Busy times, but the best of times

It has been a fabulous start to Term 3 in the Performing Arts department with the Senior Ensembles Camp at Amberley Lodge in Lower Plenty: three days of music making with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band. The students participated in sectionals with staff tutors and full rehearsals with their directors. We were also fortunate to have Dr Jemima Bunn as specialist clinician for both the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, and Alister Barker to work with our Chamber Strings. The opportunity for the students to work with external clinicians is highly valuable for their continued development, and the staff were very impressed with how attentive the students were in working with these guests.

The camp at the weekend was a great reminder of how important the core ensembles are to the development of our instrumental students. Founded on a holistic approach to musical development, participation in these core groups support the students in developing the fundamentals of their playing: intonation, balance, ensemble skills, independence of parts, collaboration and musicianship. These skills are then transferrable to extension groups and afford the students experience in a broad range of areas. We have a very vibrant ensemble program at Carey, one that we are proud of and one that students engage with enthusiastically. The hard work undertaken by our senior students this weekend was clear evidence of that, and we look forward to sharing their work with the community at the first possible opportunity.

Term 3 will see many of our groups venture to the Hawthorn Town Hall for the Victorian Schools Music Festival. Returning after a two-year absence, this festival sees the groups performing for two adjudicators who provide both verbal and written feedback on the performances, and an on-stage tutorial. The event is live-streamed, but parents and carers are also able to attend the session to hear the performances and we would love to have your support. Details will be sent shortly to families regarding days and times for each of the participating ensembles.

But it doesn’t stop there. This term we will also have recital evenings, Vocal Cabaret, Whole School String concert, JSD/JSK Vocal Soiree and the Senior Ensembles Concert. The Senior School Play, Our Town, opens on 19 August and auditions will be held over the next few weeks for the Middle School Play and Tour. Busy times, but the best of times – the Performing Arts staff are always in their happy place when our wonderful students are rehearsing and performing.

Sally Davis
Head of Performing Arts