Honouring two musical giants

Two stirring musical celebrations were recently held to express appreciation and

admiration for the immense contributions of Mr Vlad Khusid and Mr Martin Smith.


Concert for Vlad

The Concert for Vlad was a spectacular musical event held in the John Vallance Hall on Sunday 15 May. A selection of Australia’s finest jazz musicians, including James Morrison, Fabian Hevia, Guy Strazz, Brett Hirst, Simon Sweeney, James Greening, Luke Sweeting, Martin Highland, Craig Simon (OS 1993) and the world-music ensemble Marsala joined College Street performers to pay tribute to Mr Vladimir Khusid, a man described by Oliver Duncan (OS 2021) as “a Sydney Grammar icon, a national treasure”.

Pictured: Marsala

The concert had many highlights – among them speeches by former Headmasters Dr Ralph Townsend and Dr John Vallance, a rousing rendition of There Will Never Be Another You by the Morrison-led Vlad All-Star Band, and a four-trumpet encore, Days of Wine and Roses, featuring Dr Richard Malpass alongside Master-of-Ceremonies Jonathon Hunyor (OS 1989), Morrison and Mr Khusid himself. All those in attendance found it a worthy acknowledgment of the 34-year career (and counting) of one of Grammar’s most beloved pedagogues.


Pictured: David Ahn (IV) Croonivores and Grammarphones

Mr James Morrison, Mr Vlad Khusid, Dr Richard Malpass and Mr Jonathon Hunyor Days of Wine and Roses

Below is a video of the full Concert for Vlad

Below is a video of an interview with Mr Vlad Khusid

Below is a video of an interview with bass player and Grammar Music master Mr Brett Hirst

Below is a video of an interview with percussionist and former Grammar Music master Mr Fabian Hevia

“Smithy” (Encore)

“We stand up all and shout it now, Smithy Encore!” These rousing words taken from the specially commissioned song to honour our retiring Director of Music, Mr Martin Smith, also served as the title for his farewell concert on Sunday 31 July. All those who attended would agree that this was a fitting tribute to a wonderful musician, friend and colleague. The afternoon exemplified all that Martin believed to be true of Music education – through opportunity and setting the bar high you allow children to grow wings and flourish. What a gift!

Pictured: Hugo To, Martin Smith, Benett Tsai, Hugo Hui

From the youngest boys in Murray and Pennington Strings through to Smith Orchestra, the afternoon was a celebration of the joy that music-making with your friends can bring. The boys beamed with pride and satisfaction at creating something special for Mr Smith, their parents, staff and guests. Three groups of Old Sydneians, also joined the concert. Hearing these young men perform, was a privilege and a joy. It also reinforced the positive impact and influence Martin has had on their lives beyond the gates at St Ives.


Pictured: Murray and Pennington Strings


Mr Smith’s farewell concert concluded with over 200 boys from St Ives singing, “Smithy” (Encore). With lyrics penned by Mr Simon Germaine and music written by Mr Richard Charlton, it was a fitting, heartfelt conclusion to a special afternoon. We all wish you well, Smithy, in your retirement.

Below is a video of the full “Smithy” (Encore) concert