A Home for Music & Performing Arts

The annual St Catherine’s School Concerto Concert was held on Tuesday evening. It was the first of what will be many musical and performing arts events in our new Black Box Theatre. It was a privilege to attend this Concert and to provide, for our musicians, a new performance space, a home for music and the performing arts at St Catherine’s School.

The Concerto Concert is a most-celebrated event for showcasing our outstanding musicians with seven soloists and two duets performed during the evening with the support of the Jorgensen Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble, and Head of Music, Mr Nick Grunden as accompanist on piano.

I enjoyed immensely the performances of violinists: Coco Butterfield, Olivia (Rosie) Bogdan, and Christina Wu performing as soloists and Flora Du and Jo-Jo Patterson performing a duet. I recall watching these students as young Year 7 musicians, and they have emerged after two years of music lessons and many rehearsals conducted online, as now outstanding leaders of music in our School.

Music Co-Captain, Catherine Chen, opened the Concerto Concert with her mesmerising piano performance of Allegro De Concierto by Enrique Granado, and Caitlin Wang, also playing piano, Etude Op. 25, No.1 by Frederic Chopin was outstanding. Emma Gregory’s mastery as a flutist was to behold, as was the duet by Isabelle Cao and Angela Tang playing the Guzheng. Most notably, Angela also wrote the music piece they performed, titled Prince of Qin Enter the Array. Year 8 student, Janine Hu played the Horn superbly, accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra.

I extend my congratulations to Mrs Lisa Cook, as Head of Strings, for coordinating the Concert, in addition to also conducting the Jorgensen Orchestra and, herself, playing in the Chamber Ensemble. She has been ably supported by our Music Department, most notably, Mr Saska Ayris in his role as Coordinator, Music Operations.

Welcome to Mr Nick Grunden, our new Head of Music

I also warmly welcome Mr Nick Grunden, who recently commenced at St Catherine’s as Head of Music. Mr Grunden joins our School with considerable expertise, with a Bachelor and Master of Music Performance from the University of Melbourne, followed by his completion of a Diploma of Education at Monash University. His experience in teaching Music includes roles at both Haileybury College and St Kevin’s College, prior to his position as Head of Keyboard at Xavier College in 2008, where he continued teaching until this year.

Mr Grunden is also an AMEB Assessor, VCE Performance (Solo) Assessor and he enjoys mentoring students from the University of Melbourne – Master of Performance Teaching course. He brings a wealth of teaching experience and related skills to St Catherine’s. He has a proven ability to develop healthy, productive, and creative relationships with staff, students, families, and the community across both Junior and Senior years.

I, like many parents, enjoyed an opportunity to sit quietly and simply enjoy the music at the Concerto Concert on Tuesday evening. 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 throughout their journey at St Catherine’s.



Michelle Carroll

Principal, St Catherine's School

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