Bachelor of Music graduate performs with industry legend

This June, Monash graduate Jess Mahler had the honour of accompanying one of Australia’s most respected and accomplished vocalists, Renée Geyer.

Audience members at the Ian Potter Centre of Arts were transfixed by the power of Renée’s jazz, soul and R&B idioms delivered by her rich and husky voice. Spanning over four decades, Renée’s impressive body of musical work and accolades as a singer, songwriter, producer and author, proved to be a wellspring of inspiration to our alum.

My mum is a big big fan of Renée” says Jess Mahler “I have a sort of [...] handed down love for her and her music. So after our set when we went backstage and she was in the green room my little heart was beating like crazy.”

A recent Monash Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) graduate, Jess is an accomplished musician in her own right. A versatile contemporary jazz saxophonist, vastly experienced both in ensemble work and band leading, she has played all over Australia at venues as acclaimed as the Palais Theatre and festivals like Cooly Rocks On, Evans Head Music Festival and The Byron Bay Rails. Playing alongside Australian legends including Martha Baartz and Helen Svoboda, Jess’ list now grows by one and her admiration for these leading women, even greater.

“[Renée] was very supportive of our set and encouraged us to keep going in our musical journeys which was maybe one of the most amazing things that’s ever happened to me”

Opportunities like these are fostered by the ongoing collaboration between the Sir Zelman School of Music and Performance (SZCSoMP) and Monash Performing Arts Centres (MPAC).

MPAC endeavours to provide exceptional professional performance experiences for SZCSoMP students allowing them to both gain invaluable insights outside their formal study and have the chance to showcase their honed talents.

"Performing with an industry legend such as Renée Geyer is just one of the many opportunities available to SZCSoMP students through our industry partnership” says Head of School Professor Margaret Barrett.

“Our students thrive from these experiences as they build their creative, collaborative skills and expertise".

A vessel for the cross fertilisation of ideas, music disciplines and performance, the Monash Performing Arts Centres hope to continue to engage our home-grown talent in supporting locally and internationally celebrated artists.

To learn more about the Bachelor of Music, visit our course page.