|ABOUT WESTGATE - CONDUCTORS - ROY HAMILTON|
Roy graduated from
the University of Melbourne in 1971 with a B.A.(hon), DipEd, majoring
in Music and History. He began his teaching career at Sunshine High
School in 1972. He was the only music teacher at the school.
In 1974, Roy was offered a part time position at the Curriculum & Research Branch of the Education Department. This was the first time that anyone was appointed there to work in and for secondary music curriculum. He edited the newsletter Agitato, encouraged music teachers to network together to share teaching ideas and resources, organised professional development activities for music teachers and maintained close contact with members of Music Branch, who serviced the needs of primary teachers.
After three years, Roy's desire to work directly with students again saw him appointed to Braybrook High School; he has been there ever since! His initial brief was to set up an Instrumental Music Program. Itinerant woodwind, brass and percussion teachers were appointed and Roy became the director of the Braybrook High School Concert Band. This ensemble soon began to give performances, go on music camps and take part in festivals - both local and statewide.
Roy met Derek Humphrey when Derek was appointed to Braybrook to teach woodwinds. Both were committed to the idea that secondary school instrumental students should have opportunities to 1.extend their playing beyond the level offered at their individual school and 2. continue playing in ensembles after they had left school.
By 1979, Western Region Concert Band was having to turn away players; they could not satisfy the growing demand of so many students wanting to play with them. In September of that year, Derek and Roy formed the Westgate Youth Band.
For the next 15 years, Roy worked side by side with Derek as the band developed into a community organisation (Westgate Concert Band) which rehearsed a wide range of music, performed regularly and undertook many interstate trips, with one overseas tour to Hawaii. When Derek retired from regular participation in the band (1994), Roy became Musical Director.
For over 30 years Roy has conducted a range of groups: School bands, Community bands and over 35 Musical Productions.
In 1997, Roy instigated the idea of running a Bands Festival for a group of Concert Bands who had recently withdrawn from the VBL's annual State Championship Band Contests. Held in Geelong, this non-competitive festival is now in its 7th year. A feature is the presence of a Critical Friend who provides on- stage feedback to the band. Roy has also organised conductors' workshops and reading days for the Bands Group.
2003 will be Roy's final year as a full time music teacher/Assistant Principal. In retirement, he hopes to offer music workshops to schools (both primary and secondary) and to be available as a guest conductor for school concert bands. He will continue as Musical Director of the Westgate Concert Band. Its 25th anniversary in September 2004 will be another milestone in his musical life.