At the same time as The Blue Ribbon becomes ‘live’ this week, students from Years 4–12 will be completing their sound checks and stage positioning at the Melbourne Recital Centre for our Gala Concert.

The lead up to this event has been extremely satisfying for the Performing Arts Staff.  It is is has been particularly gratifying to have the privilege to observe and help guide the unwavering dedication and motivation of our musicians as they have immersed themselves in their art.

As our community would be well aware, our students are immersed in many co-curricular activities. Amongst the great variety of sporting and debating activities, our musicians attended a Music Camp at Oasis in Mount Evelyn, participating from Friday of the mid-term break, until Sunday afternoon to intensively learn their music and have a little fun along the way.

Particular thanks must go to all of the staff and tutors who attended, as well as the many Year 12 students who participated in addition to attending the various University open days.

Congratulations must also go to the Year 12 Music Captains who organised wonderful evening activities, including our annual fancy dress occasion on Saturday night. Staff were delighted in the effort that the girls made to bring creative costumes derived from items that they already had at home. Their theme was ‘Stage and Screen’. Staff went, fairly predictably, as characters from James Bond. The men simply brought out their dinner suits of course. Sona Kocharyan (Year 11) was unanimously voted the winner of the lip sync competition, not only for her incredible talent at mimicry but also because she was the birthday girl. Her prize was an impressive crown made by the ever-talented Ms Brigid Weereratne. We were also delighted to welcome a visit from our Principal, Mrs Michelle Carroll, Director of Student Programs, Mrs Gina Peele and Year 10 Dean, Ms Vasiliki Spanos who enjoyed seeing the musicians in action.

Students have also attended the Sunday rehearsal day last weekend to finesse and polish final details of each piece, and again, the high levels of attendance in a busy term is commendable.

Many of our large Ensembles have performed their works prior to the Gala Concert by participating in the Victorian School Music Festival. The Senior Concert Band achieved a Silver Medal, as did the Years 7 and 8 Concert Bands in their respective sections. The Barbreck Choir achieved a Gold Award, and the Sherren Singers a Silver Award. Special thanks to the families who arranged for their daughters to arrive at Deakin Edge from the Athletics Championships in Albert Park. The combined senior choirs (Cantanti Belli and Viva Voci) were also delighted with their Gold Award. The format of this festival is unique, with on-stage tutorials following the event from the Chief Adjudicator, Ms Jodie Spooner-Ryan, from Sydney. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the work-out they received, thinking even more about the finer details within each work, such as dynamics and phrasing, which we will enjoy bringing you tonight.

Acknowledgements for the Gala Concert are many and have been listed in the program this evening. The Leadership team and timetabling gurus have been particularly accomodating . The involvement of and attention to detail of Mr Tim Collins and Mrs Lisa Cook, our two full-time music staff in the Senior School, and Mrs Melissa Dods, Head of Music in the Junior School, is truly appreciated. In the words of Performing Arts Administrator, Mr James Brown, whose planning has enhanced so much of the event, “It takes a Village to raise a Gala”.

Mrs Jenny Mathers, Head of Music