Teachers swap chalk boards for bar chords

Teachers from Pimlico State High School at the Teachers Battle of the Bands 2022
Teachers from Pimlico State High School at the Teachers Battle of the Bands 2022 IMAGE: Julie Coutts

I want to Rock and roll all niiiiight…and educate everyday.

Teachers across the Townsville region swapped chalk boards for bar chords recently in the annual Teachers’ Battle of the Bands. The Battle provides a unique avenue for school pride and for educators to reveal their inner rockstar. The Dalrymple Hotel served as the scene for puntastic band names, themed outfits, and of course, a well-stocked bar. 

Pass or Fail?

Music: A+
Tess Higgins is a music teacher and the 2022 Teachers Battle of the Bands Coordinator. She outlines the concept of the unique competition. “It is all about having a fun, wild night where school staff members put together a few songs and put on a show,” she says. “There is no actual prize or sponsorship – the winners get glory and bragging rights for 12 months.”

Social Studies: A+
Tess illustrates the fish out of water effect; witnessing school professionals after dark. “It’s exciting and hilarious for colleagues, family and friends,” she explains. “It is a joy to see the Head of Maths on guitar, the IT guy on keyboards or the librarian on backing vocals. When students find out about it, they are always inspired, they see their ‘boring’ teachers in a new light.”

Maths: A+ 
The formula for success? “A big PA, stage lights and a bit of alcohol,” reveals Tess. “Music has a powerful way of bringing people together. Teachers have a magical way of making something from nothing.”

History: A+
The origin of the competition dates back to the 1970s. “Some Town High teachers would jam in the staff room and at the end of the year put on a concert for their students,” Tess recounts. “When one of them got transferred to Grammar High – the Teachers’ Battle was born!”

Overall Result:
The winner of the 2022 Teachers Battle of the Bands was St Joseph’s The Strand. Unfortunately, as the only primary school entered, it’s unlikely their young students were able to procure fake IDs good enough to witness the stellar performance.

Overall Behaviour:
Questionable. Very questionable.


This article was supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

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