16 February, 2021 Academic

A strong voice during a challenging VCE year – Harry Amos

Harry is part of St Michael’s Class of 2020 – the cohort who faced the challenges of VCE and COVID-19 with resilience, grace, and good humour.

“Doing VCE in the time of COVID was a challenge but we were all in it together. The Class of 2020 was an amazing group. We encouraged each other and had incredible support from our teachers” – Harry Amos (OM 2020)

For his VCE studies, Harry took on the diverse subject mix of Economics, English, Further Mathematics, Music Performance and Physical Education. Harry achieved excellent marks across all subjects, earning him an ATAR of 92.25, however it was Harry’s accomplishments in Music Performance which further developed his passion for vocal performing and have opened a world of opportunities for him.

Straight after the VCE exams, Harry auditioned at The University of Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music. A week later, he was given an early offer for the Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) and an offer of a Scholarship Entrance Award from the Conservatorium.

“I was stoked, and the Scholarship Entrance Award really topped it off.”

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    Harry in the Addams Family
  • a-strong-voice-during-a-challenging-vce-year-harry-amos
    Harry on stage

Harry’s journey with singing started when he joined the School’s Choirs. Singing in the choirs provided him with lifechanging opportunities. Harry fondly remembers the European Choir Tour, when he sang in the Notre Dame, St Mark’s Cathedral and Northern Iceland, as “a source of inspiration and something I’ll never forget.”

“I started taking singing seriously in Year 11 when I joined the Victorian Opera Youth Chorus Ensemble, where I received some intense classical vocal coaching, and sang with a great group of mates in the St Michael’s Boys Choir.”

Harry and the Boys Choir kept us all entertained during the lockdown of 2020, with the Boys Choir releasing entertaining music videos online to buoy the spirits of their peers.

Another passion of Harry’s is running. Harry credits his involvement in Sport as paramount to his St Michael’s experience and success.

Harry’s passions for running and singing, as well as his interesting subject mix, kept him motivated throughout his VCE year.

“I chose subjects from a range of areas to keep it interesting. During VCE I wouldn’t allow myself to be bored. If I felt bored, I’d stop. I worked as hard as I could, gave myself study goals, practised singing and went running almost every day with friends.”

Along with Music, Sport played a big role in my overall experience of school. There are so many opportunities at St Michael’s to be involved in.Harry Amos (OM 2020)

After a day of studying, Harry always made a conscious effort to switch off.

“My other coping strategy was rewarding myself each evening after study. For me, that involved watching every episode of ‘The Office’, English and US versions, so I could end the day with a laugh.”

“I was determined that VCE wasn’t going to be too stressful. I just wanted to look back and know I’d given it my best, but I wanted to stay healthy at the same time.”

Harry’s sound advice for students commencing Year 12 is to follow your passions, and to ask for help when you need it.

My advice for VCE would be to do the subjects you are passionate about and find your own voice.Harry Amos (OM 2020)

“My other big tip would be to talk to the teachers and ask them for help. It sounds obvious now, but I only really started doing this in Year 12, and I found out just how much of a difference it made.”

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    Harry performing with the Boys Choir for the 2020 Virtual Speech Night
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    Harry singing in the Virtual Choir Project

Harry seems to have taken his own advice, as he prepares to begin at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Harry is particularly excited about the University of Melbourne’s ‘breadth’ subjects, which means that he will get to study outside of his course faculty.

“I really enjoyed VCE Economics, and the program at Melbourne Uni gives me the opportunity to continue with my studies in Economics at the same time as the Bachelor of Music Performance. I feel incredibly lucky to be studying two really different areas that I enjoy.”

Harry is now looking set to achieve his goals for the future.

“I’m hoping one day to sing professionally and get involved in music making initiatives that have a positive impact, but right now I can’t wait to immerse myself in studying the things I’m passionate about, and to keep running, of course.”