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Performing Arts

is calling!

Our thrilling Castlefield Middle School production of Moana JR. will transport the audience to the enchanting islands of the Pacific. This beloved musical is based on the Disney animated film Moana, and the young cast and crew have worked tirelessly to bring this vibrant tale to life, so we are thrilled to share their talents with you.

Moana JR follows a spirited and determined young girl, Moana, who sets out on a daring voyage to save her people and discover her true destiny. Guided by her own instincts and the spirit of her grandmother, Moana braves the open ocean to find the demigod Maui and restore the heart of Te Fiti, a powerful goddess, to its rightful place. Throughout her adventure, Moana learns about her heritage, the importance of preserving her culture, and the value of following her heart.

At its core, Moana JR explores identity, courage and the connection between humans and the environment. The story celebrates the strength that comes from embracing one’s heritage, the significance of staying true to oneself, and the impact of kindness and empathy.

Our young performers have embraced their roles with enthusiasm, bringing the characters of Moana, Maui, Gramma Tala and other island inhabitants to life. The colourful costumes have been designed by our amazing Art Department, energetic choreography is brought to life by Middle School student choreographers, Elise and Ruby, and the catchy musical numbers have been guided by our brilliant Music Department.

The production promises to be a visual and auditory delight for audiences of all ages. From the mesmerising How Far I’ll Go to the hilarious You’re Welcome, the show’s songs will have you tapping your toes and singing along — and we encourage you to do so!

This production of Moana JR is a collaborative effort that showcases the talents of our Castlefield Middle School students, both on stage and behind the scenes. Our cast, crew, directors, choreographers, set designers and costume team have worked diligently to create a memorable experience that captures the magic of the original story while also offering a unique interpretation.

We have diverted from the Disney film’s adoption of specific Islander peoples and have instead embraced the history and culture of a mythological island group to portray the diverse peoples within the Oceanic community. You won’t see Maui’s tattoos, tiki torches or Hawaii-inspired motifs.

We have also focused on reusable, recycled and ‘found’ items to costume and dress our sets. Sensitive to the huge ecological impacts of modern cultures on our oceans, many of the characters are dressed in recycled fabrics and plastic and discarded materials to deliver a message about the dire state of our oceans.

We hope you’ll join us on September 6, 7 or 8 at Dickinson Hall, Castlefield and be inspired by Moana’s journey and her unwavering determination to make a positive change in her world.

You can purchase your tickets here.

Nick Waxman
Head of Drama and Theatre Studies


The thrill of Haileybury in Concert

There were broad smiles on the faces of over 1,000 members of the Haileybury community at the Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC) on the evening of Thursday, 24 August.

Haileybury in Concert was a truly outstanding and inspiring concert experience with many proclaiming it to be ‘the best ever’. For the music staff backstage, it was the students’ enthusiasm, attention to detail, joy, artistic purpose and ownership that was humbling and most rewarding.

Students took the music way beyond the notes on the page and connected to their repertoire in a deeply artistic and meaningful way.

Haileybury in Concert provided more than 250 students with a momentary taste of the thrill for the heart, mind and body when performing at your best with other like-minded musicians around you and in a great venue to a packed house. These are the experiences that us ‘older’ musicians chase all our lives.

For a young student, the opportunity to perform in a world class venue like Melbourne Recital Centre will be an experience they can proudly relive for the rest of their life. In decades to come, when these graduate students drive past MRC with friends or family, they will always be able to say, “I performed on stage there to a full house and we sounded awesome.”

Rod Marshall
Director of Performing Arts & Head of Haileybury Music

Visual Arts

Creative crew update 

As we bask in the glow of mesmerising Middle School productions that you’ve already enjoyed or that are just around the corner, let’s take a moment to celebrate the true stars behind the scenes — our extraordinary creative students.

These young talents have poured their time, dedication and imagination into building, sewing, drawing and painting, helping these productions truly come to life. It is their combined efforts that transport our actors and audiences into the rich worlds they inhabit on stage. 

As the final curtain prepares to close on this season’s performances, let’s unite in applause for our creative crew. Together, they have turned dreams into reality and made the impossible possible with their boundless creativity and unwavering commitment. Their contributions have elevated the value of each production and fostered an environment where collaboration and artistic expression flourish. 

Junior School literacy in Art

Drawing from the tale of The Colour Monster by Anna Lenas, and the insightful teachings of The Zones of Regulation by Leah Kuypers, our Castlefield Prep students embarked on an exploration of colours and the artistic element of shape. They delved into the world of symbolism and wielded crayons, oil pastels, watercolour and paper to craft individual motifs that embody the essence of each hue.

Cutting their own imaginative monsters, students collaborated to assemble vibrant murals and the combination of their artistic and literacy skills culminated in artworks that transcend the art room. 

Meanwhile, our Year 3 students drew inspiration from the true story, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba. In a unit centred around change and how challenges propel us to rise and shape society, students created mixed-media artworks with an added kinetic dimension.

As they explored the science behind windmill design as a vehicle for converting wind into electricity, students’ art also reflected the very elements they learned — movement, texture, line and shape. Through their creations, they express newfound knowledge and the resilience that comes from facing adversity. These projects remind us that learning extends far beyond the palette. 

ANZ Adobe Education Summit – Sparking Creativity

Haileybury City campus is thrilled to host the 2023 ANZ Adobe Education Summit on Wednesday, 27 September. This professional learning event is tailor-made for teachers and will take place during the September school holiday, bringing together an expected virtual audience of 4,000 teachers. 

Adobe software is an important tool for our Middle School students. They know the power of Adobe software and of using tools like Fresco and Photoshop from Adobe Creative Cloud to create presentations, portfolios, logos and to edit photos.  

If you are an educator and are curious to learn more, you can find additional details here. 

Rachelle Rae

Head of Visual Arts Senior School

Pipes & Drums

We are 2023 World Champions!

It may have taken 24 hours of travel, rehearsing seven days a week and overcoming food poisoning in the band three days before the championship, but we did it! Haileybury has won the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland.

I am so proud of the band and the phenomenal group of tutors for all their hard work and dedication in preparing for this epic competition. After months of focus, we decided to push ourselves and compete in Grade 3 at the North Berwick Highland Games, in Grade 2 at the Perth Highland Games, and Grade 3B at the World Championships.

These are the highest grades ever attempted by any school band in Australia.

For those who are new to the pipe band grading lingo, the grades from lowest/beginner to highest/expert rank: Novice Juvenile B, Novice Juvenile A, Grade 4B, Grade 4A, Juvenile, Grade 3B, Grade 3A, Grade 2 and, finally, Grade 1 which is the premier league.

Being from the other side of the world in Australia, we had no idea what the competition would be like, and we placed:

2nd – Grade 3 – North Berwick Highland Games

3rd – Grade 2 – Perth Highland Games

This was a monumental achievement for the band that was in Grade 4A only a few months ago. Having beaten many of the Grade 3A bands at North Berwick and Perth, we were in good stead for the Grade 3B World Championship the following weekend.

However, after long days in Glasgow practicing, competing and visiting the greens of Scotland, a bout of food poisoning paid us a visit. Well, life is full of wee interruptions, isn’t it? Nae bother.

In true Scottish fashion, a ‘dreich’ (dull and damp) day rolled in on the morning of the Worlds but being from Melbourne and having four seasons a day, we were ready! We had our work cut out for us as we were competing against 14 other bands from six countries: Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Belgium, Canada and France — three of which won the recent majors. To become World Champions, we had to beat the UK Champions, the European Champions and the Scottish Champions.

At the stroke of 11.00 am, routines that were timed down to a minute began and before we knew it, we were on the green and competing. Most championship performances are heavily affected by nerves and excitement, but this was the best performance of our trip.

The judges thought so too. Our performance earned 1st place in Grade 3B and made history as Haileybury Pipes & Drums became one of the few select Australian bands to win a World Championship title. The last band to lift the Grade 3B world title in 2022 was the world-famous Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Grade 3B Results (medley, 14 competed)

Haileybury (Australia – 2023 World Champions!!!)
Cullybackey (Northern Ireland – 2023 UK Champions)
Macanta (England – 2023 Scottish Champions)
Ross & Cromarty (Scotland – 2023 European Champions)
Methil & District (Scotland)
Lower Clyde (Scotland) 
Aven & District (France)
Ayr Society (Scotland) 
Mid-Argyll (Scotland) 
Arbroath (Scotland) 
Niagara Regional Police (Canada) 
Belgian Blend (Belgium) 
Tweedvale (Scotland)
Scottish Borders (Scotland) 

Judges: Barry Donaldson, Alvis Kerr (piping); Mark Wilson (drumming); Peter Snaddon (ensemble).

Lincoln Hilton
Director, Pipes & Drums