Director of Music | Mr Derek Rose

The simple things in life - The Ruben Centre Orchestra

How often do we get caught up with the complexities of our fast paced ever changing world? Do we place importance on having the most likes, keeping on top of the latest tweets, blogging, savouring an exploding Inbox, posting to Tik Tok, to name just a few.

As an EREA school, we are part of a global network that supports communities from all facets of life regardless of their circumstances.

One such initiative is the Ruben Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which provides hope for the people who live in the Ruben slum known as the Mukuru community. Started by Sister Mary Killeen in 1986, the Christian Brothers (now under EREA) have supported and run the centre since 2001. With a vision to empower the local community, their mission is to provide quality education and healthcare to children and families. This aligns to their three core values are Presence, Compassion and Liberation. The program relies on the general support of donors and partners to survive.

The Ruben Centre Orchestra, started by Elizabeth Njoroge, was born out of her passion that all people should have access to learning a musical instrument regardless of their circumstances. Launched as the Ghetto Classics program, the program began with 14 children who attended classes twice a week and played on instruments donated by Kenya’s Conservatoire. In Elizabeth’s words

Our vision for this orchestra is for it to be a true instrument (all puns aside) for uniting the whole slum community, including the children, youth and adults alike.

The program has now significantly grown thanks to the support from EREA communities across the globe, in particular Australia. It now runs an array of music programs, including weekend programs for high school students, music camps where educators abroad can donate their time to teach, inspire and support the instrumental instructors. Many of the instructors have grown out of their involvement in the program as children. In August last year, before the world plunged into the COVID pandemic, I was to travel to the Ruben Centre and work with these students and teachers. While COVID has temporarily hindered this element of the program, I hope that these opportunities will resume in time.

If we truly believe and live out the four EREA Touchstones of Liberating Education, Gospel Spirituality, Inclusive Community and Justice and Solidarity as a Terrace community, what else can we do? Gentlemen of Terrace, are you grateful for the array of musical experiences and opportunities afforded to you daily? I challenge all of us to reflect on our opportunities. What is important to us, and what we are grateful for? How can we use this for the greater good of not only our Terrace Music program but broadly across the College and the wider Terrace Family?

1st XV and 1st V

Last Saturday, the Red Thunder Drumline and the Sousa Army performed at our respective First’s games in the final GPS round of the season. Both ensembles are to be commended on how they not only performed but also for their ability to adapt with members of each team absent due to injury and Immersion. Well done.

Term 3

  • Friday 17 September - Terrace Choir and Youth Choir Workshop
  • Monday 20 & Tuesday 21 September - Guitar Orchestra Workshop
  • Monday 27 & Tuesday 28 September - Rhythm Workshop
  • Thursday 30 September - SWE Holiday workshop