Musical maestro Max Irvin's talents have him very busy in his final year of high school. Not only is he the NVSH school captain - his saxophone, guitar, vocal, band and theatre commitments see him dedicating endless hours per day perfecting his skills.
Max said he started playing guitar ten years ago at the young age of 7 and then a couple of years later began the saxophone. Singing came later when he started a rock band and went on to audition for a music academy in grade 6 where he received a scholarship for his skills.
This led to Max studying a diploma of music and last year represented NVSH in the State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP) which is run by the Conservatorium - for his Saxophone.
“I got offered a spot and I thought I'd play the third part of the hierarchy and I ended up being first part which was so exciting," Max said. “I didn't expect that. A lot of people try out – it's an intense, advanced workshop and highly sought after. I've applied again for the Australian Honours program this year."
He was also selected to do a creative arts alliance - a Plug in mentorship program – through Moreton Bay Regional Council last year where there were only 15 people selected. After being mentored by experienced musicians over Zoom, Max got to perform a song he had created called Bluesman with a backup band.
Max has his hand in every musical pot. At school, Max is in the stage band, symphonic winds and the vocal group. He also plays guitar and sings in a blues-rock trio – Max Irvin and The Marigolds - with school friends Charlie Green and Nicholas Conoplia.
“Soon enough we will be performing and making a name for ourselves," Max said. “I've been writing my own songs for about a year now and hopefully will be working towards an EP in a few years. Solo and with my band."
Max has big goals for his future and his planning to go to the QLD Conservatorium of Music to further his music education by completing a Bachelor of Music.
“I want to focus on Jazz saxophone. It will be a great experience to learn a lot more about playing jazz and the saxophone. I've already done a lot of work with my guitar, improvising and being a musician.
“My real goal is to be one of the top artists in the world. I want to fill stadiums, do world tours – things like that. I want to be at the top."
Max's mother Jane said the instrumental, music and drama teachers at the school have been really supportive of Max.
“The program there is very high quality and allows so many opportunities for the kids," Jane said. “They're very encouraging of the students."
“It takes a village to raise a child and these experiences help make young people have choices in their lives."
“I'm very privileged and proud to watch Max flourish. This has enriched our lives as well, as we are learning so much about different genres. It's exciting to support a young person do their dream."
The talented musician is now also sharing his skills with others by teaching guitar at the Red Music Centre, Rothwell.
“It was nerve-wracking when I first started teaching," Max said. “I was nervous as it's the first time they've experienced a guitar and I don't want to mess it up and them not want to pick up a guitar again. Once I got more comfortable with it, the kids are starting to flourish and have fallen in love with it."
Max's family work together as a team to prioritise their daily schedules to make all of this work. He said even his older sister Xena often drives him around and has taken on a manager's role to him.
Max said practice isn't always fun, but his father Jeffrey keeps him on track by reminding him hard work equals results. He currently practises each instrument for an hour each day five days a week.
“Music practise is my gaming."