Music news and a reflection on the fires

I would like to begin by telling you a little about my holiday. As has been our habit for many years, on Boxing Day we headed off to camp at Mallacoota. We witnessed first-hand the extraordinary destruction of houses, infrastructure and so much of our beloved Croajingolong National Park. However, what I want to publicly detail is the amazing support and recovery effort by so many people, many of them volunteers.

First of all: the fire trucks. Supporting the two Mallacoota fire crews, we saw trucks from all around Victoria – we saw them so often we were able to memorise them! Carlsruhe, Clarkefield, Dooen, Eaglehawk, Eltham, Kangaroo Ground, Lara, Panton Hill, Rowville, Scoresby, South Morang, Taradale, Tarneit, Wattle Glen and Yarrambat. These trucks were on the go day and night.

Then, the recovery effort. The program was all co-ordinated by the police, and their leadership was intelligent, thoughtful, articulate and comprehensive. We had generous support from the CFA, the Ambulance Service, the Navy, the Army, the Air Force, Forest Fire Management, the Red Cross, SES, doctors, vets (for the injured animal refuge), psychologists, SP Ausnet, and many others. I could not fault the wonderful way the teams worked both to rebuild services and to inform us of each new development. It was a privilege to witness such generosity in action. Whilst it was not the holiday we hoped for, we will long remember the commitment and humanity of so many wonderful people.

Now the musical things! Many of our ensembles are already up and running. Our choirs will have their first performance next week at the Commencement Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Thursday 13 February, commencing at 7.30pm. Training Band is scheduled to have its first rehearsal on Wednesday 19 February.

We are delighted to be presenting Strictly Ballroom as the Middle School Musical for 2020. It is our first all-Australian show, and what a wonderful story it is! It is about so much more than dancing. However, students should not be intimidated if they are not dancers. For experienced dancers our fantastic choreographer Lisa Callaghan will use every bit of expertise on offer – however she and her crew will patiently teach those with little experience. In addition, there will be some roles with minimal dance requirements. Auditions begin soon, so anyone interested in getting involved whether as cast, crew or musician should read the information pack and respond ASAP. Further details can be found here.

Martin Arnold
Head of Music