From the Principal
Last week, I was privileged and proud to attend the Anglican Schools Music Festival, which was held at QPAC. It was a spectacular occasion, full of wonderful music and networking opportunities for our students.
The event also served as a real reminder of the ways in which Creative Arts changes lives, and of the fabulous ways that as a College we are providing experiences in Creative Art fields for our students.
The Anglican Schools Music Festival is, essentially, a representative orchestra, wind ensemble and choir. Across the Anglican schools of Queensland, students with the appropriate musical skills are selected to perform in this bi-annual concert. To apply, students need to be at minimum Grade 5 AMEB level or equivalent, with most selected students at a higher standard again. Our students were nominated by our College Music Teachers, and then selected by the Anglican Schools Music Festival Committee. On this occasion, we were proud to have 22 students selected to perform. Under the guidance of Mrs Alloway, Mrs Groeneveld and Ms Paliadelis, the students rehearsed for 2 days and then performed a variety of pieces with conductors Mr Paul Holley (Choral), Mr Jonny Ng (Strings) and Mr Neil Thacker (Wind Ensemble). The evening concluded with a full orchestral and choral performance of a special piece entitled ‘With Splendour and Glory’, which was composed and conducted by the world-renowned Sean O’Boyle AM. This work was commissioned by the Anglican Schools Music Festival Committee especially for the 2018 Festival.
I have been in education a long time, and when I bump into or hear from students from previous schools, it is often the Creative Arts activities that they refer to first in conversation. The memories and stories created by involving oneself in dance, drama, music and art are powerful and long lasting, and it is for these reasons that we so value it as part of a TSAC education.
Watching the musicians involved on Friday night, and then speaking to them afterwards, it was clear to me that this would be a night they would remember for the rest of their lives.
The question of why Creative Arts is such an important part of a child’s holistic education is a relevant one. It does on occasion, and as mentioned above, create incredible memories and experiences. But of course, not everyone who takes part in Creative Arts in a school rises to the level when they are selected to take part in such things. Some of course simply take part for fun, or to try something new, and these reasons are just as valid as a lifelong commitment to an instrument.
It is widely recognised that opportunities for creativity and the involvement in creative endeavours should be at the heart of a good education. It is even suggested in fact, that the opportunity to be creative is a crucial part of the human condition, and can create satisfaction and wellbeing. In schools, creativity is now considered essential as a cornerstone of a good education, with educational futurist and commentator Dr Ken Robinson stating in his 2006 TED Talk, the most viewed TED Talk in history, that, “My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” (Robinson, TED Talk, 2006)
Of course, it is not accurate to suggest that the only places in schools where a student can be creative is in the Creative Arts. Clearly, there are opportunities for it across the curriculum and extra-curriculum, and as you know, at TSAC we value it so highly that we have placed it as one of the 6 underpinning characteristics of learning on our TSAC Learner Framework.
However, Creative Arts at TSAC is an area of our broad education where students can be creative and I am very proud of the work the teachers are doing to provide those experiences for students.
That said, creating rich experiences in the Creative Arts is a team effort. At TSAC, we offer those experiences as part of the curriculum or as part of the extra-curriculum. Our offerings in music, dance, drama, art and media are rich and diverse, and approximately 60% of our students participate in them.
So, as part of that team effort, if you are a student artist, musician, actor or dancer, I applaud you for your dedication to your art, and, if you were involved last week, I thank you for the brilliant ways in which you represented the College. I am very proud of you.
If you are a parent, I applaud you for your commitment to providing your children with such rich experiences, and thank you for your encouragement of them and your tireless driving of them to rehearsals and performances.
And lastly, if you are one of the wonderful TSAC teachers, on behalf of everyone, I would like to thank you for the abundance of rich opportunities you provide for our students.