OCS offers Music, Visual Arts and Drama through to HSC level, with Drama and Visual Arts being offered on site and Music offered through Distance Education.
At OCS students are encouraged to develop their creativity through the wonderful opportunities afforded them through our Music, Visual Arts and Drama programs.
The Board and staff of OCS view the pursuit of these areas as an enriching part of the curriculum offered to students, with the potential of stimulating achievement in other subject areas.
Anyone who has attended our Primary or Secondary Assemblies, walked through the school or attended a special event at OCS will have witnessed how much creative activities are part of our school culture. These extend from the regular classroom Music, Drama and Art activities to the special displays, days, performances and events in the school calendar.
Students are greatly benefitted by their participation in creative arts. The expression of artistic talent in music, art and drama stimulates confidence and develops communication skills, while enhancing interest, connection and achievement across all subject areas. The student who achieved the highest ATAR for 2012 had a leading role in the school’s musical; another leading actor achieved band 6’s in both HSC subjects in Year 11.
Parents have been amazed to see a side of their children they had not suspected as they took on the challenge of a significant musical and dramatic role. One father said: “Thank you! You saw something in my child that I didn’t see”. Just under half of our secondary school students are involved on stage and backstage in our musicals and that number rises to well over half when all those involved in the creation of sets, props and costumes are taken into account.
Each year we see that involvement in our production serves to focus our students across a range of subjects much broader than Creative Arts. Year after year we see our leading actors achieve results in the HSC at the highest levels. Students have excelled through the opportunities to extend themselves in the many aspects of creative expression offered at OCS.
The school has received great feedback from the public on the quality of work that our students deliver throughout the year, whether static displays for school open days, or live performances in school or within the community. Our students are also highly commended for their respectful and courteous character and behaviour as they interact with visitors, audiences and theatre staff.
We are proud of the overwhelmingly positive results of our creative arts program in the life of the school.
Each Year the Secondary School produces a musical. Since 2007 our students have delighted audiences with a variety of productions: Pirates of Penzance; My Fair Lady; Hello Dolly; Beauty and The Beast; Fiddler on the Roof , The Mikado and Cinderella. These productions drew rave reviews from audiences, both within and outside the school community. Our students show great talent and commitment in demanding and at times intense musical dramas.
Our orchestra is comprised of students, staff and musicians from the community who generously give up their time to support our performers.
We are always grateful for the huge team from the school community who work tirelessly to produce costumes, sets, props, makeup, publicity and technical support both before and during performances. Musical productions are far greater than the people who are on stage: at OCS we value the wonderful community which draws together to create something very special every time we put on a show.
Musical performances are begun in our Junior School, with Kindergarten to Year Six staging a show every second year. In 2013 we began including our Prep students in our performance evening, having our four year olds perform before the production of Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids. Even the youngest children at OCS can appreciate, and exercise, their God-given creative gifts and talents in performance. We are proud to introduce students to the creative culture that we celebrate at our school.
2015’s Primary Production is Doctor Dolittle Jr.
Our Music tuition program continues to go from strength to strength, having run for many years. Bill Moxey, our Music Tuition Administrator, brings with him a great breadth and depth of music experience and expertise, drawn from his many years as a music educator and performer. He leads a talented team of tutors who are keen to encourage young people by sharing their musical knowledge with them each week. Several of these students are given opportunities to share their newly discovered talents with the school community, especially at our annual Twilight Arts celebration held in Term Four each year. This is always a wonderful event where our tuition students enjoy feedback from a most receptive audience.
The Twilight Arts Exhibition provides our school community with an occasion to witness the artwork, dramatic performances and musical expertise of our students each year.
In their polished music, artwork and drama, our students display a firm understanding of Gods creativity as demonstrated in all that he has given us. Parents, members of the wider school community, and even the students themselves, are greatly impressed by the rich diversity of talent within the school, and the amount of effort that is demonstrated by the finished works.
2012 had the distinction of being the first year in which students sat for their Higher School Certificate in the subject of Drama at OCS. This was a major commitment for our students who put a great deal of effort into their group performance, individual projects and their HSC exam.
It was most pleasing to see all that they achieved in this very challenging field, and very encouraging for the larger group of students who followed them.
This has opened up a significant option for Senior Secondary students, and has encouraged some to consider tertiary studies in areas of theatre and performance media.
Currently OCS has three choirs to cater for different aged singers within our school. Mr. Bill Moxey leads and conducts The Stage One Singers, The Primary Singers and The Secondary Singers.
All three groups have ample opportunity to perform for the student body and wider school community, including the chance to sing each year in the Orange Eisteddfod.
OCS has enjoyed the privilege of having worship bands of a very high quality to regularly lead the school in worship. This takes place regularly at assemblies and also on many other occasions throughout the year where the wider school community gathers, such as Easter Assembly, Year 12 Farewell and the Annual Thanksgiving Service. Our worship bands are always happy to participate in community events also.
We currently have three worship bands, comprised of students from Year 7 to Year 12, under the direction of Mr Peter Cooper. Mr Cooper is a worship leader and music teacher who strives to create a culture of worship music in our school. These efforts are never focused on the music alone, but rather on the reasons for worshipping our one true God.
In 2014 a Stage Band for students, ex-students, parents and staff, began, rehearsing after school hours. This band is under the direction of Mr. Bill Moxey and currently has a dozen members ranging from Stage 3 to Stage 5 students. This band provides a wonderful opportunity for those with a basic level of proficiency on their instrument, to rehearse and perform with others. Their performances to date have been well received by our audiences.
In order to train up students to be part of our Stage Band and to provide a hands on experience of instrumental music, we run two curriculum-based Concert Bands, currently for Year 7 and 8. These bands aim to combine the theoretical aspects of music education with the practical approach of learning an instrument. Tuition on their instrument is provided in small group tutorials with a music tutor, followed by the opportunity to play as a concert band. These bands are lead by Mr Bill Moxey and Mrs Melinda Willis.
In 2016 the concert band program will be available to students in Years 6 and 7, and in 2017 it will involve students inYears 5 and 6. This ongoing program will provide a firm foundation for those students wishing to continue with instrument tuition through our Music Tuition Program and will prepare students for further studies in music throughout the secondary school.