The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Australian Band Students Visit MIHS

Students play at the joint-performance. Photo courtesy Joe Chen

Thirty students from all-boys school St. Patrick’s College of Strathfield in Australia visited MIHS on Jan. 16 as a part of their marching band tour up the west coast.

In 2015, MIHS band students visited St. Patrick’s College in Australia. Their visit inspired the school to form a marching band, something generally uncommon at Australian high schools. 

“Music has really given me a way to express myself creatively outside of sports. A lot of what we do is completely academic, we focus on getting good marks, so music is just a very good outlet,” said St. Patrick’s College junior Jonah Rogers.

Drum Major Jasper Geer said the band came here to learn more about how American high schools run their band programs. 

“They came into our leadership meetings because band leadership works very differently over here,” Geer said.

The St. Patrick’s College students, ages 11 to 18, first visited schools in California, performing along the way.

The St. Patrick’s College students stayed in the homes of MIHS students and spent the school day on campus, accompanying MIHS band members to their classes.

“The entire culture and general attitude is different in Australia. I’ve noticed homework is different, it’s not as emphasized where we come from. In school, people act differently, and the entire mentality of Australians is a lot more relaxed,” Rogers said.

The visit culminated in a joint performance Jan. 16 with the MIHS band.

“They were probably the best three days of my year,” Geer said. “I did not expect to get so tight with them. I guess we were all super compatible as friends and we got super close in only three days. It was way too short.”

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