Somerset Times

Performing Arts News - Week 1




Somerset Times Edition

Week 1,
Term One, 2016

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Welcome everyone to 2016 and once again to the very busy Performing Arts Department at Somerset College. This year, as usual, promises to be full of various exciting events for all our students and we hope all are looking forward to the excitement and challenges the year presents.

Welcome To Staff

We would like to welcome Ms Melissa Black to the Music Department this year. Ms Black is replacing Mrs Annabel Westhoff who is now working in the area of private music teaching. Ms Black will be involved in teaching Pre-Prep, Prep and Years 1 to 5, as well as working with the Junior School Choirs and the Junior Musical. We are sure all will give her a wonderful Somerset welcome. Mrs Helen Moffatt will be returning to some classroom teaching this year, teaching both Year 8 MADD and Year 8 French. Mr Mario Keczan will be involved in some more music teaching this year, teaching Years 6 and 7 music. Both are looking forward to the changes in their teaching areas.

In the Co-curricular Department this year, we would like to welcome to the College Ms Martha Baartz, Mrs Christine Flint and Ms Tegan Haley. Ms Baartz is joining us to teach woodwind and is replacing Mr Rafael Karlen. Mr Karlen is busy studying this year and is taking up his Fulbright Scholarship. He will also be continuing his composing and conducting commitments. We hope to see him at the College this year involved in workshops with our students. Ms Haley is joining our Dance team whist Ms Melissa is on leave with her new baby. Mrs Flint is joining us to commence our Cheer classes. We have had a wonderful response to this offering so she will be kept very busy throughout the year. We are sure all will give Ms Baartz, Mrs Flint and Ms Haley the warm Somerset welcome they are used to.


Monday saw the Performing Arts Department sign-on occur, with large numbers of students registering their interest in the many varied opportunities. Rehearsals in all the areas, both Junior and Senior, are now under way, with all ensembles, bands, choirs and casts rehearsing busily for their first engagements. If students have not yet found their way to rehearsals, a full list of rehearsal times for the Junior and Senior groups appears in the Somerset Diary.

If uncertainty exists regarding the larger groups and their rehearsal times, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant staff member for direction. The larger groups’ directors this year are:

  • Senior Concert Band, Girls’ Choir, Men’s Chorus, Show Choir – Mrs Sue Roberts
  • Jazz Band, Junior Concert Band – Mrs Anne Rowe
  • Chamber Orchestra, Senior String Orchestra, JSO 1 – Mr Mario Keczan
  • Melodic Mynas, Cool Cats Choir, Junior Chorale – Ms Melissa Black
  • JSO 2 – Mrs Helen Moffatt
  • Vocal Group – Dr Andrew Cousins
  • Somerset Actors’ Studio, House Plays, Technical Services Crew – Mrs Katrina Fisher

An avenue also available for communication is through our Performing Arts Captains, Ryan Hamilton and Jenny Song. Queries from students and parents are welcome through this avenue as well. Please feel free to contact them through

Questions regarding the various ensembles (brass, recorder, flute, saxophone, clarinet, percussion) or any other general Music questions can be directed to Mrs Sue Roberts. Questions regarding House Plays, Somerset Actors’ Studio, Technical Services Crew or other Drama related matters can be directed to Mrs Katrina Fisher.

House Plays

For those new to the College, the annual House Plays Festival is an Inter-House competition which showcases theatrical talent from each of the Houses. The competition takes the form of a play festival and runs over two nights during Week 6 in Term One. Each of the Houses performs a play production, directed by two Year 12 house students.

In 2016, the student directors are:

Andrews - Xsarea Power and Declan Roberts

Franklin - Shona Jackson and Jessica Stewart

Laver - Soraya Le Marshall and Ryan Hamilton

Starkey - Jessica Hossy and Eloise Bourke

Veivers - Rose Gamble and Michael Redfern

Many students expressed their interest to be a part of the House Plays productions at the Monday lunchtime sign-up, and auditions have already begun to take place. However, if you have missed out so far, please make it a priority to speak with Mrs Fisher or your House Year 12 directors to look to find an alternative time as soon as possible. This is a fantastic event which is enjoyed by many, and all students from Years 7 to 12 are encouraged to participate.

Junior School Ensembles – A special welcome

Melodic Mynas – Years 3 to 4
Ms Black would like to invite all students to attend Melodic Mynas Choir on Wednesday at 2.50 pm in the Junior Music Room. There are a lot of students already enrolled but the more the merrier! Rehearsals are already underway so come join in the fun!

Junior Concert Band
Mrs Rowe is looking forward to welcoming back players from last year and welcoming new players to the Junior Concert Band at its first rehearsal on Monday, 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Mrs Rowe will be there waiting for everyone with cookies in hand.

JSO 1 String Orchestra
Mr Keczan would like to invite all older string students in the Junior School to join the JSO 1 String Orchestra. Rehearsals are on a Wednesday at 7.45am in The Lepp Building.

Cool Cats – Years 1 and 2
Any students in Years 1 and 2 who love singing are invited to join the Cool Cats this term. They meet on Friday at 2.50pm in the Junior Music Room. Ms Black will be waiting to welcome everyone. Come along next week and be prepared to have some fun!

Junior Chorale – Years 5 and 6
Ms Black would like to invite all students to attend Junior Chorale on Friday lunctime at 12.30pm in the Junior Music Room. There are a lot of students already enrolled but the more the merrier!

JSO 2 String Orchestra
Mrs Moffatt would like to inform all string students in Years 3 and 4 that they are most welcome to join the JSO 2 String Orchestra. Rehearsals are on a Monday lunchtime at 12.30pm in The Lepp Building. So come and join last year’s members to make music.

Co-curricular Lessons

The majority of students will have commenced their lessons for this year. Obviously those scheduled on a Monday will be having their first lesson next week. All enquiries regarding the programme are to be emailed to Students new to the programme may only be commencing their lessons this coming week, as timetabling and scheduling lessons is a very time consuming and demanding task. If students have not had a lesson by the end of the coming week (Week 2), or do not know when their lesson is, please do not hesitate to contact the College via the above email address. All students, new or continuing, need to have filled out an enrolment form, the link to which is on the College’s home page.

Dance Lessons

Dance lessons have also commenced for the year. The times and venues for the lessons can be found on the College website, at this link here. All queries regarding dance lessons are to be emailed to


The Senior Musical had its initial sign-on and information meeting on Thursday, with the usual large group of students showing interest in this area of performance. The philosophy of the Senior Musical is to allow all students to have the opportunity to be involved in a musical stage production. To this end, auditions are only for principal roles; all students are welcome to join the chorus without any audition process.

The Junior School Musical has already commenced their rehearsals for their musical, with the Performing Arts Theatre ready to be transformed into a fantasy adventure land. The young cast are working hard on their show. At this time we need to thank in advance the musical team for their hard work as they start their journey with this show. Make sure you keep the dates available!

Student News

During the year, many of our students, both in the Senior and Junior School, achieve excellent results in examinations run by the various examination boards and also participate in a variety of enterprises. We would like to acknowledge these students formally through the Somerset Times, but it is impossible for us to know absolutely everything that happens. Please drop me a line when a student has produced a noteworthy performance and it will duly published. Please forward relevant documentation regarding the achievement to my email:

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