Photos: Students grace the stage

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Some were ‘all about that bass’ and others ready to ‘shake, rattle and roll’ as students from six Catholic primary schools in Sydney’s east displayed their music and performance skills at a showcase hosted by Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich.

The annual Mini Maestros event on November 17 featured choir, instrumental and dance groups along with solo performers from St Michael’s Catholic Primary Lane Cove, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary Gladesville, Holy Spirit Catholic Primary North Ryde, St Michael’s Catholic Primary Meadowbank, St Mary’s Catholic Primary North Sydney and St Charles Catholic Primary Ryde.

It opened with orchestras playing themes from the Pink Panther and Batman films, and ended with a solo piano piece. Each school embraced the power of song with choral performances of  Dare to dream, There’s a party here tonight (Our Lady Queen of Peace), My favourite things, Lean on me (St Michael’s), Happy, Seize the day (Holy Spirit), and Flashlight and Fight song (St Mary’s). St Charles Ryde students performed Sing followed by Jump, the anthem for the Jump Up & Down 4 Kids campaign to free children from immigration detention.

It’s a great exposure to the arts.

– Gabby Bermingham

Music teacher at Marist Sisters’ Joel Richardson said the program gave primary students exposure to live performance and the opportunity to see what their peers at other schools do in the same field.

“They also get to see our students perform to see what is next when they leave primary school, and what opportunities there are here,” he said.

“We have a number of vocal groups and a choir, a stage band and a string ensemble. In performing arts we have a number of drama groups and a number of dance groups as well.

“Giving the kids a chance to sing, perform, and act is very, very valuable. Whether they’re playing an instrument or reciting a monologue or in a choir – being on stage, there’s nothing else like it. It’s another avenue for them to explore their creativity.”

Music specialist at Holy Spirit Gabby Bermingham agreed. Year 2 to 6 choir students from the school and others danced with energy to Wiz Khalifa song See you again. Their dance brought together break, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary moves. Mrs Bermingham said the event was one of the few performance opportunities for students outside of the eisteddfod arena.

“It’s such an amazing, gorgeous thing and a great exposure to the arts,” she said. “It’s a beautiful day and we look forward to it every year. All of the music teachers get to see each other, which is nice. It’s a little bit competitive but that’s not the point. The point is just to share skills and gifts.”

Winners in the 2015 Mini Maestro’s categories were:

Instrumental:  St Mary’s North Sydney – La Bamba/Groove Skooter

Choral:  St Charles Ryde and  St Mary’s North Sydney – Joint winners

Dance:  Holy Spirit North Ryde

Solo:  Will Austin, St Mary’s North Sydney, singing Opportunity



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