St Cecilia School of Music
A group from St Cecilia School of Music on tour
St Cecilia School of Music was established in Launceston in 1974 by Matthews Tyson, as a cooperative venture by three music teachers, to provide music students of all ages and levels of development, with group and individual performance opportunities. The School has grown to become a major Tasmanian educational and cultural organisation. Unfortunately, its growth and popularity created disharmony with the University and Conservatorium of Music, and this led to generally poor relations. The decision to work with an overseas organisation (Trinity College, London) in preference to the local university further soured relations. Nevertheless, the business continued to grow and expand. The development of various orchestral and choral groups provided a shop window for the School and there was a natural outcome of providing community concerts and performances on a regular basis. The St Cecilia Chamber Orchestra has toured New Zealand, Darwin, Alice Springs, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, and the SingElon Choir toured Hong Kong in 2004.
With four string orchestras, four choirs and eighteen full-time teachers, there are many opportunities for Tasmanians to be actively involved in some way. The School provides its own assessment system through the St Cecilia Examinations, a series of graded assessments available in all instruments. Examination centres have extended beyond the Launceston base to all major cities and regions in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Hong Kong, Britain and the USA. The School is able to assist musicians with employment opportunities through performance and teaching. Matthews Tyson is the owner of the School and retains the position of spokesman, manager and initiator of general policy.
Further reading: www.st-cecilia.com.au.