Emerald may be far from big city stages and audiences, but Drew Ferguson isn’t letting that stop him from making his mark in the music world.
The year 12 student is preparing to rehearse and perform with the country’s top young musicians after recently being selected for the Australian Honors Ensemble Program (AHEP).
Led by Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, AHEP connects the best young musicians with a team of eminent international and national conductors in pursuit of musical excellence.
He was selected after auditioning for tuba.
Drew, who has been playing tuba for nearly four years, said while he hoped to be selected, the successful offer to AHEP came as a surprise.
“I had been selected for the State Honors Ensemble Program (SHEP) Queensland for the past three years,” he said.
“This year was my third time auditioning for AHEP, so reaching this goal is a dream come true.”
Drew has also attended SHEP Rockhampton and SHEP Capricornia since he was in Grade 8 and came highly recommended at last year’s Central Highlands Eisteddfod Virtuoso.
He will travel to Brisbane during the September school holidays, where he will rehearse with the AHEP Wind Orchestra for four days, culminating in a performance at the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre.
Drew’s musical journey began with him playing tenor trombone in 6th grade.
Towards the end of the 8th grade, his music teacher asked him if he would consider playing the tuba.
It quickly became his main instrument. He also plays bass trombone.
He is a member of the Wind Symphony, Senior Stage Band, Concert Band, Chamber Ensemble and School Choir.
He also performs with the Emerald Town Band and the Emerald Town Jazz Band.
“I’m really excited to attend AHEP and look forward to learning all I can and playing with great musicians,” he said.
“I am extremely grateful to my music teachers, the musicians of the Emerald Town Band and the band members at my school who taught me so much and provided me with so many performance opportunities.”
Drew will be pursuing a music career and auditioning for colleges in the coming months.