From the Principal
The 1966 Broadway musical Sweet Charity is most commonly remembered for the brassy Act I song ‘Big Spender’. The opening number to Act II though, The Rhythm of Life’, lays claim to my favourite number from the production. As two songs from the same production, they speak to very different messages. Where ‘Big Spender’ is a solo plea for attention, ‘Rhythm’ is a chorus number. Led and immortalised by Sammy Davis Jnr, ‘The Rhythm of Life’ is a celebration of vitality and purpose in its lyrics. In its implications, it speaks to Daddy Bruebeck’s call to lead the congregation at the Rhythm of Life Church in Manhattan. For the titular Charity of the musical, it offers a glimpse of a different life, a life led in consort with others; a life of meaning gained from the collective spirit rather than the pursuit of an individualistic goal.
Our return to school reminds me in some way of this shift in focus; the past four weeks an exercise in re-establishing the ‘rhythm of life’ in a changed world. Some of my colleagues have observed that this term has felt, in many ways, like a second start to the school year, such has been the focus on the re-establishment of routine and the re-commencement of activity. This rhythm of school life is something that we take for granted most of the time. The simple structure to our day, down to the regularity of the school bell, offer cues that guide. Later this term, I hope to be able to release a calendar for Semester Two that will provide a summary of scheduled activities for each year level. It will, I hope, be able to offer the final return of the rhythm of school life. It may not afford the ‘tingle in your fingers’ or the ‘tingle in your feet’ that Sammy Davis Jnr promises, but the gentle hum of school life is most certainly a ‘powerful beat’.