Music chases away the Winter chill – Winter Concert MHS/Mac.Rob

Every year the Winter Concert shines brightly through the chill of Winter, and this year it seemed that musical standards were once again transcended by the talent and hard work of students from both Mac.Robertson and Melbourne High School, supported by the equally talented and hard working music staff.

We couldn’t have asked for a better venue than Hamer Hall, and for many it was the first time they experienced this wonderful concert hall. How impressive was the sight of our student cohort gathered on the stage of the vast space, flanked by a glowing, student-designed logo representing both schools. We were treated to a magnificent program which showcased the talents of so many in orchestras, bands, choir and a combination of these in the ambitious final item with full orchestra and massed choir.

A peek into the program:

The Combined Wind Band opened with  El Camino Real (Reed) and Gerschwin! and was followed by the Combined Brass Ensemble performing William Tell Overture (Rossini) and Canzon septime toni No. 2 (Gabrieli). Then followed the music captains’ first address.

Next we were treated to a beautiful performance by the Combined Choirs who sang Choose Something Like A Star (Thompson) with lyrics by Robert Frost:

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud—
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, ‘I burn.’
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

The Combined Choirs also sang Closer my God to Thee (Stevens/Chua) – just as beautifully – and then the Combined Stage Band completed the first half of the program with There’s Only So Much Oil in the Ground (Kupka and Castillo) and Boplicity (Cleo Henry) – which got much of the year 9 cohort in the audience swaying and tapping.

In the second half of the program we heard the Combined String Orchestra perform Emperor Variations (Haydn) and String Sinfonia VII, 1st movement (Mendelssohn) and the Combined Symphony Orchestra performed Waltz from Masquerade (Khachaturian) and Slavonic Dance no. 8 (Dvorak), then the final magnificent item featured the Combined Choral and Orchestra performing Make our Garden Grow from Candide (Bernstein).

Combined Principals (!) thanked everyone involved: music captains and their leadership teams, the musicians themselves, music teachers, instrumental music teachers and administrative staff, Directors of Music, Mr Sonny Chua, Mac.Rob’s Director of Instrumental Music and Music Performance, and Mr Gareth de Korte, Melbourne High School’s Acting Director of Music, backstage crew and parents (for their support and nurturing of the development of musical skill), and we all left feeling inspired and thankful. See you at next year’s Winter concert!

Upcoming musical events at MHS: 17th August 6.30pm Jazz Night; 6th September 6.30pm Spring Concert; 7th September VCE Recitals; 10th October Junior Soiree; 28th November Speech Night.



MHS House Choral Competition 2016

It started with the traditional grilling. Assistant principal, Ms Pelissa Tsilimidos, did a great job.

And then the competition began: the choirs, the soloists, ensembles – all showcasing the talent and hard work of Melbourne High School students. Stage colours changed as the four houses did their best to impress the judges. It was a day of singing, harmonising, playing solo on a variety of instruments, baton waving and cheering.

A short interval to stretch the legs and recharge, and then the second half of the program.

Our staff number this year was a swaying selection of talented teachers singing ‘The lion sleeps tonight’, also featuring the Duke and a surprise guest appearance by ‘the lion’ (rumoured to be our principal, Mr Jeremy Ludowyke). Thank you to Ms Anne-Marie Brownhill for making this happen.

Melbourne High School boys are always up for a competition, regardless of whether it be sport, academics or music. When Waterloo was announced the winner, you would have thought you were at a sporting event. Listen for yourself.

We are so fortunate to host the Chorals Competition in the gorgeous Melbourne Town Hall.

It’s fantastic to see the whole school gathered for a much-loved musical event.

Sincere thanks go to everyone involved – in the weeks leading up to the day, and on the day itself. Thank you to the music staff, in particular, who inspire and train our boys to love music and take the lead in organising, arranging, conducting, etc. Melbourne High School is a wonderful example of what all schools could be in terms of recognising the importance of music and singing for all students. Thanks to  Mr Sloan for organising the event. Thank you to all parents and past students who came to support our students and enjoy the day.

Until next year.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the library

The MHS Library Assistants and the members of the MHS Writing Interest Group (WIG) – formerly known as Competition Writing – came together for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to celebrate the end of a great year. A huge thank you to Denise Beanland for making the gorgeous biscuits (see photos), themed table setting and lolly cups and, of course, TEA.

Being left-handed, Denise made a mixture of left- and right-handed cups and tea pots.

Eat me!

What’s a party without fairy bread?

The ancient craft of making fairy bread. Pictured: an apprentice (Jeremy Shen). Great job.

The spread

Oh, and the hats…

A shower cap is technically a hat.

Thank you all for coming! We hope you had a good time. See you next year.






MHS gives racism the boot – photos of footy match

This post was written by the organiser of “Give racism the boot”, Lynne Hamilton (Leading Teacher: Curriculum Development).

Many of us were appalled at the lack of respect and prejudice that was handed out to Australian of the Year, Brownlow Medallist and Indigenous role model Adam Goodes recently. The booing that continued for over 17 weeks sparked debate around the country. As a response, MHS staff decided to organise a footy match to stand up against  the bullying and vilification that Adam Goodes received and to celebrate the heritage that Indigenous people represent both past and present. The values of honour, resilience, courage and humility were demonstrated by Goodes and by others such as Lewis Jetta who came out in support of Goode’s right to express his culture publicly and creatively on the football ground. As Michael O’Laughlin a fellow Sydney Swans player and long-time friend of Goodes stated when asked his opinion of the recent harassment ; “Often Indigenous players are fine as long as they are humble and silent.”

It was this attitude that led the school to take action. On Wednesday 19th August Princes Hill Secondary College, Albert Park College and Melbourne High School played in a Lightning Premiership to “Give Racism The Boot!” Around 90 boys, staff and students gathered on the oval where a Welcome To Country was offered by our Year 12 boy Sapphire Watkinson. After some fierce competition MHS won the day. The SRC ran a sausage sizzle and sold 300 sausages, Gregor Campbell entertained the crowd with a humorous and constant commentary and songs of courage, defiance and resistance echoed out over the school.

Victor Fagundes and other Year 10 boys did a very thorough job of time-keeping and scoring. And of course all boys from MHS and the other schools must be thanked and recognised for their willingness to “play the game” and to devote their time to the event.

Thank you to Ryan Xu for the time he spent creating an amazing banner for the day. Luckily we have a photo of this masterpiece! Finally thank you to the House Captains, School Captains and SRC captains for their commitment to the success of the day and readiness to contribute.

Thanks must also be given to:

  • Ross Pritchard – for his enthusiasm, hard work and liaison with the other schools, including his umpiring.
  • Ian Dowling, Paul Keyte and David Veale for their umpiring and coaching.
  • Mihaela Brysha, Brett Rushton and Mike Frencham for their time, artistic input and hard work on the day.
  • Paul Drew for organising the SRC and for buying the 300 sausages, bread, sauce etc.
  • SOFA and Chris Bush for their support of the match.
  • Denise Beanland,Tania Sheko, Catherine Morton and Pam Saunders for the wonderful display of Indigenous culture in the Library.
  • Ben Dwer of Year 12 English Language class for designing the original poster. Well done Ben.
  • All boys from 9-12 who just came along and supported a school event.
  • Alexandra Grimwade for the beautiful cake decorated in Jaffas,  Licorice and Jelly Babies!

  • Olivia Doherty for reorganising the entire MHS Sports programme so that the event could take place. Olivia also managed to get 90 coloured socks donated, including a Sydney Swans Indigenous jumper which will be awarded to the MHS Footy Team at a future assembly.
  • Mike Manteit (Old Boy and rookie for Collingwood) for his inspiring opening speech.

The day was an enormous success and all who attended certainly felt a great sense of solidarity, camaraderie and achievement.

Melbourne High School is a signatory to the national Racism It Stops With Me Coalition which has presently 150 signatories.

Gregor on the left

Old Boy Mike Manteit

The following art work is by Jandamarra Cadd, an Aboriginal artist whose work Lynne Hamilton would like to highlight:

Jandamarra Cadd (b.1973) is a Aboriginal Artist with his origins being the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Warung People in Victoria. He was introduced to painting at the age of 15 and credits this tool of expression as his survival from a challenging childhood treated as a second class citizen in his own land. Jandamarra uses a variety of styles and mediums, favouring oil on canvas, with his unique blend of traditional aboriginal art techniques along with a contemporary and inventive portraiture.

Painting has been a way of life that has enabled him to express his creativity and story telling  of the universal truth of connection. In many of his paintings of the human condition, he seeks to be a peaceful voice for the oppressed and minorities. His focus is to use portraiture in a way to allow the viewer a glimpse into the depths of humanity and the expansive expression of the individual soul. (Source)

Christine Anu

Mornington Island Dancer



Dan Sultan

Jessica Mauboy

Mick Dodson


Ceremony – Women’s Business


Thank you to Lynne for organising the day which was truly memorable.

Year 9 Slam Poetry Championship

Posted by Marie Buckland

On Monday afternoon we held an exciting play-off for the title of MHS Year 9 Slam Poetry Champions with teams competing for a chance to represent us in the Out Loud Schools Slam Poetry competition at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
Slam poetry needs to be engaging and affecting in the message and in performance.

Thanks to MHS Parents & Friends we were able to invite the energetic and exciting Emilie Zoe Baker to join us again this year to help students fine-tune their performances and to host the fun-filled play-off.  Our judges, Mr Sloan, Ms Tsilimidos and Mr Edge were amazed and amused by the performances, ably assisted by our scorer, Nate.
Congratulations to the winning team of 9B with Kevin Chang, Rithika Kudabanda, Rik Mysore and Ian Giang, narrowly beating teams from 9L and 9H. Rik also won “Best Individual Performance”, with 9C winning the “Best Writing” award.
While judges were deliberating Kabisan Sutharsan and Alden Vong of 9D gave individual performances, and we enjoyed an impromptu work from Felix Capp.

Thanks to the many teachers and students who came to support their teams, and to the judges.
(And thank YOU, Marie, for orchestrating this very enjoyable and worthwhile experience for our students.)

Makerspace Day #2 – And we’re off!

Day 2 of our makerspace. Moving along nicely. Observed behaviours: intense focus, collaborative problem solving, desire to keep going after the bell has gone, promise to come back after school. Hmm… imagine if students were as engaged as this in classes – they stayed focused for an hour, unsupervised, unguided. Just take a look at their facial expressions. (Photos going backwards in time.)

IDAHOT day @MHS. Challenging homophobia and teaching tolerance.

Post by Chris Bush (Teacher of Commerce and English)

Melbourne High School is a member of Safe Schools Coalition Victoria. Our school has pledged to continually look for ways to be more welcoming and accepting of LGBTI staff and students. IDAHOT day is a chance for schools to increase visibility around the existence of homophobia and transphobia – and to challenge it. Crucially at MHS we see IDAHOT as a chance to increase the visibility of acceptance that the overwhelming majority of our staff and students have for people of diverse sexualities and genders. Essentially our boys ‘don’t care’ who you love, they just want people to be happy and healthy. This does not mean that the situation here is perfect. Our school must continue to challenge all forms of homophobia and transphobia even if they are not as apparent or explicit as they are at other schools – we can always find ways to be better and to actively show LGBTI young people that it is okay to be yourself. Our rainbow wall of names is an incredibly bold affirmation of hundreds of individuals who echo this sentiment of acceptance and safety.
“Credit for the rainbow wall to Jenny Mill – Student Wellbeing Coordinator”