Anyone who has studied Music will understand my simple, and perhaps slightly corny, play on words. But it’s true – life without music would be flat.
Music at St Hilda’s brings such joy!
One of the many benefits of leading St Hilda’s is the frequent invitations that I receive to hear our students perform. My calendar is heaving with performances, particularly at this time of the year. This term alone I have had the privilege of hearing our girls perform at the Annual Music Breakfast at Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Rock Band Festival at Mojo’s in North Fremantle, Interhouse Solo Music Festival, Music Festival Winners Sundowner, Junior School Taiko Drumming Ensemble called Hanabi (which means fireworks in Japanese), and many outstanding solo performances at school assemblies.
Girls and staff are currently preparing for the end of year awards assemblies, Christmas carols, Community Service Day, graduation assemblies and we still have our Year 7 Band Program performances to look forward to as part of our Year 7 MADD (Music, Art, Drama, Dance) event next week. One to look out for will be our Junior School Hanabi Ensemble that has been invited to perform on the Channel 7 Christmas Pageant Float. What an exciting opportunity for our girls!
This term we also launched our reimagined Junior School Primo Strings Program commencing in 2022 under the direction of our newly appointed Strings Coordinator Rex Carr-White. We have had an overwhelming response with over 40 applications, the program is now full.
Our Music Department is renowned for its excellence. It’s a reputation that we are extremely proud of and a reputation that our students and music staff are committed to upholding. I am constantly reminded what a group of talented, committed and passionate students can produce when working with exceptional teachers and musicians.
The skills our girls learn through playing music positions them well for future success. Playing in an ensemble is the best ‘teamwork’ training available. Students must listen to each other and recognise when it is their turn to shine and when to let others shine. Balance, respect and dynamics are key to the ensemble’s success. If one performer is not committing to the ensemble the performance is impacted. Teamwork is much the same.
Our music students understand that excellence does not come without persistence and commitment. Notes don’t simply jump off a page to produce beautiful music. Behind the scenes, our music students have been rehearsing throughout the year, learning their individual ensemble parts, attending weekly instrumental and vocal lessons, participating in rehearsals, practising those challenging rhythmic and melodic passages over and over and over, until perfect.
It is the combination of all of these things that produced the musical excellence that we are privileged to enjoy at St Hilda’s. The final performance itself is simply the icing on the cake. It is through the journey of preparation that our girls learn what excellence in music sounds, looks and feels like.
An excellent Music Department is one that extends and exposes students to rich and diverse music from around the world so that they develop an understanding of music’s role in place and time. Through this, students develop an appreciation of extraordinary music that doesn’t have an expiry date.