One of the absolute delights in being a staff member at Westminster is that I get to enjoy, on a regular basis, the outstanding talents that our students exhibit both individually and collectively.

Our Director of Music and Head of Performing Arts, Michael Degenhart has told me that it is essential for our students to have many varied opportunities to perform before an audience, which understandably requires commitment to practices and rehearsals to achieve the best results.

During this term, music and the performing arts have taken centre stage to display the depth and breadth of student talent that we have at Westminster. We’re spoilt for choice with quality drama, dance and music productions in superb facilities, ably supported by a professional Tech Crew.

All who attended the Year 12 Drama performance of Sean Riley’s 'Beautiful Words' in May could not have helped but be impressed.  The students’ ability to play the various roles with energy and genuine feeling was simply outstanding. Directed by our Head of Drama John Doherty, the play was both entertaining and thought provoking as we learned how the past influenced future outcomes.

The recent Dance Allsorts concert showcased the abilities of a number of different groups from Years 8 to 12. There was a range of genre in the repertoires and again amazing abilities on display. Very demanding routines were performed faultlessly and while it all appeared effortless, I know (from conversation not from experience), that the physically demanding nature of dance requires a significant investment of fitness, time and energy. Head of Dance Carolyn Obst, Dance Teacher Sophie Wilson and Support Crew Kate Ward were justifiably very proud of the performers. Most pleasing was to see so many students thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to perform on stage.

The Music Faculty has waved the Westminster flag high this term, commencing with the brilliant Generations in Jazz, followed by the fabulous Bandstand to showcase our bands, orchestra and ensembles. Last week, 14 of our students travelled to the Combined Schools Music Festival in Canberra for another exceptional musical experience. Following full day rehearsals, they took part in a spectacular sold out concert in Parliament House’s Great Hall. A Principal I know in Canberra phoned to tell me that the Westminster students were quite extraordinary and represented us well. We received other compliments about our attending students which fills me with pride, particularly given the calibre of schools and professional musicians involved in this prestigious event.  

The term’s program finished with the outstanding Sing Sing Sing concert performed for a full house and featuring our many vocal ensembles and soloists, The finale saw around 200 students on stage to sing a beautiful rendition of ‘The Voice’, complete with Old Scholar Iain Small’s (’01) bagpiping cameo. The colour, fashion and flair (and indeed, the flares!) provided by the Dance Collective in the ‘Tribute to Disco’ ensured a varied and highly enjoyable evening that truly wowed the audience.

Next week, we will see the Upper Primary musical, The Amazing Adventures of Superstan!, packing a powerful punch as Stanley Marvel takes to the skies as the world’s greatest Superhero. With a witty script, crazy characters and spectacular songs, our talented Years 6 and 7 students are rehearsing hard to bring to life an unforgettable show that's quite simply... SUPER! 

While I’m sure that parents would agree that much credit is due to the outstanding genetics the students have inherited, I would like to sincerely thank the many staff involved in both the curricular and co-curricular music and performing arts activities that take place at Westminster on a regular basis. Next term the concerts and performances continue, a definite highlight being the Music Night showcase on Friday 18 August. 

Some of our students may have their eyes set on pursuing a performing arts career and some may simply enjoy performing with friends - either way, the skills being developed will be lifelong attributes. As William Shakespeare told us, “All the world's a stage". We are fortunate at Westminster to have one of the best stages and auditoriums you will find at any school, anywhere, and have the opportunities to match its impressive capabilities through our Music and Performing Arts programs.

Grant Bock
Acting Principal