I had never heard of Bobby Miles until just recently. He was an ‘all American football jock’ at a large Texan school that lived for football. The jocks were the heroes of the school and were given latitude regarding study assignments and time off and were paid for ‘yards gained’ in weekly Friday night games. All of this was recorded in HG Bissinger’s book, ‘Friday Night Lights’, that records the rock-star status on the altar of State championships and that their worth was assessed on how they performed. This performance was considered to be their contribution to the school community. In one interview with Bissinger, Miles proudly recalled how he made $252 one Friday night for the 252 yards he gained during the night’s match. Sadly, Bobby Miles’ story ends with a badly torn cruciate ligament. With this went his hope for a college scholarship and a better life after high school.
As we celebrate our 71 years at Villanova College, it is good to recall that our ‘core business’ is simply where education is the formation of the whole person within a faith community. Our core business is every person who goes to make up this community – the academic, the volunteer, the musician, the sportsperson, the freedom fighter, the struggler, the religious, the determined, the average, the agreeable, the available. It is our core business to unleash the dreamer within each of these young men, to walk with them, to help them understand the power within them and to remind them that their God calls them to make a difference.
The context for what we do and our motivation for doing it is our belief in a personal God who loves each of us and calls us by name. We must never be confused about our core business. There are no ‘Friday nights here’ other than the efforts of ordinary young men to be the best they can. If, by chance, our community attracts a fine sportsman, musician, academic or performer to join us, then we will celebrate his gifts and talents with him, but no more than those we do of any other student. That’s core business to be proud of!
Over the past week, Villanova College hosted the Queensland Catholic Schools and Colleges Music Festival. QCMF is a celebration of all things musical. Students thoroughly enjoyed the non-competitive nature of the event where emphasis was placed on enjoyment, participating and improving their performance. The knowledgeable adjudicators provided valuable feedback to all performers to assist ensembles and bands in their development. We hope all students found the experience of performing at the Festival to be both rewarding and educational.
In 2019, we celebrated 29 years of history that has seen the QCMF grow from a humble start in 1991 attracting a total of 12 schools and colleges delivering 43 ensembles. By contrast the 2019 Festival ran for four days across eight separate venues, welcoming over 100 schools and colleges from various locations from Cairns to Tasmania, bringing with them over 550 separate ensembles with a total of over approximately 15,000 student performances receiving comments from nationally recognised adjudicators.
I wish to acknowlege and thank the many volunteers, students, staff and parents of Villanova College who have generously given of their time to support this event, not only this year but during the past twenty-nine years. Special thanks to Mr Michael Jones – Director of Music, Mrs Sandra Magnus, Mrs Alison Schrauf, Mr Gordon Hughes, Mr Patrick Zietsch, Mr Vince Scuderi, Mr Ken Hartley – Chair, QCMF Planning Group and our hard-working Music staff. Well done to all involved in providing this unique opportunity for musicians to perform before an appreciative audience.
Thank you to the many sponsors and supporters of the QCMF. Many of our sponsors have been supporting the Festival over many years and I thank them for their continuing support and encouragement.
There is no greater role than to be a leader in a Catholic School. Villanova College is proud to be associated with the QCMF and I am so proud of our staff and volunteers who have given of their own gifts and graces to enable this wonderful event to flourish. I certainly enjoyed listening to many wonderful and inspiring performances at the 2019 Queensland Catholic Schools and Colleges Music Festival. Well done!
Mr Steven Bremner, Principal (Acting)