All boys should embrace their inner falsetto.
For those who are unfamiliar with this term, falsetto is a method of voice production used by predominantly male singers, especially tenors, to sing notes higher than their normal range. For a schoolboy to perform a falsetto in front of a cohort of his peers would be an immensely daunting prospect for most.
In Muster last week, one of our boys had the courage (and talent) to do just this, ably accompanied and supported by other members of the Small Jazz Vocal Ensemble. It was a significant moment, not just because of the quality of his rendition in all its complexity, but also because – on a truly fundamental level – here was a boy prepared to stand out. The courage to stand out is a rare thing for any adolescent, and to stand out for a falsetto is rarer still! In this regard, Joey did us all a favour. He showed our sons that it is okay to show off your best efforts to your peers, to lay bare your passions and, ultimately, to be confident to be yourself when you enter the School gates. Given the uniqueness of all our students, being a member of our community has nothing to do with ‘fitting in’ and everything to do with belonging.
Musters, in their many forms at St Peter’s College, are a meaningful platform for us to promote a diversity of interests and demonstrate an absence of any hierarchy of interests. To any given student, whilst jazz, football or the historical society may not be their ‘thing’ or preference, we do expect students to not just respect but celebrate the interests and differences of others. It is fair to note that I am seeing this more consistently than ever; from my privileged position on stage in Muster each week, looking out and into the eyes of a thousand students, I am seeing more respect, attention, interest and engagement in whatever is featured. Perhaps this reflects an appreciation of being back together in Muster following a term of restrictions. At the very least, it is a good sign of culture.
In their efforts to make as wide-reaching a difference in their year as chief student leaders, our School Captains – Chirath and Aidan – have set about a project that is driven by the priority to include. In inaugurating the Saints Student Association, Chirath and Aidan have assumed oversight of the provision of clubs and societies that exist across the Senior School, and have created a tile on Keystone to facilitate growth in student-led activities. The aim is not just to amplify student voice but also, in diversifying our co-curriculum, to find a way to reach and stir every individual. I have long held the belief that a great co-curricular program should be embedded within the school day and not just lie at the end of it, and these opportunities are exactly what Chirath and Aidan have set in motion.
Whether it is faculty-led, project-based, competitive or cultural, our aim in all initiatives is to foster a connection that leads to both wellbeing and belonging; and, in “embracing their inner falsetto”, for students to feel safe and confident to be themselves in all settings. We are on this journey together.
I hope your son’s start to Term 2 has been a smooth one.
Deputy Headmaster / Head of Senior School