The Captain’s Tale was commissioned in 2004 as part of the song cycle ‘Beyond the White Sails’ for Caulfield Grammar, under the direction of Davina McClure. The creative journey and the process of involving the entire upper primary school in research and development was one of the most respected composer in residence programs in Australia at the time.
Students in years five and six took part in an inclusive research project with the composer which would result in the creation of a major performance piece. A topic relevant to the school would be chosen, and all agreed that the history of the shipwreck coast of Victoria, including the story of the famous Lockhart disaster, would give the students the opportunity to experience first hand how to research a wide topic and use this knowledge to create a relevant work. After an initial field trip, staff, students and Paul Jarman spent months studying related topics including mapping and geography, special histories, lighthouses, shipbuilding and trade. Through a series of workshops with Paul and local historians, collective input gradually became verse, music and then a musical theatre piece, composed by Paul Jarman inspired by the student’s poetry, art work, stories and melodies. Students had spent a year working closely with Paul and their teachers, engaging in history through the arts.
The Captain’s Tale is a thrilling and enjoyable piece for all ages.
Sample recording courtesy of the Hillcrest Christian College, directed by Jenny Moon