On 18 May 2018, St John’s students had the privilege of participating in the Anglican Schools Music Festival Gala Concert held in the Concert Hall at QPAC. This event is held every two years and draws together musicians and their teachers from Anglican schools in Queensland under the batons of guest conductors, including St John’s Head of Music, Mr Neill Thacker. Our students participated in Symphonic Band, Choir and String Orchestra, and Mr Thacker conducted the Symphonic Band.
Mr Thacker prepared for this event for three months, using his extensive expertise in choosing the repertoire, noting that students need to understand the meaning of the music and the story behind each piece, which allows them to perform at their best. Our students prepared for a month, including a rehearsal day where the sections were split for small group rehearsals. Mr Thacker and the students faced numerous challenges while preparing for the event, including limited rehearsal time. Students had to take responsibility for preparing the pieces in their own time, which proved to be a great experience for them.
At St John’s, involvement in the Performing Arts plays a large part in the education of our students, commencing with students being encouraged to play an instrument from Year Three. Studies have found that learning a musical instrument improves focus and abilities in other areas of the curriculum, including language and reading skills and mathematical learning as it extends the brain’s capacity to think and problem solve. Being involved in group ensembles encourages team work and collaboration, as well as the ability to self manage, knowing that individual lack of participation and preparation lets the whole group down.
This event was certainly the highlight of the term for me. It was also a highlight of Mr Thacker’s conducting career, as he experienced quality sound being produced by 110 of the best musicians in Anglican schools. Thank you, Mr Thacker and our Performing Arts Staff, for your unwavering dedication and encouragement of our students.
We held a number of Mother’s Day celebrations at both our Primary and Secondary campuses. Celebrations commenced on Friday 11 May with a beautiful service at the Primary campus followed by pampering and morning tea for our Prep to Year Two mothers, aunties, grandmothers, guardians and family friends.
On Saturday 12 May we hosted our annual Mother’s Day High Tea for our 150 guests in the Performing Arts Centre Foyer. The theme was “Sophisticated Silver” with the venue beautifully decorated and guests embracing the theme on the day.
Old Collegian Ashley Hanger (Class of 2011) carried out her Master of Ceremonies duties with ease and professionalism on the day alongside guest speaker Lisa Newman. Lisa shared with the guests her experience as a mother, wife of a former Mayor of Brisbane and Premier of Queensland, and her current work in the community to support and empower women.
Growing in support and attendance year on year, this event is one of the highlights on the College calendar.
For six months, our parent community has been preparing for the Twenty Fifth Year College Carnival this Saturday, 26 May. A fun filled afternoon and evening program makes this weekend one not to be missed. Look forward to seeing you there!