A warm welcome to you at the start of this schooling from the Performing Arts department. We are excited to be working with your children in preparation for many performances throughout the year.


All families who are involved in the instrumental music program should have received a welcoming letter from me that outlines a number of dates regarding the start of lessons, ensemble rehearsal and instrument hire. Any further queries can be directed to the Instrumental Music Managers (


I have great pleasure in welcoming new music teachers to McKinnon. In the Instrumental faculty we have Amelia In (Upper Strings); Bethan Lewis (Upper Strings); and Megan Waugh (Double Reed), who have all joined us from the start of 2024. I would also like to formally welcome Martin Lee (Double Reed) who joined us late in 2023. In the Classroom faculty we would like to welcome Tom Baldwin (East Campus) and Leah Humphrey (McKinnon Road), and please note that Ben Browne has now moved to East Campus.


The instrumental team is looking forward to the music tour to Japan, and rehearsals for this have started again as of Saturday 3 February. We will be jetting out early on Friday 22 March but will have a farewell concert before we go. There will be a pre departure information night with more details to come soon. Any questions should be directed to Dmitry Serebrianik (


Core ensembles days and times 

McKinnon campus (Auditorium) 

● Choir (vocal students 10-12) - Tuesday lunchtime 

● Wind Symphony - Tuesday after school (3:30 - 5pm) 

● Orchestra - Thursday after school (3:30 - 5pm) 


East campus (VG.1) 

● East Campus Choir (Vocal students Years 8 - 9) Monday lunchtime 

● Keenan Strings - Monday after school (3:30 - 4.30pm) 

● Ovenden Band - Wednesday after school (3:30 - 4.30pm)


All other ensembles are by invitation and/or audition only, and dependent on ongoing commitment to the core ensemble. The in-class Year 8 ensembles (strings and bands) will also start from Monday 5 February, and instruments will not be required until then.


In-class Year 7 band and strings will be beginning from mid-February, and students will be informed when to bring their instruments soon.


Term 1 Performance Dates

We have a number of performances throughout the year, and the main ones for Term 1 are:

  • Big Band Sunsets performance in Mordialloc - Saturday 24 February
  • World Day of Prayer – Friday 1 March
  • House Music Festival (inter house Music competition) – Wednesday 20 March.
Megan Papworth
Megan Papworth

Megan Papworth

Head of Performing Arts


On Sunday 10 December at the end of last year thirty students (about 20 singers and 10 string players – most already on official holidays) descended upon the Bentleigh Uniting Church, some a little bleary-eyed for a Sunday at 8:30 AM with Georgina Mead and Blanka West. 


Dressed in blacks and the festive red choir uniforms they rehearsed with Coatesville Primary School Choir for some massed items and their own pieces as well, like the medley of short carol snippets called ‘Christmas in 90 Seconds’ which took exactly ninety seconds because someone timed us. They were part of the Bentleigh Uniting Church Christmas Carol Service. 

Students led the carols with singing and string accompaniment for the congregation and processed in with the round, ‘Merry Christmas To You All’. We added the soaring soprano descant by John Rutter for ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and sang many other carols. Ms Mead had arranged the energetic Ukrainian ‘Carol of the Bells’ for the strings and singers, and all of the viola parts for all of the carols. The service was very successful and ended with a big morning tea offered to all and bunches of flowers for the teachers from the organizer Graeme Seamer! The students also shared some Favourites chocolates.


This was the first time this event has happened since COVID and will now again become a regular event for those who love singing/playing those carols to get into the swing of Christmas.

Blanka West
Blanka West

Blanka West

Vocal and Choir Teacher