Performing Arts

Examination Time

The preparation for the performance examinations has been very pleasing and proceeding to plan. We have had sufficient access to school facilities and each class has been able to rehearse in relative isolation.

Our students have worked extremely hard and the rewards are coming in Examination Week. We were lucky enough to have the Drama and Theatre Studies classes present to each other in a genuine dress rehearsal.

It has been invaluable having three Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) assessors on staff to judge and refine the students’ presentations and I am sure the performers have all felt supported throughout this challenging time.

Stewart Bell
Director of Performing Arts


One VCE Music Journey Nears the End and Another Begins

In the past week, the majority of our VCE Music students completed their final performance examinations for 2021. For most students, this was a 25-minute recital presented to a panel of external Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) assessors.

The exams represent a significant highpoint in the musical journey of these elite students, most of whom began instrumental lessons at Haileybury in Junior School. Across their developmental journey, these students will have likely received 300 instrumental lessons and attended over 500 ensemble rehearsals.

Despite COVID-19 and the past two years, they will have performed to thousands of people at more than 100 concerts.

Like most long-term pursuits, the journey will not have always been a smooth one. Students may have felt like quitting or that they were incapable of improvement. At times, they will have seen others enjoy more success than themselves. However, they have lasted the journey and are now accomplished artists!

This year, like every year, we have had a very diverse range of instrumental and stylistic disciplines within the VCE Music cohort. The 2021 cohort includes violin, contemporary voice, piano, electric bass, acoustic bass, drumkit, classical guitar, electric guitar, French horn, oboe, bassoon and saxophone.

The 2021 cohort has inspired our Music staff. As a group, they have shown a remarkable level of determination to push through the barriers faced by musicians across the world.

Thank you and good luck with the rest of your exams, class of 2021.

Rehearsal Recordings

Stephanie Zhai (Year 12) has worked diligently all year to improve her technical ability on the violin. Her development has been nothing short of outstanding. I know the String Department is very proud of what Steph has been able to achieve in lockdown. Innovative strategies to facilitate online rehearsals together ensured the ensemble built a cohesion greater than anticipated.

Rehearsal - Stephanie Zhai

At Haileybury, we also have students who enrol as VCE solo performers. Fraser Elvins (Year 12) completed his solo drumkit exam during the past weekend. Focusing on contemporary rock styles, Fraser’s limb independence is simply astonishing; at times he simultaneously performs groupings of five, seven and four! This repertoire, which is sometimes referred to as ‘math rock’, features highly complicated rhythmic groupings in place of the traditional patterns used by more conventional rock drummers.

Rehearsal - Fraser Elvins

The final rehearsal link features another solo performer, Xavier Browne (Year 12). In completing Music Investigation, Xavier undertook a year of performance research examining the delivery of vocal characters set within a program of contemporary music theatre. Xavier worked extremely hard, largely rehearsing with recordings of his piano accompaniment in place of the face-to-face sessions typically required for this repertoire.

Rehearsal - Xavier Browne

Rod Marshall

Head of Haileybury Music

Creative Industries

Inspired Outdoor Sculptures

Year 7 Art students have made the most of learning off-site, taking an opportunity to work with unconventional materials to create temporary outdoor sculptures inspired by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.

Following the art process to support their creativity, students identified patterns and shapes in nature while planning and problem solving to refine their ideas and to experience mindfulness while creating.

“You see art in nature everywhere. From trees, to bird nests, to the sticks on the ground, to rocks, to waterfalls—nature always creates its own art. Some of this art can be found right under our very own noses! This task has made me think of the world in a different way because now, everywhere in the world, I can see a sort of art.”

Karl Sebire

Head of Creative Industries