fbpx

The Gift of Music

Janelle Fletcher
Janelle Fletcher with past and current students

You can feel the pride and passion exude from Janelle Fletcher as she reflects on her thirty-year career as a Music Tutor at Toowoomba Grammar School.

“It’s a long time to stay in any job,” she admitted.

“But working with the boys, seeing how important it is to have music in their lives and to develop not only as musicians but as people, that’s what’s kept me here.”

Janelle believes staff in an all-boys’ school have a real understanding of boys.

“It’s been very positive for me to see the changing face in education with boys over the years and how we connect with, engage and inspire boys to learn across the board; it’s a good thing,” said Janelle.

Janelle has played an integral role in the development of the Music Program at TGS. Watching it grow from one room with less than 50 boys involved in the co-curricular program, to the opening of the Junior School in 1997 and dedicated music facilities across the entire School. Janelle contributed to the program’s growth from a few small Senior School choirs to instrumental lessons, then the involvement of all Junior School students and the implementation of performances, competitions and musicals.

“It’s an extraordinary achievement and has been inspiring to be part of the development of such an impressive music program,” Janelle beamed.

“My role has evolved over that time too; starting out teaching piano to being involved in all aspects of the program.”

Janelle credits the success of the TGS Music Program to the dedication of staff and the calibre of educators in the music department. She said TGS seeks out the best candidates and finds the right people for the job.

“I’ve worked in a lot of schools but the support of the TGS staff and Executive has been extraordinary,” said Janelle.

“The School really nurtures the performing arts; the cliché the we’re just a sporting school is certainly not true, as anyone involved in the Arts here would know.”

Her continued connection with former students is testament to her love of her job and the passion she evokes in her tutees.

Just a few weeks ago she recognised a young man in the shops and said “Geoffrey Raymond, boarder from Gundy.” His response, “Miss Fletcher, piano teacher from TGS.” Janelle had not seen him since his last music lesson in 1994!

“That type of reconnection is a wonderful reflection on the TGS music department,” said Janelle.

“We’re not just tutors, we’re heavily involved in pastoral care as well. The boys often talk to us about life in general and we’re there to help them find their way.”

Janelle’s career is diverse. Along with her lessons at TGS, she is a Director on the Board of the Empire Theatre and the Chair of the Empire Theatre Foundation, responsible for awarding thousands of dollars in bursaries to promising performers.

She shrugged off the responsibility of the role and stated, “I invest as much time into teaching a Prep student to love music as I do into keeping the Empire Theatre operational during a pandemic.”

She has too many highlights from her career to list them all but said to see former students Andrew Stone and Alex Miller reach the pinnacle of their careers has been very satisfying. Andrew Stone (TGS Old Boy 1997-2001) is the General Manager of Chugg Music, the Record Label and Management division of Chugg Entertainment, while Alex Miller (TGS Old Boy 2007-2011) is the Associate Principal, French Horn with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

But what she finds equally rewarding is receiving photos of TGS Old Boys playing music from music sheets with Janelle’s notations on them, dating back to the nineties; or messages from them saying that they still enjoy playing music today.

“Now I teach the children of my former students,” smiled Janelle.

“And I have no plans to finish any time soon, I love it too much.”


Latest News

Sports & Activities
/
Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022

Chess King at TGS

International Chess Master and professional player, Gary Lane is sharing his skills and knowledge at the three-day Toowoomba Grammar School Chess Clinic (June 21-23). Mr Lane has won the Commonwealth Chess Championship and represented Australia at several Chess Olympiads. He is the author of over thirty chess books and has arrived at TGS after just playing in the premier division of the Doeberl Cup, 'The Australian Chess Grand Prix'. Mr Lane will provide expert advice on chess strategy and…

Read More
Boarding
/
Wednesday, 08 Jun 2022

Mr Phil Kefford - Head of House - Stephens Boarding

“If students are educated the right way, they will make a difference in whatever community they live and work in.” That is the philosophy of Toowoomba Grammar School’s new Head of House, Stephens Boarding, Mr Phil Kefford. Phil grew up in Warrington, in the north west of England and realised early on that he came from a place where “I had just one shot to get out and I had to focus and work hard to do that.” He was accepted into university in London where he fell in love with History, was…

Read More
The Arts
/
Monday, 06 Jun 2022

Student's Script to the Stage

Toowoomba Grammar Acting Academy (TiGAA) performers are excited to take to the Empire Theatre stage to present a play written by one of our very own students. There are not many schools that can boast an entire production of this calibre being created solely by the students, and TGS is thrilled to support our talented young men and provide them with this opportunity. Greek Mythology for Millennials has been a three-year project by Year 12 student, Gabriel Donaldson. The work was shortlisted in…

Read More
The Arts
/
Monday, 09 May 2022

Future Film Stars at TGS

Toowoomba Grammar School could have the next Stephen Spielberg in its midst, with Year 11 student, Ben Rosenberg reconised at a National Film Festival for the second consecutive year. Ben won '2021 Best Director' at the Nextwave Youth Film Awards which were held in Coffs Harbour last week. The award was for his film ‘Time Macheen’ which also won the 'Best Film' for the 15-17 years category. Toowoomba Grammar School also won the Best School Spirit Award (1 of only 3 schools awarded), for their…

Read More
Sports & Activities
/
Thursday, 21 Apr 2022

Super Swimmers Bring Back National Medal Haul

Toowoomba Grammar School swimming club is celebrating after a very successful National Age Championship representation in Adelaide from April 12-19. Three swimmers brought home five medals between them, ranking them among the best in the country in their respective age divisions. Mackenzie Grimes won silver in the 13 years girls 50m backstroke and silver in the 13 years girls 100m backstroke. She was also selected to represent Queensland in the 4 x 50m mixed medley relay. Sienna Deurloo won a…

Read More
Teaching Excellence
/
Tuesday, 29 Mar 2022

The Gift of Music

The Gift of Music Janelle Fletcher with past and current studentsYou can feel the pride and passion exude from Janelle Fletcher as she reflects on her thirty-year career as a Music Tutor at Toowoomba Grammar School. “It’s a long time to stay in any job,” she admitted. “But working with the boys, seeing how important it is to have music in their lives and to develop not only as musicians but as people, that’s what’s kept me here.” Janelle believes staff in an all-boys’ school have a real…

Read More
news Wednesday, 16 Mar 2022

TGS Athletes Have World Championships in Sight

TGS Athletes Have World Championships in SightToowoomba Grammar School athletes will have eight representatives at the Australian Track and Field Championships from 26 March – 3 April after the boys excelled at the State Titles. TGS brought home seven medals from States, with four current students and three Old Boys enjoying podium places at the titles which were held from March 3-6. Old Boy (2019-20), Jai Gordon continued to impress, qualifying for the Australian U20 team in both the 100m and…

Read More
Sports & Activities
/
Friday, 11 Mar 2022

Historic 1st XI Cricket Match

Historic 1st XI Cricket Match Toowoomba Grammar School is celebrating an impressive milestone against Brisbane Grammar School on Saturday, 12 March with our 1st XI cricket team playing their 750th match! This is a huge achievement for any sporting organisation, particularly considering this is counted on GPS games – so there are roughly only seven games each year; it’s taken a long time to reach this weekend’s historic occasion. It will presumably be another 37-40 years before they play the…

Read More
Sports & Activities
/
Thursday, 10 Feb 2022

New Uniforms for our 1st Teams

New Uniforms for our 1st TeamsToowoomba Grammar School is excited to launch our fresh, new uniforms for the 1st squads as the first GPS School to partner with internationally recognised sporting company, New Balance. This is the first stage in an extensive re-design and standardisation of all the School’s sports and activities uniforms which will be gradually rolled out over the next two years. These bold new 1sts uniforms have been designed specifically to honour the tradition of the Blue and…

Read More