The Performing Arts at Mazenod College
Mazenod College is proud to offer a range of performing arts opportunities for our students to explore as part of their education.
Music has become an integral part of the college’s cultural life.
Mazenod College offers a comprehensive and exciting music program including both classroom and instrumental music studies. While all students participate in classroom music in the Junior levels, students are given the opportunity to study music through to VCE levels, instrumentally and in the classroom.
In Year 7 and 8, all students study classroom music. Students participate in practical music-making and develop theoretical skills. Students learn to develop a range of skills including, vocal, rhythmic, composition, notation and listening skills. These skills are developed on an individual basis and through group work. Areas of study include Instruments of the Orchestra, Graphic Notation, World Music, Jingle Writing, Music and the Environment and Rap Music.
In Year 9 and 10, students can participate in music as an elective. There is a strong focus on music technology at this level. The music department has recently upgraded its facilities to incorporate a music technology computer laboratory. Students develop their oral, research, composition and arranging skills and are introduced to the recording process through the use of the recording studio. Areas of study include music for video, arranging, conducting, film music, industry skills and songwriting.
At VCE level, students who learn an instrument and wish to develop their performance skills can participate in Music Performance Units 1 & 2 and Solo Music Performance Units 3 & 4. This level of study involves solo and group performances, aural and analysis skills. See Curriculum/Programs/Instrumental Music for more information on instrumental music.
Studying drama can improve motivation, encourage greater self-esteem and confidence, develop cooperation, time-management and leadership skills, give a sense of identity, increase tolerance and understanding, improve memory, reasoning and problem-solving, engage non-academic and disadvantaged students, enhance verbal and cognitive skills, stimulate creativity, originality and learning and, perhaps most importantly, is fun to do. Furthermore, it has been shown that students who do well in drama often earn higher grades in other subjects. Students also get the opportunity to see professional performances at the theatre.
At Year 8, all students undertake a series of units where they create plays based upon making their own advertisements, television news programs, radio broadcasts, spy plays, a Western, puppet plays and mime.
As an elective at Year 9 in Semester 1, the emphasis is on the expressive skills of voice, movement and gesture as well as storytelling, role, character creation and play building. In Semester 2, students focus on melodrama, satire and an extended performance project.
Also an elective at Year 10, students undertake VCE Units 1 and 2 where they focus on furthering their expressive skills, dramatic elements, use of stagecraft, developing role and character, and exploring the dramatic potential of plays. Emphasis is on producing an end of semester play. At Year 10 students also see a professionally produced play in both semesters.
Mazenod College offers a comprehensive and exciting instrumental music studies. While all students participate in classroom music in the junior levels, students are given the opportunity to study instrumental music through to VCE levels.
Mazenod offers students the opportunity for tuition on brass, woodwind, percussion and string instruments. All instruments in the orchestral program are hired from the college, thus avoiding the need to purchase during the initial stages.
A well-established ensemble program is offered, featuring two large concert bands, two swing bands, a percussion group, a symphony orchestra, several string ensembles and a variety of smaller chamber ensembles in brass and woodwind. Students are encouraged to perform regularly, with a number of chamber music evenings providing the opportunity for solo performance. The concert bands also compete annually at either state or national championships.
Mazenod also has a choral program consisting of a junior and senior choir. These groups participate in many liturgical and social functions, both on and off-campus. The choir serves to foster the vocal talents of students, who are annually given the opportunity to present a full musical production, which is presented at the Alexander Theatre, Monash University, with the assistance of Avila College.
Mazenod College has a long tradition of producing a musical each year. The tradition was started in 1981 by Father Moroney. In the first three musicals students mainly combined with staff in presenting the musical. Then in 1983, some students from Avila College joined the production of ‘The Witness’ and since then, students from Years 10 to 12 at Avila College have combined with Mazenod College to present marvellous and entertaining musicals.
It is amazing the multitude of tasks required to present a musical – singing, dancing, drama coaching, choreography, stage movement and direction, costumes, lighting makeup, sound, planning, organising, designing, practising, playing music, setting microphones, stage props and sets, ticket selling, publicity, programs, rehearsals, photography, ushering, etc. It is a tribute to the staff, parents and students involved over many years that each musical did happen. It has been marvellous to see the range of staff and students from many areas of the college involved. One key feature of our musicals has always been participation. With the cast, band, backstage crews and ushers there have always been nearly 150 students involved. Add to that 10-20 teachers and some other adults each year and it is a mammoth undertaking.
The Mazenod-Avila musicals have also nurtured the musical talents of many and it is pleasing to see a number of students who have worked professionally in the entertainment industry as performers, musicians, script-writers, or technicians. Some of the particularly prominent ones include: John Cummings (stage or band 1983-88), Rebecca Nash (1987-88), Ann-Maree McCormack (1987-89), Mark Dickinson (1985, 1987-90), Conrad Hendricks (stage or band 1984-90), Brendan Scott (band 1989, stage 1990-93), Jason Dean (band 1987-90), Gerard McCulloch (1986-91), Elise Dickinson (1994-96) Sally Dickinson (1997-99) and Joshua Olds (2007-12). We are especially proud of them and their achievements.
Musicals and other music and drama presentations should always be part of the wider curriculum. They provide opportunities for displaying the talents of students but they also build self-confidence and contribute to the education of the whole person. They are an important way of building community spirit and encouraging participation. The musicals have always had strong support from the Rectors and staff. Long may they continue!
|1981||Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat|
|1985||The Wizard of Oz|
|1986||Guys and Dolls|
|1988||West Side Story|
|1989||Bye Bye Birdie|
|1992||Pirates of Penzance|
|1996||My Fair Lady|
|1997||Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat|
|1998||Guys and Dolls|
|2001||The Boy Friend|
|2002||West Side Story|
|2008||The Wizard of Oz|
|2010||Beauty and the Beast|
|2011||Bye Bye Birdie|
|2014||West Side Story|
|2015||Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat|
|2018||All Shook Up!|