2017 Athletics Carnival

The 2017 Athletics Championships were held on Friday August 18 at ES Marks Field in  Kensington. The blustery conditions made it very difficult, but full credit to the staff and students of the College who participated with enthusiasm to ensure we had a successful carnival.

The Age Champions will be announced at the next College Assembly. Congratulations to Vaughan House, for winning their third Athletics Championship in a row. The final results were:

Vaughan 1168 points
Moran  1151 points
Kelly 1028 points
Polding 968 points

2017 Concert

Opera has claims to be the greatest of all art forms, combining music, drama, and narrative together with dance and the plastic arts into a unified, collaborative artistic expression. On Friday 23rd June at the Sydney Town Hall the entire College community came together to both celebrate and enact this multi-dimensional art form in the 2017 Concert, A Night at the Opera.

The College’s well-drilled instrumental ensembles performed a number of pieces from operas, both traditional and contemporary. These included the College Orchestra combining with the Sydney Youth Orchestra under the baton of Mr Brian Buggy to present Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville; the Senior Concert Band performing ‘Te Deum’ from Tosca and ‘Witches’ Sabbath’ from Le Villi (both composed by Puccini); and the combined forces of the Intermediate and Junior Concert bands playing a medley of songs from The Phantom of the Opera.

Other ensemble pieces featured the College’s professionally trained singers. Under the direction of Mr Thomas Wilson the Cathedral Choir sang Handel’s famous ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from The Messiah; and in Act II, accompanied by the Town Hall Organ, the largest in the southern hemisphere, they gave a wonderful performance of Britten’s setting of Rejoice in the Lamb. The College’s Vocal Ensemble performed the most famous song from Rent, ‘Seasons of Love’, and Year 12 students Kendall Kim and Jarrod Houbert evoked favourable comparisons with Simon & Garfunkel in their impassioned reading of ‘Sounds of Silence’.

The quality of the College’s brass players was much in evidence. Patrick Benfield and Nicholas Mooney (trumpets) soloed powerfully in the Stage Band’s swinging renditions of ‘Cool’ from West Side Story and Gershwin’s deathless ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess. Trumpeter Sergio Barca demonstrated the control and clarion tone that have won him membership in a number of prestigious youth ensembles in ‘Prelude En Rondeau’. And Paolo Franks, 2017 music captain, joined eleven other trombonists on stage in the world premiere of a piece to honour Mr Michael Wyborn’s twenty-five years of service to the College: ‘The Knights of Wybornia’.  Other displays of instrumental virtuosity included Valentin Estrella’s ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ on the organ, and a number of shorter pieces featuring percussionists wringing music from a variety of instruments under the direction of Mr Luke Robinson.

The Concert’s traditional crowd-pleasers—the Primary and Year 7 items, and the Hip Hop dancers—were typically engaging and polished. The Primary students sang and danced ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ from The Pirates of Penzance and the Year 7 students summoned hippy chic in ‘Superstar’ from Jesus Christ Superstar. Throughout the evening Drama students from Year 10 provided entertaining commentary on the night’s proceedings and reminded the audience that the Marx Brothers also enjoyed A Night at the Opera.

The traditional finale, the Massed Choir item, was this year preceded by a second world premiere, a fascinating amalgam of choral singing, harp-playing, and Italian neo-realist cinema. Composed by Ms Sharon Calcraft, ‘Yeshua Calls his Talmidim’ featured scenes from Pasolnini’s The Gospel According to St Matthew accompanied by Mr Rowan Phemister’s harp, the Primary Choir, and the astonishing solo voice of Blaize Farah (Year 10). The Massed Choir had already displayed their power and commitment, delivering a rousing ‘Anvil Chorus’ from Verdi’s Il Trovatore early in Act I. But they outdid themselves in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which also showcased singers from Year 12 and the guitar pyrotechnics of Damien Ha, and Patrick Doyle’s ‘Non Nobis Domine’, where the overlapping voices of the younger and older students eventually came together in a wave of sound that shook the Town Hall.

Hundreds of hours of preparation are required to stage such an event. Particular thanks must go to the Musical Director, Ms Mirella Di Giorgio, and her colleagues in the Music Department, Ms Miranda McHattan and Ms Liliane Cooley; to Mr Michael Wyborn and Mr Thomas Wilson; and to the various peripatetic music and other teachers, all of whom were intimately involved in the development of individual items.

2017 Edmund Rice Day

On Friday 12th May the College gathered to celebrate a Mass honouring the founder of the Christian Brothers, Blessed Edmund Rice.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Don Richardson, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, and featured wonderful singing from the choir. A number of Christian Brothers were guests of honour at the Mass. Staff who have served more than ten years at the College were acknowledged with a presentation and Br Anthony Whelan, an Old Boy of the College, delivered the keynote address. Br Whelan spoke of the vital role played by women in the life of Blessed Edmund Rice, in forming his character and encouraging his vocation. Edmund Rice drew strength during times of struggle from the example of his mother, his wife, his daughter, and from Our Lady.

Following Mass all students enjoyed a lunch provided by the College and cooked by senior students. The entire community then gathered in the Hall for the tenth renewal of Cathedral’s Got Talent, presided over by Mr Ciaschetti. The quality of the acts was uniformly very high. Special mention goes to the winners Blake McCarren and Oliver Jackson; second placed Corey Tuifua; and Kendal Kim and Jarrod Houbert, third.

The crowd were particularly thrilled with the vocal stylings of Mr Khoury and the surprise appearance of Jerome Murillo (Class of 2016), cup-stacker extraordinaire. Jerome drove from Canberra in order to wow the crowd, and he received a huge ovation on appearing and when completing his act.

Many thanks to all the staff involved in the running of the Mass and the coordinating of activities, particularly Mr Ciaschetti.

2017 Europe Trip

During the holidays following Term One, Mr Clark, Mr Garry, Ms Marshall, Ms Devenish as well as 21 students, myself included, flew from Sydney to Europe to begin a trip that would see us travel through parts of France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.

Arriving in Paris, we began with a walk through the city’s streets, seeing the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Panthéon, and the July Column in the Place de la Bastille. Among many other things, the group went to see where Van Gogh lived, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Catacombs, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. We visited museums and galleries, including the extensive Louvre Palace and Museum, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée d’Orsay; we admired the architecture as well as the art it enclosed. Following Paris, we travelled to Louis XIV’s Palace at Versailles and Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, before moving on to Amiens and beginning our journey along World War One’s Western Front, where our understanding of and appreciation for the soldiers’ efforts was increased by our knowledgeable guide.

Visiting the many cemeteries was significant, especially the Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery, as all the students had either studied or were studying the life of a soldier who fell during the Battle of Fromelles. We received notice only days before that Channel Seven would cover our visit and broadcast a story to Australia.

After visiting sites in Belgium, we travelled through the Channel Tunnel to the United Kingdom. London was completely different to Paris in appearance but charming. We visited more museums and galleries, including Tate Britain, the Imperial War Museum, and the British Museum. The group also went to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and various other sites. We were also able to enjoy the musical Wicked and Oxford Street, Europe’s busiest shopping street. All the students were very sorry when the 2017 Europe trip suddenly came to a close and very appreciative of the efforts of the teachers who organised the trip and accompanied us during their own holidays.

Kristian Marijanovic
Year 10

2017 Swimming Carnival

The St Mary’s Cathedral College community gathered under heatwave conditions at Canterbury Pool for the annual carnival on Friday 10th February. The oppressive heat did not wilt House spirit, however, with constant cheering happening throughout the course of the day. Congratulations to Polding House for their overall win, their fourth in succession. Polding were ably led by House Captain Jonathan Shead and the students of Year 12. Final Results were:

Polding 521 points
Kelly 383 points
Moran 373 points
Vaughan 368 points

Individual Age Champions will be recognised at our forthcoming Academic Assembly. Thank you to the large number of parents who came along on the day to support the students. Finally a big thankyou to all the staff that attended the day and assisted with the smooth running of the carnival.

2016 HSC Results

The St Mary’s Cathedral College Class of 2016 achieved the best HSC results for the College for a number of years. From a cohort of 103 students, 35 candidates appeared at least once on the Premier’s Distinguished Achievers list, which requires students to achieve a Band 6 (a mark above 90) in an individual subject. Students from the College recorded a total of 79 appearances on the list, with a further five notional Band 6 results. When expressed as a percentage of courses examined, this result placed the College in 109th position in the state, a marked leap on 2015, and among the state’s best performing non-selective boys’ schools. Furthermore, the College received two mentions on the NSW Premier’s All-Rounders list of students who achieved a Band 6 in every subject. Congratulations to Sebastian Chua and Kurt Glaser on this outstanding achievement.

Cathedral students scored an average mark above the state average in 27 of the 29 courses offered. Courses with notable above-state-averages included Industrial Technology (14.36% above state average), Ancient History (12.64%), Information Processes and Technology (9.06%), Studies of Religion II (8.95%), Mathematics (8.20%), Mathematics (General) (7.43%), Modern History (7.22%), Biology (6.03%), Legal Studies (5.6%), Physics (5.54%), and Construction (5.51%).

The College is equally proud of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) achieved by many of our students. This rank is used by students to attain places in universities. Twenty-four students received an ATAR over 90. We congratulate all these students. Special mention is due to Sebastian Chua, the College Dux of 2016, who received  an ATAR of 99.50.

Congratulations are also due to Matthew Burns, Eoin Liehr and Joe Serra, whose collaborative Drama Project received a nomination for OnStage, and to James Kassiou, Jordan Lorenzatto, Lachlan Paull, Jayden Lam, Zachary Tellis, Louie Zacharopoulos, and David Zhu, whose Industrial Technology Major Works have been nominated for InTech.

Once again, I wish to congratulate the class of 2016 on their hard work and commendable results. It is worth noting that these results would not have been achieved without the excellent guidance from the Cathedral staff.

Mr Jason Marks
Leader of Learning, Curriculum

Carols and Graduation Ceremony

On Monday 12th December the College community gathered in St Mary’s Cathedral to celebrate the Christmas season and recognise the achievements of students who distinguished themselves in academic and other pursuits over the course of 2016. Congratulations to all those students who received awards, to those choristers who added immeasurably to the evening with their carol singing, and all other students present, who conducted themselves so well.


Mothers’ Day Mass

On Friday 6 May, St Mary’s Cathedral College hosted its inaugural Mother’s Day Mass. This was celebrated in the Chapter Hall by Fr Don Richardson, Dean of the Cathedral. The turnout was so much higher than anticipated that there was standing room only at the back of the hall.

Both before and during the Mass, the Student Ministry Team and a number of the prefects exemplified their mission of service to others through their assiduous preparations for the Eucharistic celebration. Our Principal, Mr Michael Kelleher, addressed the congregation to mark the first Mother’s Day celebration here at the College. Patrick Finch of Year 12 also spoke beautifully about the importance of mothers in our lives, paying tribute to these women and remembering those mothers who are no longer with us, but who live in our memory. The occasion was also marked by the presentation of a rose and prayer card by each student to his mother, grandmother or aunt. Many mothers remarked on the special nature of this simple but moving, tribute from the young men.

Finally, those who attended were invited to enjoy morning tea, courtesy of the hard work of Mrs Karen Hart and Ms Ann O’Connell. This was a great opportunity for the parents and students to spend some time together after such an uplifting experience.

Many thanks are extended to those staff and students who supported this special occasion.

Mr Angelo Ciaschetti
Leader of Religion and Identity

Ms Carolyn Lewis
Assistant Leader of Learning – Religious Education

Concert 2016

In classical mythology the phoenix is incinerated only to rise again, renewed, from the ashes.  On Friday 24th June the students from St Mary’s Cathedral College demonstrated this unquenchable life force and vitality when they staged the College’s annual concert—organised around the theme and the title of Myths and Legends—at the Sydney Town Hall.

The College’s large music ensembles—the Orchestra, the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Bands, and the Stage Band—all provided evidence of the strength of the College’s musical tuition program and the utility of the many morning practice sessions over the course of the year. The highly polished performances of the Scholars and the Choristers from the Cathedral Choir highlighted the value of having students who are part of a professionally-run singing ensemble. The Primary students, all of whom are either choristers or music scholars, were involved in an epic presentation of the Grail legend, incorporating acting, dancing, musical accompaniment, and singing, including the participation of the whole school in ‘O Fortuna’ from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. In addition, performances from various music classes demonstrated the diversity and quality of skills among the College’s musicians.

In addition to these larger groups there were a number of highly impressive individual and small-group performances. These included the percussion ensemble Drumline, who performed a medley of famous rock drum riffs; ‘Agony’ from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, featuring Year 12 students Patrick Finch and Anthony King with string accompaniment; an alto saxophone duet between Alex Durrant-Whyte and Dimitri Kandilas; ‘Impossible Year’ sung by baritone Marlon Lowrencev; Michael Barclay as Sir Camelot; a swinging rendition of ‘It Had Better be Tonight’ by Chris Keryakos; and a powerful rendition of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Damian Lawrence on the Town Hall organ, one of the world’s largest. The Hip Hop item has become a College institution, and the 2016 edition did not disappoint, with students from across the year groups participating in a dance choreographed by Kieran O’Grady from Year 12.

The night concluded with the traditional and famous Massed Choir item. Beginning with Luke Byrne’s ‘Phoenix’, which built to a dramatic climax after a fascinating instrumental section, with the College’s Orchestra being augmented by the addition of extra strings courtesy of students from Santa Sabina, the students moved into Hubert Parry’s famous adaptation of the words of William Blake, ‘Jerusalem’. The memory of these two pieces as performed by this massive ensemble will stay with everyone lucky enough to have heard them.

Hundreds of hours of preparation are required to stage such an event. Particular thanks must go to the Musical Director, Ms Mirella Di Giorgio, and her colleagues in the Music Department, Ms Miranda McHattan and Ms Liliane Cooley; to Mr Michael Wyborn and Mr Thomas Wilson; and to the various peripatetic music and other teachers, all of whom were intimately involved in the development of individual items.