Music Night 2017 - 'Hunky Dory'

What a fantastic week and wonderful concert that over 150 of our music students were involved in! Adam Page, Ross Irwin, Nick Mulder, Julian Ferraretto, and Emma Pask spent the week at Westminster working with a number of ensembles across the whole school. There were stunning assembly performances, workshops, masterclasses, one on one tutoring and musical demonstrations that all ended with a wonderful spectacle on Friday Night, which was Hunky Dory, Music Night 2017!

Our students did a wonderful job in staging a memorable concert. Our students were also joined by Old Scholars Jack Degenhart ('12) and Yen Yen Stender ('11). Throughout the night, David Bowie, George Michael, ACDC, and Prince were all remembered in great tribute tunes. Ross, Adam, and Nick also wrote a suite for big band which was clearly a highlight.

Musical arrangements were also done specifically by our guests for various ensembles. Big Band 3 did a great cha-cha version of 'Sorrow', while the evening finished with a medley of tunes from Bowie’s album Hunky Dory. The arrangements featured three song changes, Kooks and Life on Mars played and sung by Big Band 1, the Senior String Ensemble, and our Senior Vocal Ensemble, with all of our special guests and Old Scholars.

My thanks and congratulations to all the students involved in the concert, and to everyone who helped make this possible - the Music staff, Tech Crew, and Friends of Music and Performing Arts. Thank you all for coming along to support our student musicians. It is always a treat to play to an appreciative audience.

Thank you also to everyone who wrote in to send their best wishes. I have included some comments below.

  • Just wanted to congratulate you on an amazing concert on Friday night. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!
  • My highlights were the suite written by Ross, Nick, and Adam. Especially the middle movement – but it was all amazing. During the final movement (Adam’s) the kids all looked a bit worried– but they were all watching so closely – it was great to see them so engaged!
  • I also loved Yen Yen’s rendition of Heaven – just beautiful. The arrangement for the strings was awesome – whoever did that arrangement did a great job.
  • Overall an amazing night - Westminster students are so blessed to be here!
  • Friday night was absolutely amazing! The talent of the students, staff and professionals was incredible. We all thoroughly enjoyed the night….
  • Sorry, forgot to add my other two highlights – the Senior String’s performance of Heaven was beautiful and the impact the string section had in the combined number at the end. Without the strings it would have been lacking something.
  • Just wanted to say once again how really special the show was last night and to praise you for your continued positive efforts to make Music a rewarding and engaging experience for the kids.
  • The Music Department is (and well should be) the heart and soul of a school community. A place where kids feel safe, loved, valued, and be a place to flourish and not only musicians but as young people of the world. Such a wonderful night! Amazing! Loved every minute. Thank you 😊 Well done to the entire music team!
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ABODA SA Band Festival 2017

Westminster School Music Department once again hosted the ABODA South Australian Band Festival for the 14th consecutive year. Performances were held over three days in the Michael Murray Centre from Wednesday 23 to Friday 25 August 2017. This year there were over 120 different ensembles in 11 different categories!

Westminster was very well represented with nine different ensembles.

Our results were the best ever. Congratulations to all students involved for their involvement, the way they conducted themselves throughout the festival, and for the way they hosted the other schools. As always Westminster students were great ambassadors for their school.

A special mention to Big Band 3 who not only received a Gold award but were outright winners of their section.

Big Band 3 - Overall Winners in their Section



Percussion Ensemble - Gold

Preparatory String Ensemble - Gold

Senior String Ensemble - Gold

Senior Orchestra - Silver


Senior Concert Band - Silver


Preparatory Concert Band - Gold

Big Band 3 - Gold, and outright winners

Big Band 2 - Gold

Big Band 1 - Gold

We also farewelled Big Band 1 drummer Seb Woodlands as he leaves school to take up an Ice Hockey scholarship in Canada. We wish Seb well as he follows his passion!

Big Band 1 have their final performance with drummer Seb Woodlands

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Stage Combat

Internationally acclaimed fight choreographer, Sifu Ruth Fallon is back again this term to work with the Year 8 and 9 Drama students on their stage combat techniques. During the workshops, Sifu Ruth busts the myths behind action film combat routines, and students are trained in how to execute these same skills that are also taught to professional actors in the performance industry. Using acting skills, basic stage combat moves, pace, and timing, students work individually and in partner work to present self-choreographed routines whilst implementing safe skills practises. Although Sifu Ruth demands a high level of focus and listening skills in her workshops, students are encouraged to creatively experiment with their interpretation of various character types, including the martial artist, the brawler, the boxer, and the innocent bystander, to perform highly charged routines. Breaking the stage combat skills down in a step- by- step process, Sifu Ruth initially drills the class in a specific stage combat move to instil a clear understanding of precision and timing and then students are encouraged to add character and acting skills to further dramatize and react in their performances. Consequently, this unique stage combat program furthers students’ skills in ensemble techniques, coordination, and self-discipline methods of practise, as students are educated in the important life skill of giving a hundred percent to their practise to reap the rewards. Sifu Ruth is a member of The Martial Arts Stunt Krew, who have a long ongoing association with Drama at Westminster, which affords our students unique opportunities and insights.

Drama Department 

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Dates and Reminders for your Diary

Michael Degenhart
Head of Performing Arts