Australian college students visit Williamsport Area High School

Williamsport Area High School and Middle School recently had visitors from Edith Coden University located in Perth, Western Australia.

Nine students and two professors made the three-day trip, thanks to a sister program at Bucknell College.

Bucknell students also traveled to Australia to see what their music classes and programs were like as compared to ours.

Students from Edith Coden traveled from Bucknell to surrounding districts to visit and observe the music departments in local schools.

The group toured Milton High School, Williamsport Area High School and Middle School and Jackson Elementary School.

Edith Coden University student Alida explained that music classes are much different here as compared to back home.

“Choirs and bands are held outside of school as extracurriculars, while our music classes are more based on the history and composing of music,” she said.

Another student from Australia, Brandon Poletti, elaborated “A classic day is a five period day with one or two music classes. Any performance music is held after school, with auditions held to join.”

The Australian visitors sat in on chorus classes to get a glimpse of what music classes look like in America.

“It’s an excellent experience to view American culture. My students could learn a lot about how to manage a class, or even just a different choral song structure,” said professor Geoffrey Lowe. “Since American choral structure is based on gospel and soul, it was nice to watch concert choir perform.”

Williamsport Area High School choir director Mr. Kent Weaver reflected on the experience.

“I thought it was fascinating sharing with the Australians both countries’ music education philosophy and practices. They were a delight, and our students enjoyed their interactions.”