When Year 12 student and saxophonist, Favian Winiata-Taylor was awarded an Excellence Award at the BSSC Musician of the Year, the adjudicator noted that he, “showed the audience his own great skills, and the marvellous capacity and versatility of this instrument to create musical moods.”

Favian made the decision to learn saxophone towards the end of his time at primary school.

“We had a try-out day but initially I was not sure which instrument I wanted to learn,” he says.

Favian laughs as he recounts a conversation with a friend as he was trying to make this important decision.

“I was at a friend’s place and he said: ‘Why don’t you play sax? You’ll get all the girls’. In truth, something clicked in my head and I felt: this is my instrument. Saxophone has taught me that when you get the instrument that is right for you, you just love making music.”

Favian is still with the same saxophone teacher he began with: Warwick Cohen.

“He has been very thorough, teaching me everything about the sax, and we also have a very good relationship.”

By the time he was in Year 10, Favian was playing with the Bendigo Colleges Symphonic Band and had joined with other muso mates to form ‘Sunday Roast’.

“Our first ‘gigs’ were organised through Weeroona College’s music program and we played at a number of primary schools,” he says.

Now, with the end of Year 12 looming, Favian will finish with the Symphonic Band—a setting where he has made some great friends.

“I like to think that music allows you to make friendships for life—that music makes opportunities.”

Originally from New Zealand, Favian lived in Taylor’s Lakes before the family moved to Bendigo.

“One day my Dad and I bought train tickets and came to visit Bendigo,” he remembers. “Not long after he was offered a job with Thales and we moved here permanently, along with my two brothers and sister.

“My sister is now in Year 8 and she is into music as well—choosing to play double bass—and as she is quite small so it looks amazing to see her managing this gigantic instrument.”

Favian is also a ‘gamer’ and finds playing online games gives him great inspiration for his own ideas about what he would want to put into the games he eventually hopes to create.

“Gaming is also a good way to meet new people,” he says, “and it definitely teaches problem-solving.”

The plan once he finishes at BSSC is to study game programming at university level.

“There’s an organisation called the ‘Academy of Interactive Entertainment’ where I have an interview coming up,” he says. “My lifetime goal is to have my own gaming studio, but I expect to keep playing the sax. In fact the adjudicator at the Musician of the Year Awards suggested I might be able to combine my music and gaming by studying sound design.”

For now, Favian’s focus is very much on a successful completion of Year 12. Along with Music Performance, Favian has studied English, Visual Communication Design and Further Maths.

“I think I have a good balance between all my subjects, but music and Vis Com are favourites.”

Asked about his experiences at BSSC, Favian says that he liked both how spacious and easy to get around the college is, but also how open and friendly the staff and other students have been.

“There is nothing I would want to change.”

If he could go back to offer his 12-year-old self some advice, he would tell him to be more socially and physically active.

“I was a stay-at-home type of person and I think I’d be more confident socially and have better people skills if I’d simply gotten out more.”