Meet the Captivate Strings Team – Chapter 2: Andras Racz, An Extraordinarily Musical Life

I’m sorry it has taken awhile to get to the 2nd biography in the series I am posting about our wonderfully talented and dedicated team of teachers – both classroom & specialist, in our Captivate Strings Program in Catholic Schools – Diocese of Parramatta. My intention earlier this year was to post a feature about each of our amazing teachers, as they are extraordinary people that do an extraordinary job in our schools. The previous post was titled “The Life of Brian” about Brian Strong, one of our specialist lower string teachers in our Blacktown area schools.

Andras Profile 2This month we learn about one of our leading classroom & specialist teachers (I like to work him twice as hard;)  who is also a very talented performer, arranger and conductor. I interviewed Andras during his lunch break at Parramatta Marist High School where he works in our very exciting Orchestra Program. I apologise for the background noise. It is so difficult to find the time to interview Andras in his busy schedule but I thought that his story and his musical experience are best told in his own words. I have cut this 30 minute interview into eight separate short videos. I just could not cut any of Andras’ story. I thought it might be easier for viewers to watch these 8 separate short videos over a week or if you like, settle into a comfortable chair with a cup of tea and enjoy Andras’ story in one sitting. I think you will find it a compelling and inspirational story.

1st Musical Experience

Early Music Education

School & Hardship

Tertiary Studies – Composing & Conducting

1st big break – Orchestrating & Conducting for the City Radio Orchestra

Coming to Australia

And this is the most important one I think – Andras’ view of music education and advice to students & “How to Practise”

Recently, the Blacktown Captivate String Orchestra performed Andras’  wonderful arrangement of Caccini’s Ave Maria at the Captivate BEST OF Showcase. Many of the audience would be unaware that this is his arrangement and he has put his arranging stamp and style onto many of our best Captivate performances.

Conductor: Phil Rooke, Soloist: Abbey Keane – Year 3

In January 2011, Andras was nominated for and received a Golden Fiddle Award in the ‘Best Teacher’ category. He was invited to the awards in Tamworth to perform and interview by the Australian Teacher  Journal. The article is reproduced below with permission. Click here to subscribe to “Australian Teacher”

Australian_Teacher_March_2011I feel very privileged to have Andras as a colleague and hope that many of our students, parents, school leadership teams and teachers take the time to view the videos of Mr Racz’s life story. All of our dedicated teaching team have stories to tell and I believe that by hearing these stories we can each learn something about ourselves and about hard work, dedication and motivation.


About captivatestrings

Phil Rooke is a Teacher Educator, specializing in Music Education for the Catholic Education Office - Diocese of Parramatta, authoring & implementing teaching programs and leading music learning across a system of 78 schools in Western Sydney. "I am on a learning journey to find and invent better ways to motivate students and teachers in music making."
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