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Chorale takes Cairns High 100 to Brisbane

Cairns State High School gives the gift of song to Brisbane in celebration of 100 years
Sixty Cairns High students have descended on Brisbane this week to share the celebration of their school’s centenary with the people of the state’s capital.
As well as taking home the champion’s trophy from ‘Creative Generations Voice’ Queensland on Thursday, the school’s Chorale performed their repertoire at 1 William Street Friday as a gift to the people of Brisbane.
Having won the regional final for Far North Queensland earlier in the year, the Chorale, under the direction of Lauren Hannay, had prepared for their Brisbane performances for many months and are proud to take on the role of Centenary ambassadors on behalf of the FNQ school’s 1658 students and share the story of the school’s first 100 years with the southerners.
The school’s 100 year history has been a focus for a whole calendar of events throughout 2017. In March the official 420 page history of the school was launched. Seven years in production, author and teacher, Peter Stanton has produced a thorough and entertaining publication which tells the story of 100 years of development of Cairns State High School and Cairns itself. From army base, malaria cases, musicals and more, the school has seen many wonderful student performances, had its fair share of tragedy and been the scene of many interesting events and legendary characters.
School Principal, Mr Christopher Zilm, who has travelled to Brisbane with the Chorale, reveals that the choir’s performance is one of many events marking the milestone:
“The year has been a hectic and amazing opportunity for the whole of Cairns to come together and reflect on those events which have shaped the school, and indeed the whole community. To commemorate the Centenary, the heritage listed iconic building has had an injection of funds donated by a range of local businesses and families and the entry has been restored to its former glory with restoration work and the installation of the centenary window at the top of the stairs leaving a lasting reminder of this important year. A new space to commemorate former Principal, Bernie Mackenzie’s 20 year contribution to the school from 1979 to 1999, will be opened soon and the Premier is visiting the school to unveil a commemorative plaque on the historic façade of the school. We’ve had special days to mark the first 100 days of Year 7, a fantastic Mary Poppins musical and many other student events during the year. And with our Choir travelling to Brisbane, we are hoping to share just a little of the festivities with the good people of our capital and invite everyone to pop up to Cairns to join in the fun later in the year.”
“Celebrations will reach fever pitch in mid-September with the ‘Back to Cairns High’ reunion day followed by the biggest birthday party the state has seen on Saturday 16 September. The Back to 1917 Jazz Supper club being held at the school is shaping up to be bees knees! There will be a lot of glamour, frills and hats. The old parade ground will be transformed with festoon lighting, the buildings will be flooded with blue and white, and entertainment all night will keep the party humming. The award-winning orchestra will expand to 100 and they will play a specially-composed piece, Daintree Dancing by Joe Twist – a LA based composer.
If things get too hectic, there’s the Sky bar with a piano, lounges and the best view of the party, a giant historical display and souvenir sales as well as beverages for sale - Oh did I mention cocktails? A stream of canapes will sustain the party goers and then there will be the biggest birthday cake Cairns has ever seen. And to close off the night there will be a Centenary fireworks display! It’s going to be fantastic fun and I want to invite the whole of Queensland to come north and join us in making this year one to remember!”
The Cairns State High School Chorale will perform at 11am in the main foyer of 1 William Street on Friday 18 August.