Concerto Concert

The annual St Catherine’s School Concerto Concert at the Toorak Uniting Church on Wednesday evening continued to display the outstanding work of our music students. Eleven soloists – Sophie Hogan (Year 9), Hannah Otto (Year 12), Emily Barrington (Year 12), Sophie Seng Hpa (Year 12), Isabelle Binsted (Year 11), Elly Chen (Year 11), Mackenzie Leyden (Year 12), Lucy Glover (Year 12), Jessica Devlin (Year 12) and Rui Shu (Maria) Wu (Year 11) all performed exceptionally well and were supported beautifully by Mrs Lisa Cook, Ms Janis Cook, the Jorgensen Orchestra and the Staff Quartet.

The Concerto Concert provides a performance opportunity for the recipients of the three most prestigious Music Scholarships offered at St Catherine’s. The Shelmerdine Violin Scholarship provides two magnificent Italian violins, a Praga and a Postiglione, both gifted to the School by St Catherine’s Old Girl, Ms Lindy Shelmerdine (’81). Isabelle Binsted (Year 11) has enjoyed her time playing the Postiglione; this particular violin was crafted in Italy by Vincenzo Postiglione in 1870 and is considered to be an absolute treasure for its tonal qualities, great depth and evenness across the registers. Isabelle’s performance of Double Violin Concert – 1st Movement – Bach was captivating for the audience. Equally poignant was Sophie Turnbull’s (Year 10) performance on the Praga, performing Violin Concert op. 7, 3rd Movement – Seitz.

The third violin generously donated to the School in 2014 by Mrs Sue Hayes, mother of the late Danielle Lloyd (’83) who was a boarding student at St Catherine’s School, Captain of Music in Year 12 and later a much revered Violin teacher. This Collin-Mezin Violin is of French origin, dating back to 1902, was beautifully played by Sophie Hogan (Year 9), performing A Minor Violin Concerto, 1st Movement – Bach.

All three gifted violins place the most beautiful instruments into the hands of our very best students and undoubtedly provides an inspiring opportunity in which to study music. The School is very appreciative of Ms Lindy Shelmerdine and Mrs Sue Hayes for their generous donations to the Music Department.

It was wonderful to see our Year 7 students Angela Yu, Sarah Marriott, Olivia (Rosie) Bogdan, Madeleine Hooker, Clarence Houle-O’Connor, Jariyan Patel and Eloise Rudge performing alongside the senior girls and our many professional musicians on staff, Mr Michael Dahlenburg, Ms Hannah Church-Edwards, Ms Holly Shoar, Mrs Lisa Cook and Ms Janis Cook.

Thank you to the Music staff, and in particular Mrs Jenny Mathers and Mrs Lisa Cook, for coordinating the Concerto Concert this week. I, like many parents, enjoyed an opportunity to just relax and cherish the music. With competing interests of time, our girls’ commitment to their music mastery is not without careful prioritising of other activities. I congratulate all the music performers and encourage their continued pursuit of music as they enter their senior years of schooling.

Travelling Abroad

Over the midyear break, some of our Year 11 students will be participating in the Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) Program in the UK. Isabelle Gough (Year 11) is looking forward to her time at Oxford University participating in the Business and Enterprise program, which focuses on studying Economics and Business Management with a practical application. In her trip she “hopes to learn more about businesses and how they work and meet new people from all over the world, whilst learning how to be more independent away from home”. Samara Gill (Year 11) and Sophie Karunaratne (Year 11) will be at Yarnton Manor, also in Oxford for a two-week program. During this time, the girls will complete the Broadening Horizons program which involves classes in English Literature, Economics, Chemistry along with global seminars, public speaking and debating workshops. The girls hope “to gain a perspective of education overseas (especially the UK), strengthen their knowledge academically and meet people from all over the globe in this program!” Also travelling over the break, Demi Markakis (Year 11) and Samara Gill (Year 11) will enjoy summer in Washington and New York whilst participating in the Global Young Leaders Program. Both the Young Leaders and Oxbridge programs provide girls with an extraordinary opportunity to study short courses abroad at the world’s leading universities, and with students from all over the world.

Today, we also farewell the World Challenge Expedition Group travelling to Nepal for three weeks to complete their trek and community project. Once acclimatising in Kathmandu, the girls will embark on their Community Project. The project offers a unique opportunity for the girls to immerse themselves in a rich and vibrant culture with the project based in a school in Pokhara with the Mother Children’s Arts Foundation. Following this, the girls will undertake a five day teahouse trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area, which offers breathtaking scenery. To conclude the Expedition, the tour group will enjoy rafting on the Trusili River. I look forward to hearing the stories and seeing the photos of the girls’ expedition upon their return. Thank you to staff members Ms Loretta Carter, Ms Kylie Flavien and Mr Fiachra Barry for accompanying the girls.

Staff News

I take this opportunity to thank Mrs Julie Buntz who has stepped in to teach the Years 7 and 8 Mathematics classes in Semester 2. Julie has been a wonderful asset to the Mathematics Department and we wish her well.

Queen’s Birthday Honour for Old Girl

Congratulations to St Catherine’s alumnae Mrs Margaret Woodlock-McLean (’56) and a Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum recipient who was awarded an OAM in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours. This well-deserved honour was in recognition of Margaret‘s service to masters sport, and to the community.

End of Semester 1

Over the course of the mid-year break, I will be travelling to China and Malaysia with our Head of Boarding, Mrs Sue Collister. We are looking forward to meeting the parents of our International students in both Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. I am also particularly looking forward to travelling to Hangzhou, considered the ‘city of choices’ due to its beautiful natural scenery. I wish all the St Catherine’s families an enjoyable and relaxing mid-year break and look forward to seeing the students return for Term 3 on Tuesday 18 July.


Mrs Michelle Carroll, Principal