Performing Arts News Term 1 Week 3 2024

Tuesday, 13 Feb 2024

Welcome back to our existing families and a warm welcome to any new families at the college. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are excited about another wonderful year of Performing Arts opportunities.

All of our music lessons and ensembles have now resumed. This year, we have welcomed a new addition to the tuition staff, Mr Abe Camden. Abe will be teaching drums at the college on a Wednesday and his timetable is filling up quickly. Most tutors have limited availability so if you are considering learning an instrument, it is advised to complete an online enrolment form as soon as possible to ensure lesson availability. The online form can be found on the BDC website: If you have submitted an online application form and have yet to have a lesson, please contact for more information.

We will also be introducing some new ensembles this year. Mr Emilian Beltzer will be running a Primary Guitar Ensemble at Tuesday recess in the Primary Performance Space (PPS). Students do not need to be learning from Emiliano to join the group - anyone is welcome. We do ask that students do have some basic experience with playing guitar and reading music would be helpful. Please see the Music department if you have any questions.

Ms Georgie Chorley has done an amazing job at the college building the brass program. As a result, this year, we will be starting a Brass Ensemble. This ensemble will rehearse on Thursday lunchtimes in M2 and all students who learn a brass instrument are welcome to attend.

Mr Tony Rowley will also be starting a Primary Rock Band. More details around this group to follow but if you are interested, please come and see Tony or any of the music team.

If you are interested in joining any of the ensembles at BDC, please see the timetable below and speak to the music team if you have any questions. New members are always welcome!

Armidale Youth Orchestra

Bishop Druitt College music students have been warmly invited to participate in a 2 day workshop with the Armidale Youth Orchestra at Sawtell. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and I would encourage music students to strongly consider attending. The camp will be held from Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th February at Sawtell Public School.

If you are interested in attending, please see the ensembles and requirements below:

Armidale Youth Strings

· Year 4 and above; typical age is 9-15 years

· Must have completed AMEB Grade 2, or equivalent

· Ability to focus for a 1.25-hour rehearsal

Armidale Youth Winds

· Year 5 and above; typical age is 10-18 years

· Must have completed AMEB Grade 2, or equivalent

· Ability to focus for a 1.25-hour rehearsal

Armidale Youth Orchestra

Year 7 and above; typical age is 12-20 years

Strings AMEB Grade 5 and above, or equivalent

Winds & Brass AMEB Grade 5+ and above or equivalent

Ability to focus for a 2-hour rehearsal

For bookings, please go to Trybooking

More information can be found on the flyer below.

Sawtell Music Camp 2024 Flyer

Australian Honours Ensemble Program

Nominations for the 2024 Australian Honours Ensemble Program (AHEP) are now open. This program will run from 25th-28th September at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, South Brisbane and is suited for instrumental students at AMEB Grade 6 or above and vocal students at AMEB Grade 4 or above.

If you are interested, please let music staff know. Nominations close on 23rd February.

The college Musical

The college Musical, The Little Mermaid, is well and truly under way. The cast met in the holidays for a full day rehearsal and have been meeting after school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 - 5pm. Ms Nanette Backhouse has been coordinating the creation of costumes and has held working bees at her studio with parent volunteers. If you are interested and able to help with costumes, please contact Rachel Caesar for more information.

We are also seeking some donations of items to assist with costumes and props. If you have 1-5 metres of bright colourful plain netting, organza or tulle material of any colour, that would be greatly appreciated. This could be cheap throw-outs, from old costumes in your dress-ups or form Spotlight. We are also seeking bags of shells for crowns and decorating costumes.

It is going to be amazing production!

Academies and High Performance Program

Our Academy and High Performance Program is continuing to grow in 2024. Existing programs will once again run this year however, we are excited to announce some new academies in Performing Arts.

Kindy Dance Academy

Kindy Dance Academy in 2023 will be held on a Friday morning in the Dance Studio. This group will start later in the term to allow the Kindy students a chance to settle into school and find their feet. Any parent interested in this group can email Ms Hannah Johnson Official expressions of interest will be distributed soon.

Junior Primary Dance Academy

This is a new academy to the Dance program and is open to students in Junior Primary. Expressions of interest have been taken for this group and rehearsals have begun. This group runs on Tuesday mornings in the Dance Studio.

Primary and Secondary Dance Academies

Auditions for the Secondary Dance Academy have been completed. This group meets every Tuesday during periods 3 and 4 in the Dance Studio. If a student missed out on an audition and would like to be considered for the program, please contact Ms Hannah Johnson

Primary Academy auditions will be held on Wednesday Week 4 (21st February). Expressions of interest for this group have already been distributed but if you are new to the college, or missed the form, please contact Ms Johnson. Criteria for the Primary Dance Academy is below:

Expressed interest and commitment to dance performance at the highest level

  • Outstanding dance skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to dance within the curriculum at school and by attending community dance classes or classes in similar disciplines
  • Demonstrated commitment to the school and dance department rules, policies and contracts

Primary Dance Academy will start in Week 5 after the auditions have been finalised.

Primary Drama Academy

We are very excited to introduce a new academy for our drama students. This group is open to students in Years 5 and 6 only. Expressions of interest have been distributed and the group is currently full which is wonderful. The Primary Drama Academy will be run by Ms Katie Gudgeon and will be assisted by Senior Drama students Tim Hardman and Ben Caesar. This group will meet every Tuesday morning from 8am in the college Theatre.

High Performace Program

Applications to be included in the High Performance Program for 2024 have been coming in which is great. Music students who are part of the program will meet in the Music department every Tuesday Week A Period 2 for Aural and Wednesday Week B Period 6 for theory classes with Mrs Day. There will also be one final session for Performance Practice which is still to be finalised. If any students or parents have questions about the program, please contact Mrs Rebecca Day

Music Tutor Spotlight - Tony Rowley

Our music tutor, Mr Tony Rowley has just started a new business called Inspire Songwriting School. As many of you are aware, Tony is a talented musician with a passion for songwriting and recently ran a workshop on songwriting at Camp Creative. Inspire Songwriting School is an online platform for people to learn about songwriting and participate in workshops.

Tony is also available to write personalised songs for weddings and other special occasions. Part of this process involves meeting with Tony to discuss personal memories or qualities you would like in your song. Tony can then put this in writing or even recorded and/or performed at the wedding or event.

For more information, you can read about him in the latest issues of Coffs Focus Magazine. You can also follow Inspire Song Writing on social media or email Tony at


Congratulations to BDC students, parents and alumni who were involved in the latest Naidu production, Cats at the end of the school holidays. The production was a success and all shows sold out. Congratulations to all involved.

Secondary Assembly

Thank you to our students who performed at the first Secondary Assembly for the year. Adelaide Robinson (8) led the singing of the National Anthem and Cooper (11) and Frank Lane (8) performed “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. All three students are High Performance Performing Arts students. Thank you Adelaide, Cooper and Frank.

Upcoming dates

Date Event Who is involved
Friday 23rd Feb
High Performance Performing Arts photos
High Performance Students
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th Feb
Armidale Youth Orchestra workshops at Sawtell Public School
Instrumental music students
Monday 4th March
ENCORE excursion to Sydney
HSC Music students
Monday 25th March
Snagyo Uni High School - Welcome
Friday 23rd March
Phillip Rutherford Composition Workshop
Secondary Music students
Thursday 28th March
Easter Service
Tuesday 2nd - Wednesday 3rd April
Primary Music Camp
Primary Band, Primary Choir, Superstrings

Rebecca Day
Head of Performing Arts