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    EMERGING MUSICIANS FROM THE WEST HONE THEIR SKILLS FOR SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCE

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    By Siya Gauri Singh

    Rising stars of the west are preparing for a grand showcase of musical talent in the upcoming Victoria State Schools Spectacular. Each year the Spectacular invites a diverse group of performers, dancers, musicians, singers and other artists to leave their mark on the stage. Among the musicians are Vijval Jain, Ojas Panat, and Dinda Widya Murti, students based at Suzanne Cory High School (SCHS) in Melbourne’s west. 

    Vijval Jain, a rhythmic force, is on par with seasoned percussionists with his own command over the snare drum. Having started his drumming journey in 2021 as a Year 9 student, Vijval has honed his skill under the guidance of Mr. Mulcahy, a dedicated percussion teacher at SCHS. 

    His musical journey was motivated by the unwavering support of his friends, family and fellow band members, leading him to the esteemed stage of the Victoria State Schools Spectacular as part of the Marching Snare Drumline. He calls VSSS ‘an amazing opportunity for students around Victoria’ to get involved in. He says that the grand scale of this showcase is something ‘even experienced musicians may never get an opportunity’ to partake in. 

    Participating in the VSSS has helped him further his passion and talent in music, and he says he would ‘love to have a band to perform casual gigs with’ to continue cultivating his passion in music beyond school. 

    Ojas Panat, a versatile percussionist with roots in Indian classical music, is also part of the acclaimed Marching Drumline. His journey began at the tender age of seven when he picked up the tabla, guided by a family tradition of musicianship. 

    His experience with the tabla, which he has been playing for the past nine and a half years, led him to the world of percussion, where he embraced the drum kit. Also learning from Mr. Mulcahy of SCHS, Ojas cultivated his craft and has grown into a powerful musician. Ojas says the VSSS gives ‘all of the participants empowerment and a platform to show everyone what they’ve got.’

    Calling it an ‘incredible opportunity’, he would love to come back to VSSS next year and continue to form profound connections with his peers in this opportunity, and of course, nurture his own passion for music. 

    Dinda Widya Murti, another virtuosic drummer, is also part of the Marching Snare Drumline. With four years of drumming practice and two years participating in the Spectacular, Dinda’s journey is teeming with passion for music. 

    Her involvement in the event has expanded her drumming artistry, exposing her to drumming synchronisation, using a harness and performing visual tricks! 

    When talking about the Spectacular, she says, ‘It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had. I’ve flourished significantly as a musician because of the professionalism of the show. It truly gives me insight into the music industry and performing.’ She likes ‘working towards a goal with other members of the drumline’, and would love to come back to the VSSS next year. For the future, Dinda wants to continue drumming as her passion.  

    She encourages all students to ‘join the Spectacular if you get a chance to’, something that Ojas and Vijval passionately agree with too. Vijval Jain, Ojas Panat, and Dinda Widya Murti exemplify the spirit of musical excellence as they step onto the Spectacular stage to create a symphony of achievement that is bound to echo for the years to come. 

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