Tannum High students accepted into top music programs!


Tannum High students accepted into top music programs!


Tannum Sands State High are incredibly proud of the hard work and achievements of two of their music students Skye Birthisel and Darcia Stewart.

Skye Birthisel (voice/guitar) has been selected for the Australian Academy of Country Music Excellence. Only 25 people are selected between Australia and New Zealand and this will be held in the June/July holidays. This is a prestigious academy, very hard to get into. 

Students receive intense tuition in many aspects of Country Music including performance, songwriting, musicianship, working in a group and harmony singing. There are opportunities to co-write with other students and professional songwriters, network with professional artists and get a first class foundation course in Country Music. 

To get in Skye had to have:

  • At least 1 x MP3 files of your song, recording or live performance.
  • Songwriters had to also submit lyrics
  • A referral letter from an existing country music practitioner (Producer, songwriter, performer, Festival organiser) is a valuable asset when applying.

“I was so excited when I heard I had been accepted into the Junior Country Music Academy especially as only 25 young people are chosen,”  Skye said.


Darcia Stewart (saxophone) has been selected to participate in The Pacific Honours Ensemble Program. Students were auditioned from all over Queensland for the opportunity to be part of this program.

PHEP is the pinnacle of the programs offered by the Open Conservatorium. Dacia is one of only 24 students Queensland students from state and private schools to be accepted into PHEP.

What is PHEP:

The Pacific Honours Ensemble Program is jointly hosted by the Open Conservatorium (Griffith University) and the Western International Band Clinic held in Seattle, Washington, annually during November.

This cross-Pacific partnership commenced in 2007 and brings the finest of high school aged Queensland musicians together with the US’s best and involves rehearsals and performances with six different guest conductors from all over the world in an intensive program.

To get in Darcia had to:

  • Be nominated by her Instrumental Music Teacher;
  • Be successfully selected for the State Honours Ensemble Program – Capricornia;
  • Prepare two contrasting pieces in 2-4 weeks for the live audition;
  • Complete a live audition;
  • Received a positive offer from the live audition.

“ When I heard that I had gotten into PHEP I couldn’t believe it, I knew they were only taking such a small group, I didn’t think I stood a chance!” said Darcia.

Congratulations Skye and Darica!