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.