean as well has a temporal Head of Department (music).
Role at Sancta Maria College:
Within our school, Mr Arthur teaches low brass (trombone, tuba, euphonium) and is the concert band director. Mr Arthur has been a part of our college from 2007-2011, returned in 2015 and continues to teach to this day! One of the many contributions during his 11 years (and still growing) of experience is founding the concert band in 2007 along with the head of music department at that time. You can find an article about concert band 2022 here.
Mr Arthur really enjoys teaching and shows so much love and compassion for the students. He loves that in teaching jobs, you teach not just how to play, but how to develop musicianship and even be a person you can chat to during the day – “It’s not just about going through music tutoring books or learning band pieces, but also making sure you are okay with work-life balance”.
One of his important values is to take an individual approach to each student as there is not only one measure of success. It’s essential to take care and make connections with all students, not just those with prominent positions in the band. While there are obvious successes such as awards or trophies, the composition of students, judges and other schools are always different. And so, we cannot always compare to the same standard. “We should judge ‘achievement and success’ by how we are making this (band) a positive place to be, and the enjoyment of rehearsal processes, the music you play and feeling confident and doing your best.”
What has Mr Arthur’s experience at Sancta Maria been like?
Mr Arthur conveys that he has really enjoyed his time here and is continuously impressed by the effort and passion of students wanting to be a part of music. He thinks it’s indicative of the staff making music appealing and creating an overall positive experience:
“Working at Sancta Maria has been great the whole time I’ve been here. I’ve been through 3-4 Head of Departments, and each have different areas of expertise that makes them fantastic at their job. Mr Gibbs is wonderful to work with – he’s got a great character, he’s passionate about music and about kids here. He’s very supportive of me in terms of my position and goals, and generally the school is supportive in terms of putting money into music for resources, instruments and spaces to play. The
social and community aspect of being a part of a band or any of the groups here is such a good opportunity to meet new people who share the same music and experiences!”
This year, concert band’s goals are simply to perform, share and enjoy the music prepared!
“We’ve got exciting music lined up for the year and it’s been fun breaking into sectionals and practicing outside.”
Starting with a new group of people and working through new repertoire is really thrilling and exciting. The main thing Mr Arthur wants to work towards is for everyone to enjoy what they do and also develop skills from being a musician that will help in all areas of life – these are things like commitment, turning up on time and listening the people around them.
Mr Arthur is not only Sancta Maria’s low brass teacher and concert band director, but a beloved role model to our students and community. We recognise all his hard work and look forward to his work in the future!