Mr Mark Thomas is the Head of Arts (Performance) at Wesley. He joined the College, in this newly created position, at the beginning of 2017 and has quickly settled in.
What made you choose to join Wesley College?
I have always had a passion for working in the performing arts and felt that the position at Wesley would give me the opportunity to lead programs of inclusion and excellence. I believe, particularly in working with boys through their adolescent years, that opportunities in the performing arts allows students to explore and develop their creativity, social and emotional responses , communication, collaboration and risk taking whether it be acting on stage, singing in a choir or playing in a band or orchestra.
Tell us what makes the Wesley Arts Department a special place to work
In my previous roles I have worked primarily in music departments so I have enjoyed the opportunity to work in an arts team that is incredibly collaborate and passionate about engaging students holistically and providing a stimulating arts community at the College.
During your time at Wesley, what has impressed you most about the students?
Having only been at Wesley for just over a year, I continue to be impressed by the willingness of the students to engage in the whole life of the College and to support each other in their interests and talents. I also believe there is strong sense of excitement and enthusiasm in where Wesley can further grow and succeed as we approach our centenary, and beyond.
Outside of the College, what are your favourite things to do?
In a previous life, I competed in and taught ballroom and Latin dancing and continue to enjoy this as a social hobby. As a family, we love to go camping and following a recent purchase a 4×4 we are hoping to explore more of this beautiful country.
What makes Wesley a great place to work?
I believe Wesley is a very special community and I have certainly enjoyed the help and support of everyone in settling into my new role. I also think that Wesley does an outstanding job in preparing students for their future pathways, exposing and developing their interests and talents and personalizing the educational experience for the needs of every child.
What are some of your highlights from your time at Wesley?
There have been many highlights for me over my short time at Wesley including the creation of a symphony orchestra, Beauty and the Beast, the Choral Showcase Concert at Winthrop Hall, and the inaugural Battle of the Bands and Jazz at The Ellington, however, Wesley Takes the Stage at the Perth Concert Hall was probably my most satisfying moment. I valued the opportunity to bring together the whole College community to celebrate the arts at Perth’s premier performance venue. To witness the look of pride and excitment as our youngest students first walked onto the stage – the combined choirs, senior strings and Moorditj Mob sharing the stage with Gina Williams and members of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra or the collaboration of students, old collegians, staff and parents joining in a special finale performance. These are some of the moments that I have most enjoyed.
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