School is proving no obstacle to Oliver Wheeler’s busy life as a musician.
Oliver, who turns 15 at the end of this month, is in year 10 at Dungog High School and has regularly appeared on tenor saxophone with other young musicians and singers from the school on the streets of Dungog for various civic festivities, led by their talented and inspired music teachers Phyl Danvers and Louise Knight.
Oliver has been particularly busy lately.
As a member of the Maitland Gilbert and Sullivan and Musical Society Orchestra, he recently completed a two week run of “The Mikado” on electric bass.
As a member of the Star Struck orchestra, he played on trombone the final show on Saturday night.
On Sunday morning he headed to Stanwell Tops for a week of music making, this time on tuba, with the state’s top student musicians at the Senior NSW State Band Camp.
In August he heads to Sydney for a week to rehearse and then perform with the Senior NSW State Wind Band at the Opera House as well as compete in the NSW State Band Championships with the Waratah Brass Band at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.
In September he has secured a work experience placement with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and will be mentored by its principal tuba player Edwin Diefes.
Looking further ahead, next year Oliver flies to Hawaii for the Pan Pacific Music Festival with the Hunter/Central Coast Regional Wind Ensemble with which he has previously toured Austria, France and Japan.
As well as his school homework, Oliver contends with weekly music lessons on trombone, tuba, pianoand electric bass and regular national music exams, with one due the day after he gets back from camp.
Oliver has also taken on a number of students himself and teaches clarinet, saxophone and brass instruments to some of the local children in Stroud where he lives.