In the September holidays, MSM string students Jade Madden and Elena Bontempi represented the College at the state level by attending the Griffith University Conservatorium State Honours Ensemble Program. SHEP Qld featured four Wind Orchestras, two String Orchestras, a Celtic String Ensemble, four Vocal Ensembles, a Symphony Orchestra and Big Band. Selected from more than 2000 students, nominated by 169 state, private and distance education school, participants have travelle…d from Mount Isa, Cairns and the border to represent their schools and work alongside renowned international and national conductors. Running Thursday September 29 to Sunday October 2, four days of intensive rehearsals culminated in five Grand Finale Concerts, open to the public, on Sunday October 2 in the Conservatorium Theatre. Jade and Elena participated in a full symphony orchestra conducted by Dr Mark Laycock from Wichita State University, USA. The program was intensive but very enriching, and the knowledge gained from this experience was extremely valuable.