This week marks the culmination of another very busy term with much going on in the school. Thank you to all students, staff and parents for supporting our endeavours both in the classroom and the myriad co-curricular activities in the wider life of the school.
On Friday after our Social Justice Mass, we will be presenting Lasallian Service Awards for the second year. These are provided by the Brother Visitor, Br David Hawke and the Lasallian Mission Council in Sydney. The Lasallian Service Award is awarded to staff in recognition of their commitment to Lasallian education. The Award recognises, not years of service to the College, but a demonstration of the Five Core Lasallian Principles and other Lasallian qualities throughout various aspects of their work.
Staff are nominated by their peers, with recommendations stemming from the nominees’ demonstrated commitment to and practice of a dedication to Lasallian education. This is exercised through an observation and practice of personal duties and qualities, most of which have their origins in St. John Baptist de La Salle’s text, “The Conduct of the Christian Schools.” In this significant piece of work, advising his first teachers, the Founder emphasised the virtues of a Lasallian teacher such as pedagogical knowledge, patience and wisdom, faith and zeal. The recipients of this year’s awards to be announced tomorrow all demonstrate those virtues in their everyday instruction and relationships with the young men in their care.
On Tuesday night I had the privilege of attending the Associated Catholic Colleges’ ACCent on Music Concert at Hamer Hall. The event is, as you’d imagine, a huge logistical exercise and as such only occurs every three years. With an excess of 650 students from all twelve ACC schools performing, it was a grand occasion indeed. We had 54 De La students playing on the night, representing our College in all but one of the twelve items on the program. It was a terrific program, covering a range of musical styles, rich in variety and of outstanding quality. Senior, Intermediate and Junior Concert Bands, a full orchestra, brass and strings ensembles, choirs, Stage Bands and a magnificent grand finale were all admired and enjoyed by an almost capacity crowd at Hamer Hall.
It was a tremendous experience for our young musicians. To have the opportunity to perform at a venue like Hamer Hall, to interact, rehearse, perform and learn with students and staff from eleven other schools and then produce work of such quality on the night was a huge achievement. I saw quite a few of the boys around the yard and in class today and they were on a high from the whole experience.
Our very own Director of Music, Ms Cindy Frost, was one of the chief driving forces, high up among the main organisers of the very successful event and made a simply outstanding speech advocating the benefits of music education. The ACCent on Music concert was the culmination of many months of planning and rehearsing and Cindy must take a huge slice of the credit for its success, due to her organisational expertise and commitment.
Ms Kelly Williams did a superb job performing as a conductor on stage with a 90 piece concert band – amazing repertoire choice and the band were magnificent. It was great to see Kelly up there in front of a very big concert band, conducting and organising the musicians with such aplomb. Mr Jaymee Lee devised and then managed the transition between instrument collection and storage for almost 700 students. This was a backstage role and hidden from sight but was critical in the flow of the night with so many students needing to get on and off stage quickly. Thank you also to Ms Liz O’Connell who did a sensational job in managing the Balcony, which was a holding place for students not playing. Liz sorted the transition of students from balcony to stage flawlessly.
Huge congratulations to all involved — it was a magnificent night and a great advertisement for music, for an education in music and for the ACC organisation itself. Well done to all concerned.
Continuing a very significant week for the Arts at De La Salle, last night we had the Opening of the Annual Arts Exhibition, held in the Saint Miguel Theatre. There was a vast array of superb artworks on display, highlighted by the Year 12 Studio Arts and Visual Communication and Design pieces. The capacity to exercise their creativity and build, craft and develop a significant piece of work from concept to completion is a wonderful learning experience.
I was very pleased to present the annual Principal’s Art Prize – for the second year in a row – to Brandon Luu, of Year 12 Studio Arts (pictured below). Having been awarded the Principal’s Prize as a Year 11 student for a portrait of a homeless man, this year Brandon researched his family’s roots as refugees, leaving Vietnam in the mid-1970s, using this as the theme for his project. The end result was interviews with and photographs of his grandfather, who then became the subject of Brandon’s excellent painting.
Congratulations to all the students who had artwork on display and especially to Mr Ryan Hayward – Learning Area Team Leader for Visual Arts, and all the staff who worked with the students across the various subjects and year levels to produce this very high standard.
Mr Peter Houlihan