The Performing Arts Department is delighted to announce that our new administrator, Ms Laura McKenzie, who has been with us for three weeks. She has already had a significant impact on the smooth-running of the Department and many parents who have spoken with Laura have been delighted with her pleasant, professional and capable manner. Welcome Laura!

The Music, Art and Drama faculties were delighted to host the annual MAD Night on Tuesday 21 March. Despite the MADdening weather, consisting of thunderstorms and humidity after three dry weeks, Mr James Brown relocated the program into the upper and middle Wintergarden zones and the Dorothy Pizzey Hall itself enabling all participants to fully enjoy the varied program.

The inclusion of items from the Junior School contributed to the great sense of fun and enthusiasm, with activities relating to the upcoming Years 5 and 6 Production a particular highlight. A special preview performance of the Lion King and the associated face-painting and prop making. Barbreck Buskers, some beautiful vocal solos and the ever popular photobooth, were enthusiastically received.

Unfortunately, with such strong program of performances, I did not have the opportunity hear the poetry readings or see the bottle flipping competition. The exerts of this year’s Senior Production A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Chamber Groups were particularly impressive for this early in the year, specifically the Senior Strings and the Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone Ensembles. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was a guest appearance by Mr Lennox Jordan launching our Steel Drum program at the School. This new instrument is primarily a part of the Years 7 and 8 classroom program, and is already proving an exciting new way to unpack the layers of music into melody, harmonies and bass line. His two solos were virtuosic in the extreme, made even more interesting by the fact that he made the ‘drums’ himself, with a full chromatic scale (all 12 notes including sharps and flats).

As always, it is a pleasure working with the Visual and Performing Arts team. Mrs Weereratne worked tirelessly to provide a myriad of creative materials, including the many strips of paper for the One Million Stars project currently being undertaken by the School. Mr Collins, the master of technology and setting up the various venues for maximising performance, including the microphones dotted around the hall and ably assisted by the wonderful maintenance team. The combined Auxiliaries produced a wonderful afternoon tea/light dinner with the essential sausage sizzle, drinks and beautiful snacks and desserts. Their care for quality and appearance adds so much to the events that we put on at the School.

The evening culminated with the Annual Staff concert. Held in the Ballroom, guests will attest to the wonderful items and the skill and ability of all of our tutors, affirming that your daughters are certainly in good hands. This free concert is a must-see for those ‘in the know’ – a concert from some of Australia’s best performers. Look out for it in the calendar in Term 1 next year.

On Wednesday 22 March the VCE Unit 1 and Unit 3 classes were fortunate enough to attend two of the Top Class concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The first performance of the day was none other than our very own Greta Chen (’16) who performed her now-famous rendition of Czardas on the Marimba to a packed audience. Needless to say, we were very proud of Greta and many colleagues from other schools were pleased to speak with us during the interval to express their delight in her performance. What a wonderful Ambassador for our School.

We would like to remind Senior School musicians that the Senior Concert Band and Jorgensen Orchestra rehearsals begin next Tuesday from 3.30pm. The chamber ensembles in Term 1 set the scene for an intense but rewarding period of large-ensemble playing in Terms 2 and 3 and culminating in the Gala Concert, to be held on Friday 1 September. Invitations to perform in these large ensembles will be sent by email with many thrilled to have received their offer to join these prestigious groups. Viva Voci will rehearse as its own entity from the beginning of Term 2. With our Rowers returning to ensembles, so please remember to keep Thursday after school free until 4.30pm for this choir. Cantanti Belli will remain at Monday lunchtime.

Thank you to the many girls who have participated in Music activities throughout the term. The ever-improving standard is a delight to witness.

Mrs Jenny Mathers, Head of Music