On Monday the 30th of June, our College Instrumental Tutors Mrs Alicia Verso (Voice) and Mr Chris Paraha (Guitar, Bass Guitar/Drumkit) presented a mini performance in the College Chapel for our Year 7 cohort to advertise and showcase the instruments that can be learnt at Kolbe Catholic College. Piano Tutor Mrs Heidi Duncan was unable to join us on the day due to illness.
Students enjoyed the performance and were given the opportunity to ask questions about the program and leave with our handbook and application form. The hyperlink below leads to the College website for the electronic version of our Instrumental and Ensemble program handbook and application form that was provided on the day.
Any enquiries about the program are to be directed to Head of Music, Mrs Alicia Verso, via SEQTA direct message.
Guitar, Bass Guitar and Drum Kit Tutor
Educated at WAAPA, graduating in 1989 with a BMUS in Jazz Performance, Chris has been an in-demand bass guitarist since moving to Melbourne in 1993. He has played with the likes of Ross Wilson (Daddy Cool, Mondo Rock), Joe Camillieri (Black Sorrows), Russell Morris, Kylie Auldist, Vicka and Linda Bull, Jane Clifton and Nichaud Fitzgibbon. Chris is currently working with Debra Byrne alongside being a regular member of Nina Ferro’s Gold Experience and MD’s The End of The Line (The Traveling Wilburys) as well as Eugene Hamilton and The Money.
As an educationalist, Chris is skilled on several instruments, including Bass Guitar, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Drums and Keyboards. He is adept at teaching these instruments as Chris is also a conductor and Ensemble Tutor. He conducted the Genazzano Stage Band at the Generations In Jazz in Mt Gambia in 2019, coming 1st in Division 3. His love of Jazz, Blues, Rock and Contemporary Music makes him an important member of a school with an excellent Music Department. He strives to remain up to date with current teaching trends and regularly participates in school-based and external professional development programs. He has experience in advising and preparing students for VCE level exams. His students achieve strong Solo Performance results (in the 40s) and regularly achieve high As and Bs in external contemporary examination programs.
Heidi began learning piano from her big sister as a young child; she can still remember some of the first songs she played and is constantly impressed with how music sticks in our memories. She started formal lessons at age 7 with a teacher whose love of piano music was contagious. During secondary school, she began teaching and accompanying instrumentalists, singers and choirs and also played regularly for her church. Heidi has won various prizes and awards competing in eisteddfods.
After finishing secondary school, Heidi performed as a concerto soloist with Melbourne Grammar School’s orchestra, made her own solo CD and completed the AMEB A.Mus A. She also worked as a background pianist playing jazz and light classical music in restaurants.
Heidi completed a double degree in Music and Education at The University of Melbourne, where she had the privilege of piano lessons with Glen Riddle, Mark McGee and Benjamin Martin, and piano duet/duo coaching from Igor Machlak and Olga Kharitonova. While studying, she struggled with muscular troubles, which forced her to stop playing for a time, and was the impetus to learn more helpful piano techniques through undertaking Alexander Technique lessons and lessons with new teachers. Also while at university, Heidi collaborated with a Chinese Gu Zheng player to perform an oriental themed concert.
After studying, Heidi continued to teach piano and accompany and she also conducted various choirs. Since having children, she has become a more fun, compassionate and creative teacher. She teaches primary, secondary and adult students. She has been teaching piano at Kolbe Catholic College since 2020.
Heidi currently plays for a community choir, for worship at her church, and for her own pleasure. She loves playing as much, if not more than she ever has, which fuels her desire to share that enjoyment with others through teaching.
Alicia Verso is the Head of Music at Kolbe Catholic College. Her Musical journey started in high school at where she began taking guitar lessons at the age of 15 and then vocal lessons at 17, completing VCE Music with her focal Instrument in Voice. After high school she completed an Advanced Diploma in Jazz and Contemporary Music at NMIT, now known as Polytechnic. Alicia studied all aspects of Jazz, Blues, Contemporary techniques and the anatomy of the voice (head and neck).
Whilst studying, Alicia was lead singer of a corporate and private duo/trio for two years singing at Weddings and other venues. She followed on to complete a Bachelor of Music Industry with Distinction at RMIT where she met a bass player, forming a duo, where Alicia played guitar and sang original music. Alicia decided to pursue teaching once she obtained her Degree in Music, completing a Diploma of Education in 2006 at The University of Melbourne, Majoring in Double Music in both Instrumental and Classroom Music.
Her classroom and vocal tutoring teaching career started in 2007 where she was vocal, choir and classroom teaching, at Buckley Park College and then joining the foundation staff at Kolbe Catholic College in 2008. This is where Alicia could use her passion to be creative to build a Performing Arts Curriculum with a hands-on approach for her students.
After raising a family, Alicia has made her way back to her external Musical interests to further enhance her technique and performance skills. In August 2020 she joined the Dan Hamill Performance Coaching program. She has been taking extensive vocal and performance coaching over the past 18 months, including song writing and acting classes with world class professional industry-based performers such as, Shan Wicky, Erin Cornell, Alicia Banit, Peter Blackburn, Yara Alkurd and Dan Hamill himself.
Alicia’s recent accolades include ‘2021 Winner of Stage Door’ Australia wide online singing competition 16+ category, and the month of June winner in ‘Radio Eastern 98.1 FM’s ‘Season 4 Talent Search Competition’ for her original song ‘Shape Up’. She has also been a two-time finalist on ‘Homegrown Superstar’ and made it to the ‘Top 100 FLAIRXL’ talent competition out of entrants from four countries including, USA, Canada, UK, and Australia, with having her original song entry ‘Something Wild’ being broadcast live to over 5 thousand people.
Alicia is currently working on her debut single ‘Lola’ with Producer Danny Blackburn who is based in London. Her single is due to be released later this year on all major downloading platforms.