Published on October 4, 2023


Isabella McGavin, a former student from the graduating class of 2019, has been making waves in the world of music since leaving Hunter Valley Grammar School. Despite the passage of time, it feels like yesterday when Isabella bid farewell to HVGS. In the four years since, she has embarked on a journey filled with determination, challenges, and remarkable achievements.

After discovering her acceptance into a college in New York City during year 12 at HVGS, Isabella dedicated herself to working and saving money to pursue her dream of studying music overseas. However, the global pandemic caused a pause in her plans. Undeterred, Isabella relocated to Sydney, a place she never anticipated calling home. Now in her third year there, she has taken the reins of her music career, working multiple jobs and successfully completing one semester of university before realizing it wasn’t the right path for her. Isabella expresses gratitude for not venturing overseas for education, as she would have encountered this realisation later on. Currently, she devotes 95% of her time to her music and creative pursuits, with the remainder filled by odd jobs like her work at HVGS’ Treetops Cafe.

Reflecting on her time at HVGS, Isabella recognizes the invaluable lessons she learned from the music and drama faculty, who supported her throughout her high school journey. Arriving at HVGS as a timid, aspiring performer in Year 7, Isabella credits Mr. Gidney, Mrs. Laundon, Mr. Parkinson, and Mrs. White for taking her under their wing and offering unwavering support every step of the way. She believes that without their guidance, she wouldn’t be pursuing her passion today. Their belief in her talent and potential transformed her into the confident 21-year-old musician she is now. They instilled in her the belief that what you put in is what you get out, and how you approach anything reflects how you approach everything.

Isabella’s dream job while at HVGS was to become a professional and successful performer, using her creativity to inspire and influence others through her music, message, and experiences. From a young age, she aspired to be a household name, selling out worldwide stadium tours. With her unwavering determination and progress, she believes she is well on her way to achieving that dream.

Passion fuels Isabella’s endeavours, particularly in the realms of creativity, self-expression, and authenticity. Music, fashion, photography, and writing serve as vessels for her passions. Isabella’s fire is most ignited by music and singing, which allow her to live an authentic life that fills her with excitement each day. She aims to inspire others to chase their dreams, promoting love, inspiration, and empowerment through her creative pursuits. Her commitment to living a life that sets her soul on fire is evident in her “Soul On Fire” tattoo, a constant reminder of her desired path.

Recently, Isabella had the honour of being invited back to HVGS to participate in the Symphony Orchestra Concert as Alumni. She was humbled to join the HVGS Choir and be a part of the evening’s performances. Isabella felt that nothing had changed—in the best way possible. Isabella expresses that the HVGS music department remains incredible and inspiring, while the students involved exhibit the same passion as ever. Isabella said The Symphony Orchestra Concert served as a testament to the impact the music faculty and staff have on every student’s journey and overall music experience at HVGS. “The fact that so many students, both past and present, willingly returned to take part in the event speaks volumes about the faculty’s influence and the lasting connections formed, says Isabella.

Isabella McGavin, a vibrant and talented alumni, continues to blaze a trail in the music industry. With her unwavering passion, authenticity, and dedication, she serves as an inspiration to all aspiring musicians and creative individuals.