Walter Kirby

Water Kirby Music Competition

Walter Kirby is our annual Sacred Heart College music competition. It has been running for 86 years now and is one of the highlights of our music calendar. It is for both solo and group performances and includes 11 different categories covering all year groups. In 2024 the Walter Kirby Competition will be held on Thursday 13  June in the Theatre. 

  • Doors open at 5.30pm, show starts at 6.30pm
  • Food and refreshments available from 5.30pm and during interval - cash only
  • Performers in Formal Uniform

Walter Kirby is a very prestigious competition and as such we invite an external adjudicator each year. The different categories are:

  • Year 7-9 Group – Glynn Cup
  • Year 7-9 Solo – Hyndman Cup
  •  Year 7-9 ‘Treble’ Vocal Solo -Randell Cup
  •  Year 10-11 Vocal Solo – Ferens Vocal Cup
  •  Year 10-11 Instrumental Solo – Fisk Cup
  •  Year 12-13 Vocal Solo – Ferens Cup
  •  Year 12-13 Instrumental Solo – Spillane Cup
  •  Year 9-13 Open Rock – Chunn Cup
  •  Year 10-13 Group – PTA Trophy
  •  Brother Theophane Christian Composition Competition
  •  Sam Dunningham Recording Award

The rules of the competition are as follows:

  1. You can only enter the section appropriate to your Year level.
  2. Students can enter the same group category with contrasting music and groups, with the permission of the HOD of Music. Students can enter more than one category. For example, you can enter Years 10-11 Solo and be a band member in Open Rock.
  3. A readable lyric sheet for the Brother Theophane Competition must be provided with this entry sheet. Failure to do so will make the entry null and void.
  4. Please provide a copy of the sheet music you are performing for the adjudicator.
  5. Each performer or group is responsible for announcing the music before they perform.
  6. Dress is formal school uniform.
Sam Dunningham Award Criteria

If you wish to enter this section of the Walter Kirby Music Competition, here are some general guidelines for you to think about.

Firstly, this award was named in honour of one of our highly accomplished Old Boys and presented to the school by his mother, Miriam Dunningham and family.  Sam was studying to be an audio engineer when his life was tragically cut short.  His family would like his love of music and recording music to be remembered and honoured with this award.

As Sam was a sound engineer, this award is for those students who wish to record. You can use school equipment, your own, a professional studio or website.  You need to provide a CD recording of your work – you may include one or several songs/pieces.

You must enter this award as an individual.

What the judge is looking for is:

  • A quality recording
  • Evidence of editing – you could write out in words your process or provide several recordings, showing your editing process
  • A genuine interest in the process of recording music

The Life of Walter Kirby

Walter Kirby was born in Auckland and educated by the Marist brothers. He had a superb singing voice and became a professional singer, living and performing mainly throughout Australia.

The first Walter Kirby Singing Competition was held at Sacred Heart in 1936. Records show that Walter Kirby left 100 pounds to the College for a singing prize. During the 1960’s instrumental and group prizes were added. Now the competition boasts ten sections and is a valued part of our school calendar.

We remember Walter Kirby for fostering 86 years of musical memories for our College.