The various disciplines of the Arts are an essential aspect of being human. One of the most defining elements of human society is the way communities express themselves. This is especially evident in different cultures and ethnic groups, which are distinguished by their music, dance, visual art and drama. The Arts promotes a sense of identity through ritual and symbols.
Additionally, the health of a society can be measured by the quality and vibrancy of the Arts. The Arts has the capacity to lift spirits and bring to life the hopes, dreams and stories of people. Music, dance, art and drama can make people feel good about themselves.
The Arts significantly enhances the religious dimension of our College through liturgical singing, dance, drama and visual imagery.
Ursula Frayne Catholic College has developed a distinctive portfolio of Arts specialties that has seen the quality of opportunities grow and the talents of students flourish. The Balmoral Street Campus boasts a specialist drama teacher, of which few primary schools can. This has resulted in an increased confidence in students and wider participation across the full spectrum of the Arts. The Duncan Street Campus provides an extensive array of Arts opportunities from formal lessons in music, dance, drama and visual arts to many extra-curricular groups and numerous occasions for students to perform and showcase their talents and gifts.
The College Musical
The College has developed a strong tradition in performing arts through the production of a major musical every two years. In recent years the College has staged The Wizard of Oz, Oliver, The King and I, The Sound of Music, Wonderland and Annie. Students from years four to twelve audition to gain a part. The College Orchestra accompanies the production. Numerous other students participate in support roles including lighting and sound, back stage, front of house and catering. Many teachers and parents assist in such diverse roles as makeup, costume making, stage and prop construction, and general supervision.
The productions are performed on stage in the College gymnasium with additional tiered seating, lighting and sound hired from professional suppliers. There are three performances for the College community and invited guests. A matinee performance is staged for students from feeder primary schools. Each production uncovers an amazing depth of talent amongst the students, creating numerous stars of the future.
The productions have been very successful, drawing excellent reviews from the community and Catholic Schools’ Performing Arts Festival judges.
Each year in term three the College holds an Arts Expo to showcase the performing arts, music, visual arts, as well as items produced in technology and enterprise classes. The expo is generally held on the Duncan Street Campus with items from Preprimary to Year 12 and runs over four days. A particular highlight in recent years was the pre-primary 3D creation of Monet’s Garden.
The expo commences with an official opening incorporating street theatre, a light supper and an opening address by some of Perth’s most notable and distinguished artists, performers and arts managers. Guests are then invited to view the artworks and watch items involving solo instrumental music and bands, solo singing and chorales, group drama and monologues.
A separate Music Night is held to give further opportunities for students to perform in front an audience.
Catholic Schools’ Performing Arts Festival
The Catholic Performing Arts Festival is staged throughout the month of August each year.
The Festival is a wonderful opportunity for students to be involved with talented performers from other Catholic schools from across Western Australia. Nearly twenty thousand students take part in such diverse items as bible reading, liturgical dance, solo singing and instrumental performances, choir, concert bands, jazz bands, rock bands and large drama productions. All events have a judging panel with 3 levels of awards.
- Perpetual Award (Shield) – presented to the top performing Catholic school.
- Honourable Mention – presented for an outstanding performance.
- Certificate of Merit – presented for an excellent performance.
Ursula Frayne Catholic College has achieved success at all levels.
The Festival is staged at various venues around Perth and culminates in a final concert at the Perth Concert Hall. Additionally, many students have the opportunity to perform in the central city at Forrest Chase during the Catholic Education Carnivale.
Angelico Art Exhibition
The Angelico Art Exhibition is held each year in August to showcase the visual arts in Catholic Secondary Schools across Western Australia. The Exhibition is held in the foyer of one of the office towers in central Perth. In August 2010, the exhibition was held in the lobby of the Forrest Centre and commenced with an official opening by a guest speaker.
Each year, aspiring artists, together with their parents and friends, have an opportunity to show off their work and view the work of many other students. The work is judged by a panel of highly qualified people with awards for the most outstanding pieces in numerous categories.
Over the years, students from Ursula Frayne Catholic College have achieved success in the exhibition, winning a number of awards and receiving high praise. One students painting went on to feature on the cover of the Catholic Education Circular.
The Exhibition is named in honour of Fra Angelico (c. 1395 –1455), an Early Italian Renaissance painter described as having “a rare and perfect talent”. In his day, Fra Angelico was known as the Blessed One in reference to his skills in painting religious subjects. In 1982, Pope John Paul II conferred beatification in recognition of the holiness of his life, thereby making this title official.
For budding artists, Fra Angelico is a model and inspiration and the exhibition, named in his honour, is a fitting way for students in Catholic Schools to display their work and get the public recognition they deserve.