Years 7 and 8 Music Students

Congratulations to the girls in the Years 7 an 8 Concert Band, Years 7 and 8 Strings and Sherren Singers who performed at their Awards Ceremony on Monday 28 November in the Dorothy Pizzey Hall.

This Ceremony was a lovely culmination of the year’s performance schedule for the instrumental ensembles. We look forward to hearing the Sherren Singers, as well as the new Viva Voci, at the Carol Service on the last day of School.

Music in Independent Schools

On Tuesday 22 November, St Catherine’s School hosted the Term 4 meeting for ADMIS (Association of Director’s of Music in Independent Schools). We had a lovely day and our School was on show. The Epstein Singers opened the proceedings with their two beautiful songs, ready to perform two days later at the Barbreck Concert. Fly Singing Bird, Fly and The Snow are two masterworks of the Choral repertoire by Sir Edward Elgar and are quite a challenge for any school to undertake – let alone children of Junior School age.

As always, the choir, led by Mrs Lyn Henshall, accompanied by Mrs Kate Denmead on piano, Mrs Lisa Cook (Head of Strings) and Mrs Holly Shoar on the two virtuosic violin parts, sounded magnificent and showcase, to our outside guests, a highly polished and advanced musical ability.

As one Director of Music commented: “imagine – young people not only singing in tune, but no backing track either!” He was, of course, being flippant, but it does rather remind us that as Music teachers we are constantly making decisions about repertoire. Whilst we do want Music to be ‘fun’, what is often not understood is that the fun happens after all the hard work. Students consistently show us that they enjoyed the activity the harder they have had to work for it. Parents can help us (and do) at School by supporting our choices of repertoire. After all, School is hopefully about things that students don’t yet know. The English Department does not stop teaching Shakespeare and we will continue to introduce Music of the highest artistic merit, along with the occasional treat!

One of the guest speakers, Susan de Weger, has introduced what I consider to be a most exciting addition to the Music courses at Melbourne University. Music Entrepreneurship is the fusion of artistic excellence with a mindset of autonomy; to support career self-management and enterprise creation. The University, like others, also understands the benefits of a Double Degree. De Weger explains, “According to Professor Kim Rasmussen, of Sydney University’s civil engineering school, music students are often high-achievers and are highly sought after by the engineering industry as they have well-developed ‘soft skills’ to communicate effectively with clients.”

We have known for some time that skills in music enhance other skills and that Universities look out for Music students in their selection process. As careers in all areas of study keep rapidly evolving, we look forward to bringing you some career suggestions over the following weeks.

Barbreck Concert –Thursday 24 November

img_9430Many thanks to Mrs Melissa Dods, Junior School Music Coordinator, Music staff and the teaching staff of Barbreck who provided a highly organised and enjoyable concert in the Dorothy Pizzey Hall last Thursday.

It was wonderful to see once more what a shared vision can produce. I was particularly taken with the age-appropriate choices of repertoire and instruments. The girls clearly loved their performances and we hope that the concert t leads to many opportunities for them, both as performers and audience members listening and appreciating beautiful music.

Victorian College of the Arts – Summer Courses

The Victorian College of the Arts has an extensive range of summer intensives on offer commencing January 2017.  Focused on developing and extending a broad range of skills in Music, Theatre, Dance, Film and TV, Music Theatre and Visual Arts, these courses are taught by leading industry experts and designed to build skills, deepen understanding and grow confidence in the participants. These courses are also affordable, within easy reach of public transport and basically, fun!  A great way to spend one week of the summer holidays. Details on available courses are available here.

Dates – Term 4
  • House Arts Performance – Tuesday 6 December – Dorothy Pizzey Hall
  • Senior School Carol Service – Wednesday 7 December – Toorak Uniting Church

Please feel free to contact our Music Administrator on 9828 3014 or email with any Music related queries.

Mrs Jenny Mathers Head of Music