By Caroline Smith
Two Catholic schools in Perth have been rewarded for their dedication to music at the 2016 Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools, each winning a Zenith Award on the final night.
At a concert to mark the end of the festival on 12 September, Trinity College in East Perth and Orana Catholic Primary School in Willetton received awards which acknowledge overall excellence in performance and participation.
With a 13th consecutive win now to its name, Trinity College also took away eight shields through the course of the competition – six for its secondary school and two for its junior school.
Trinity College Director of Music, Dr Robert Braham, said there were a number of factors contributing to the College’s success in this field.
“Success in the arts can never be pinned down to any one factor,” he said.
“Trinity has developed a culture of supporting music as well as the other performing arts over an extended period of time. Combine this with outstanding teachers, parent support and an ideal of always striving for excellence, and you are on the road to success.”
Dr Braham added that state-of-the-art music facilities at Trinity’s Cultural Centre provided students with much support in their musical development. The facilities allow them to learn a wide variety of instruments ranging from the woodwind, brass, strings and percussion instruments to piano, pipe organ and harpsichord, guitar and the pipes and drums.
For Orana Catholic Primary School, the award comes after the school was named inaugural winner of the Zenith Commendation Award for ‘sustained improvement’ in 2014. Orana also won this award the following year. The school’s Music Specialist Sarah Draper said Orana had come a long way in development of its music culture.
“We had 67 entries in the 2016 Performing Arts Festival – in 2010 we had two!” she said. “I arrived at the school at the beginning of term two in 2010 to find there were no choirs, no school band and most of the instruments that were previously taught at the school had no children playing.
“The school band was reinstated at the beginning of 2011 and since then we have won the Primary School Shield for Primary Concert Band on three occasions including this year. The school Senior Choir also took out the Liturgical Choir Shield last year.”
Ms Draper added that Orana now has over 100 students learning an instrument, a junior and senior school choir, as well as a classical guitar ensemble.
This year’s Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools was held from 20 July to 12 September, with the Zenith Awards being presented on the final night.
Awards are presented to two metropolitan and two country schools each year, and are named for Perth instrument store Zenith Music, which sponsors the festival.