Spring Musicale

A standing ovation for Mama C!

The Spring Musicale held on Thursday 7 November, marked 21 years at the helm of the Jago Music Family for Cathy Holt. As usual, the audience were treated to a huge program of outstanding student performances.

And after 21 years, and 42 Musicales, Cathy is handing over the Senior Campus Director of Music role to Anthony Bingham at the end of this year.
But fear not! Cathy will still be teaching, and she'll still be at the Musicale's for many years to come.

Below is an excerpt from a speech given in honour of Cathy, by her most talented colleagues, Sue Fletcher and Jeff Box.

"Tonight is a special occasion for us, as it is our Illustrious leader, Cathy Holt’s last Musicale as Director of Music.

In fact it marks 21 years in the position. A position that seems to have no end to the depth of it. The rehearsals, the concerts, the recitals, the budgeting, the taking care of students, the leading of staff, the meetings, the early mornings, the late nights, and the ability to combine all of the above and more, to ensure nights like tonight are magical and that each student has their chance to shine.

Theories like E=Mc2 or pi = 3.142 used to seem very impressive to me. But they pale into insignificance after witnessing Cathy Holt work out a rehearsal schedule for Musicale. An amazing teacher that creates such lasting bonds with her students. Starting from the Year 7/8 program, into the 9 and 10 music performance classes, and then guiding them through the rigorous VCE years. She is there for them completely and unreservedly. She gains their trust, respect and love.

Many endearing names have been given to her by the students over the years. Mama C is always popular, but my personal favourite is ‘the Holtinator’. She has created a wonderful environment among the walls of the Jago Centre. Somewhere the students can feel safe. Somewhere they can be creative. Somewhere they can belong. And her teaching is not just for the students. She is an amazing boss that has amassed an incredible team of people. A team that she encourages to dream big while they do their jobs. All the while under her guidance, experience and expertise. Her leadership style is supportive, nurturing, and she is always available to us for any advice that we need. We are a family.

So thoughtful is the Holtinator, that as she prepared to move on to her next challenge, she saw to it to give us one last parting gift. She gave us an Anthony Bingham. Who is pretty much the male version of her! So tonight is not a sad one. We are not losing her to another school or to retirement or anything else. She is just stepping down as our Director. Things will go on as normal in the music department. She will be part of our next Musicale. She might even get to enjoy it?

No, this is just to get to say to her, how much we love her and that we can’t begin to thank her enough for all that she has done."

Cathy has been able to put together an amazing team of Music professionals in the Jago and broader Woodleigh Music Staffing mix and her work over the past 21 years is best shown in the number of students participating in the huge number of musical offerings available at our school. Thank you Cathy, and congratulations to all students who made the Spring Musicale such a wonderful celebration of Woodleigh Music.

Adam Liddiard
Director of Community Relations