Top Acts puts student creativity on display

Braybrook College's band was one of the 19 performances in Top Acts 2018 by outstanding VCE and VCE VET students at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Braybrook College's band has members from Samoa, Tonga, Vietnam and West Africa, who came together through their passion for music.

18-year-old band member Bernadette Silao says, 'I was part of the audience at Top Acts four years ago to watch my brother play with his band from Braybrook, but I never thought I would be on the stage one day myself.'

'It was a unique experience for all of us in the band and a great finish to our years playing music together at Braybrook College.'

Brothers Henry and Tevita Tulimaiau were able to pursue their combined talents in school, playing in the rugby finals as well as participating as vocalists in the band.

'I felt proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to perform at Top Acts. I've learned a lot and it's made me think seriously about doing more with music in the future,' says Tevita Tulimaiau.

'It was an experience that I'll never forget and it was great to finish the night Braybrook style,' says Henry Tulimaiau.

They perform a mix of reggae, R&B, rap and soul music.

The seven-piece band perform on vocals, bass, keyboard, electric guitar and drums and rehearse weekly during their VCE music classes, lunch breaks and after school hours.

Braybrook College students have performed in Top Acts five times over the last decade, and the school receives equity funding to provide high quality music education and give students a chance to develop their talent.

Music in Schools

The Music and Instrumental Music Coordinator, Pepe Gillies, is proud of the school's success and believes rehearsing and performing is a great way to give students a sense of achievement and self-worth.  

'We want to help kids overcome barriers and build on their strengths,' says Ms Gillies.

'None of the kids own instruments. The funding has allowed them to play quality instruments and access individual music classes with specialist teachers at no cost – resources they normally wouldn't be able to afford.'

Research supports Ms Gillies' view that high quality music education lifts aspirations, motivation, attitudes towards school and student attendance.

Top Acts

Top Acts 2018 is part of the annual VCE Season of Excellence ('the Season') arts festival. The concert featured 19 exciting performances of dance, music, scripted dramatic monologues and new compositions by VCE and VET students from the 2017 cohort.

In 2018, Top Acts performers were selected from 11 Top Class concerts held throughout February and March. Over the showcase series, over 200 outstanding student artists wowed audiences performing in some of Melbourne's most prestigious venues including Melbourne Recital Centre, the Playhouse at Arts Centre Melbourne and Melba Hall.

VCE Season of Excellence

The annual VCE Season of Excellence comprises twelve concerts (Top Class and Top Acts), two exhibitions (Top Designs and Top Arts), and multiple screenings of short films (Top Screen) presented in Melbourne's major cultural venues from February–June.

Works are created by a representative sample of the most outstanding VCE students from the previous year, for the benefit of current and future VCE students, teachers and the general public.

The Season is a cross-sectoral project, involving students from government, Catholic and independent schools. Staff from the three sectors are represented on audition and selection panels.

The Season directly supports the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) goal to support high quality education, recognise student achievement and best practice teaching, and encourage students to move into allied work areas and further study.

Celebrating the arts

The stage is set for 'Celebrating the arts' – this year's theme of Education Week 2018.

Running from the 20 - 26 May, Education Week gives students, teachers and the community the opportunity to get involved in a range of performing, visual and media arts.​

Student engagement in the arts can help improve educational outcomes by boosting motivation and creativity, building confidence and self-esteem, leadership skills, cooperation and collaboration as well as forging friendships and a sense of belonging.​