Blue Mountains music teacher claims international award
27 Jun 2022
A passionate educator and an esteemed musician, Our Lady of the Nativity Lawson music teacher Fiona Hill continues to build on her reputation as an emerging Australian composer after being named the inaugural winner of the prestigious Cipriani Film Scoring Competition based in Italy.
Fiona topped more than 200 international composers to win the award. It comes less than a year after she was named a finalist for Best Music for a Short Film at the 2021 APRA Screen Music Awards and winner of Best Film Score at the Seoul International Short Film Festival.
As well as working towards a PhD, Fiona’s achievements extend to winning a place in the Sydney University Conservatorium of Music’s Composing Women Program. Led by Professor Liza Lim, the program won the Classical NEXT 2020 Innovation Award for enabling and empowering women composers.
“It's quite a pioneering program because they only take four women bi-annually and they pair you with big arts organisations. It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’ve loved being part of it,” Fiona said. “My cohort were matched with Sydney Dance Company, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and also the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. We’ve workshopped and written pieces for each of those organisations.”
As well as being a strong female voice in the industry, Fiona is dedicated to instilling her lifelong love of music and learning to the eager students of Our Lady of the Nativity (OLN) Primary school in Lawson.
“The really wonderful thing about teaching at Our Lady of the Nativity is being able to share my skills and hopefully, a love for music with the students,” Fiona said. “I was fortunate enough when I was in primary school to have a brilliant music teacher and that really fostered that love for music, which stayed with me forever.”
“Teaching is all about nurturing the individual child. Our Principal Lisa talks a lot about sparking joy,” said Fiona, reflecting on the mission of the local school in Lawson. “We try to help students find that spark, nurturing and giving them confidence to explore things, to try new things and find out what it is they love.”
“I think our school is really good at letting everyone know how appreciated they are, supporting people and acknowledging what the difficulties are for our families. Making sure everyone knows we’re there to support them and can do this together. That sense of community is very strong at OLN. We also celebrate the good things and try to inspire and spark that joy for learners. That filters through for the staff as well. If they’re happy then it flows through in the positive way they teach the students.”
The Cipriani Competition is named after the Italian film composer, Stelvio Cipriani who has worked with the likes of Hollywood directors James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino.
“Drawing on contemporary classical and electronic art music styles, Fiona’s work often explores the dichotomy of the natural and industrial worlds to create a ‘powerful emotional impact’, the Cipriani Competition organisers said on announcing Fiona as the winner.
“It's such an honour to win this competition, especially amongst such talented composers,” said Fiona. “I was looking for ways to get my music out there and form an international presence which is what drew me to enter the competition. It’s such an honour to have won.”
Upon sharing the news on social media, Fiona has been inundated with messages of congratulations such as:
You are such a wonderful composer… very well deserved.
Congrations, so amazing to have your talents and achievements recognized.
Amazing news. Many congratulations on a super result for a wonderful professional artist.
Congratulations Fiona. A wonderful achievement acknowledging your dedication and talent.
The communities of the Blue Mountains will soon be lucky enough to experience Fiona’s musical talent in her upcoming show ‘Earthbound’ (August 25) in the suburb of Hazelbrook with the group Backstage Music. The programme focuses on connection with the natural world as well as the effects of climate change.
“There is such a strong artistic community here in the Blue Mountains,” Fiona said. “I think people are drawn to nature. When I ask students to listen to music and tell me things they hear, many say it reminds them of nature. I think that’s why a lot of artists are drawn to this area. It’s inspiring.”
10 Oct 2022Choosing a school and don’t know where to start? Download School Selection Made Simple to help you choose a great local learning community to support your child's learning journey.
30 Nov 2022
Take a 'walk'🏃♀️ through this awesome Pop Artworks virtual gallery🎨 from the Year 6 students at Holy Family Primary School, East Granville.🤩💙💖 With the help of CAPTIVATE (our creative and performing arts program)🎭, students loved working on their eye-popping artworks and seeing them on display in the virtual gallery.🙌👏👀 You can walk through the gallery and see the names of all the artists via the following link: https://www.artsteps.com/view/636c8f4d6495c1ecaa4ff2e1
01 Dec 2022
Teach Meet is a fantastic series of events that brings teachers and educators together to collaborate and share successes, practical tips and learning. 👩🏫🧑🏫👨🏫 In Term 3, teachers and staff from many of our schools came together to discuss how they've implemented or are planning to implement a PBS4L (Positive Behaviour Support for Learning) framework and initiatives to support student wellbeing. It included sessions where attendees could venture into the classrooms at the host school, Holy Family Primary East Granville, to see the great work being done there. 🥰🤩👍 You can read more about it at the link in our bio 👉 CathWest Innovation College recently hosted the latest Teach Meet which focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).👏 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #granville #eastgranville #teachmeet
30 Nov 2022
As November📅 draws to a close🔚🔜, we wanted to give a big shoutout to all the students and staff from Penola Catholic College Emu Plains who took part in Movember🧔🥸 to raise awareness and funds for men's health.👊 Welll done to everyone involved!👍👍👍
29 Nov 2022
What a brilliant night🤩🥳😁 and what awesome artwork, music and other creative pieces produced by students at Delany College, Granville for their annual Creative Emergence and Design evening.🎭🎨👀👩🎤 It was a truly joyous occasion as the entire school community came together to celebrate the amazing work and talents of students at this great school.👏👏👏 You can find out more about Delany College and check out their brilliant new website here: https://www.delanygranville.catholic.edu.au
30 Nov 2022
It's not just Kindy who have been going to orientations but our 2023 Year 7 students as well! 🎉😀 What a special time for these future St Agnes Catholic High School Rooty Hill students, we spot lots of familiar uniforms in the crowd including Sacred Heart Primary Mount Druitt, Holy Family Primary Emerton, Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton and St Aidan's Primary Rooty Hill. 😇😄 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #mountdruitt #emerton #plumpton #rootyhill @stagnesrootyhill
29 Nov 2022
Our school communities are so passionate💪 about supporting🤲 those in need and Vinnies NSW is one of many organisations our schools love to support.🥰 Students from Marian Catholic College Kenthurst, Bede Polding College and Caroline Chisholm College continue to volunteer their time for Vinnies Van while also preparing for their Christmas Hamper appeals.😇💞 They're making a really important difference to the lives of those less fortunate, especially at this important time of year. Well done all!
28 Nov 2022
"It was so exciting.🤩 It extended my knowledge on science.🤯 It extended my passion for science."💪 Isn't it awesome seeing students so pasisonate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).👩🔬👷♂️🧮 These bright students came together recently for the Science Extension Expo where they got to showcase they're research as part of the Science Extension program which has helped them to excel in their schooling.👏👏👏 Well done to everyone involved.
29 Nov 2022
After an outstanding career in Catholic education, which included almost 34 years in leadership roles, Mary Creenaune, CEDP's Head of Student Services, has announced her retirement at the end of 2022. Mary held a number of senior roles in our schools including Assistant Principal and Acting Principal of Corpus Christi Primary Cranebrook, Relieving Assistant Principal at St Matthew’s Primary Windsor, Principal of Holy Family Primary Luddenham and Principal of Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton. Mary joined the Catholic Education Office as a Project and Team Leader in 2012 and was appointed Head of Student Services in 2017. Mary’s leadership was recently demonstrated by the success of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Education NSW State Conference. We thank Mary for her significant contribution to our shared mission of Catholic education over many years and wish her joy in her retirement. #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #luddenham #plumpton #windsor #cranebrook
28 Nov 2022
It's with a twinge of sadness but immense pride and gratitude that we farewell our beloved colleague and friend Sr Patty Andrew OSU who will retire at the end of 2022 after 35 years of service to Catholic education in the Diocese of Parramatta.😥😇😀👏 Sr Patty has dedicated her life to the mission of Catholic education and has worked in the Diocese since 1987. Sr Patty was the Foundation Principal of Holy Family Primary Luddenham and was also Principal of Mary Immaculate Primary School Quakers Hill as well as Area Administrator, Education Officer and World Youth Day Project Manager.🙏🤲 Sr Patty will be greatly missed by all who have known and worked with her here at Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.🥰💞
27 Nov 2022
Teach Meet👩🏫🧑🏫👨🏫 - what fantastic events bringing so many teachers and educators together to collaborate🤝 on important aspects of schooling and wellbeing for students as well as sharing successes, practical tips and learning.🥰🤩👍 You should read this great article about the Term 3 Teach Meet hosted by Holy Family Primary School, East Granville which focussed on student wellbeing.😇🤲 https://www.parra.catholic.edu.au/2022-PBS4L-TM Teachers and staff from so many of our schools came to discuss how they've implemented or were planning to implement a PBS4L framework. Attendees enjoyed venturing into the classrooms to see the great work being done at Holy Family. CathWest Innovation College recently hosted the latest Teach Meet which focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).👏
28 Nov 2022
Our two Marist schools celebrated significant anniversaries this year: Parramatta Marist High is 200 and St Patrick's Marist College Dundas is 150 years old! 😲🤩 CEDP Executive Director Greg Whitby, Marist Schools Australia Regional Director Dr John Kyle-Robinson, Parramatta Marist Principal Mark Paushmann and St Patrick's Marist College Dundas Principal Paul Ryan recently gathered at the Marist Centre in Mascot to sign an agreement to ensure that the Marist charism and tradition is maintained at these historic schools. 🙏😇 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #dundas @parramattamarist @stpatsdundas #maristschoolsaustralia
27 Nov 2022
🙏Today marks the start of Advent, a time of preparation and reflection in the four weeks leading up to Christmas. We look forward to seeing our schools continue in their outreach to those in need during this time of year ❤😇 St Patrick's Guildford Chisholm Catholic Primary St Paul the Apostle Primary Winston Hills
27 Nov 2022
Today marks the start of Advent, a time of preparation and reflection in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.🙏 We look forward to seeing our schools continue their outreach to those in need during this time of year. 💜😇 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #penrith #guildford #blighpark #windsor #winstonhills #advent #firstdayofadvent @stpatricksprimaryguildford @chisholmcp @stpaultheapostles
26 Nov 2022
It's not just Kindy who have been going to orientations but our 2023 Year 7 students as well! 🎉😀 What a special time for these future St Agnes CHS Rooty Hill students, we spot lots of familiar uniforms in the crowd! 😇 Sacred Heart Primary School Mount Druitt Holy Family Primary Emerton Good Shepherd Plumpton St. Aidan's Primary School, Rooty Hill
27 Nov 2022
We're so excited that the Class of 2022 can celebrate their Year 12 formals in style!💃🕺🎊🎉 The Sydney Morning Herald popped along to St Clare's Catholic High School Hassall Grove recently for some beautiful photos and a story looking at how increasing formal costs are impacting students. 📸📰🥳🤩😎 You can read the story and see all the great pics at the link in our bio 👉 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #hassallgrove @stclareshassallgrove #schoolformal #schoolformals