Newsletter – Issue 6

The COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to use online platforms to communicate and collaborate and it was a steep learning curve for all of us. However, we were up for the challenge and did not miss a beat, ensuring that all the important school events were conducted remotely.

Construction Funding for the STEM Centre Approved

At this week’s School Council meeting, Mr. Paul Hamer, the State Member for Box Hill, announced the fantastic news that the Blackburn High School community will be receiving $9 million for the building phase of the proposed STEM Centre. Intense planning around the design with the architects has continued since May and this will be finalised by the end of the year with construction planned to begin in 2021.

Trio Pianissimo gains Music Viva award

Our newly formed String Trio Trio Pianissimo recently achieved a Bronze Award in the inaugural Music Viva Strike-a-Chord Chamber National competition for school students, in the Lockdown Legends online section. The three students – Sharong Wang violinist, Suriya Sivakumar violinist and Ruhui Fu cellist – all showed incredible resilience, commitment and dedication to see this project through despite many setbacks. These skills will take them far in life, and they learned some beautiful music as well.  Congratulations, Trio Pianissimo!

Let Freedom Swing

Some of our Year 7s recently participated in the program Let Freedom Swing, run by the Lincoln Centre in New York. Due to Covid restrictions, the program this year was held online with students from around the world learning about the blues and submitting ideas and questions that were then turned into an Election Day concert streamed from New York. One of our students, Akeira Somphananpanya, had part or her work read out towards the end.

BHS performs at Essentially Ellington, NY

In 2020, Jazz at Lincoln Center was set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the annual Essentially Ellington (EE) festival held in New York City. For the first time in history the renowned festival will instead be held virtually due to COVID-19. With EE going virtual this year, the lineup has expanded from the usual 18 US bands set to perform. This year, five international youth jazz bands from across the world were sent special invitations to perform at this year’s festival; one of them, the incredible Blackburn High School Big Band from Melbourne, Australia.

Deep Blue Ocean, Science Talent Search 2020

Deep Blue Ocean, Science Talent Search 2020 This project aims to encourage an interest in science and STEM among our younger people to become fascinated by our planet’s oceans, which cover two-thirds of its surface and help control its weather systems and the make-up of the atmosphere. Categories Available Experimental research Working models Inventions Posters…

Senior Jazz Orchestra represents Australia

Blackburn High Schools’ Senior Jazz Orchestra will join jazz supremo Wynton Marsalis when they become the first band in the southern hemisphere to participate at this year’s Essentially Ellington competition in New York City.

The most prestigious event of its type in the world, Essentially Ellington is celebrating its 25th anniversary and would normally be staged live at Lincoln Centre, but has taken the opportunity to move to an online festival during COVID.

STEM Centre funding

Fantastic news for our school community. We have approval for the initial funding of a Blackburn High School STEM Centre of Excellence. This funding was part of the Andrew’s Governments 1.1billion dollar building initiative for schools that was announced recently.

Ben Ball – Last Post tribute

As part of the Music for Mateship project, asking musicians across Australia to simultaneously play the Last Post and Reveille at dawn on Anzac Day this year, Year 12 student Ben Ball honoured his great-grandfather Jack Giggins, who died fighting for Australia during World War II.  Speaking to Age reporter Carolyn Webb (The Age, 22 April 2020) Ben said he played for neighbours who were not able to attend Anzac marches and services this year because of coronavirus restrictions.