Striking the right note


JUGGLING a music career with the HSC could turn out to be a nightmare for some students. But for Gethin Thomas, a student from St John Bosco College, Engadine, music provided him with an outlet to escape from the stress during his final year. Having only moved to Australia from the UK in 2008, Gethin said his dedication and ability to prioritise was his key to success. “It was all about having a balanced perspective, working hard but also taking time out,” he said. Balancing his role as a student and a member of the indie alternative band, Futures in Black and White, proved to be a winning formula for Gethin, aged 19, who scored an Australian tertiary admissions rank of 99.15 and was named dux of his school. “I would bring my books to band rehearsals and study in between takes,” he said. “I was performing right up to the HSC which was quite surreal. “I would be doing a gig and 10 days later I was sitting my advanced English exam.” Gethin was lucky to have the full support of fellow band members Anthony Hiscox, James Simpson, Brad Unabia and Matt Machuka, who had endured the same process the year before. “The band was launched right while the others were completing their HSC in 2008,” he said. “They all understood what I was going through.” With a string of shows set up for the next six months, there is no slowing down for Gethin who will put his formula to the test again next month when he begins a double degree in arts and law at Sydney University.