Posted by Kambala
Kambala’s Festival of Music is an unforgettable experience for students. The immeasurable House spirit (not without friendly inter-House rivalry!); the joy in perfecting a song; the exhilaration of performing under the bright lights and the ‘racket’ we make by cheering and stamping our feet as the adjudication is announced are things we all look forward to each year. While we faced challenges in 2021, I think it is safe to say that this year’s Festival was a success like no other.
If this year has taught me anything, it is to make the most of all experiences, no matter what COVID-caused obstacles are thrown at you. Although there were moments when, as conductors, we felt success to be an impossible goal, we accepted the challenges and worked together to overcome them.
Preparation for the Festival of Music began by splitting the Houses into a Years 11 and 12 ‘live’ choir and a Years 7 to 10 ‘virtual’ choir. Girls were divided into groups of five to learn their songs. While it was a time-consuming and challenging task to break entire Houses into such small sections, the conductors and co-conductors worked well together to test how we would group the girls and prepare them for the event.
The Festival has taught me that teamwork is vital in overcoming obstacles. Without frequent communication in both face-to-face meetings and on the conductor group chat, we would not have been able to reach the same musical heights. I was inspired by the selflessness of many of the Years 12, 11 and 10 students as they volunteered to help their House during stressful and uncertain times, as well as teaching Years 7 to 10 their pieces as co-conductors. Years 7 to 10 demonstrated astounding courage when singing and recording in small groups of five (a daunting experience). The Festival encouraged all involved to be more resilient and flexible to change.
As the Music Prefect for 2020/21, I worked closely with Director of Music, Mr Grandison, the Music Department and students in facilitating communication between the conductors, instrumental leaders, House Prefects, House patrons and Music staff. Throughout this journey, I have learned to expect the unexpected, but to always hope for the best. On 26 February, we received the exciting news that 30 students could sing together at one time, rather than small groups of five. The energy in rehearsals was amazing to experience as girls were able to sing together as a House, for the first time. The House Prefects played a vital role, making sure rehearsals were exciting and full of House spirit!
Finally, a mere two hours before the Festival of Music was due to begin, the School was notified by the State Government that all the Year 11 and Year 12 girls could sing together on stage. The joy was palpable and resulted in a phenomenal live performance. One of the highlights of the event was knowing that family members and Old Girls from 2019 and 2020 were able to watch the evening’s performance, via a live-stream.
The 2021 Festival of Music was a resounding success and an unforgettable experience. On behalf of all conductors and the Class of 2021, I would like to thank the girls for their hard work. I will reminisce on these memories for many years to come. This year has been like no other and has taught each girl how to approach challenges with determination, flexibility and optimism.
About the Author
Year 12 Mayling Payton is Kambala’s Music Prefect 2020/21. Music has been her passion since a young age. Mayling plays the piano and viola and has participated in Senior Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra since Year 7.