On Thursday June 1, we were fortunate to welcome back a packed audience back to the Healy-Wilson Theatre for our 2023 instrumental and ensemble showcase ‘Music After Dark’.
Since early term one, our students have been working diligently to develop and extend their skills as musicians. The night was a culmination of our students hard work and preparation, with many of students displaying talent and versatility of the College’s music program including performances by Ellington Jazz, West Coast Jazz, College Choir, Voices X, Drumline, Satriani Guitar Ensemble, New Funk Ensemble, Redacted Rock and Blackout Riot.
It is always a rewarding experience to see a student’s musical development from beginner player to confident artist. Each young person embarks on this journey at different times throughout their school life, enriching their education through their skill acquisition, development and mastery on their chosen instrument. Over the past five years at the College it has been my privilege to witness and guide many of these journeys, each as equally unique and important as the other.
A prevailing thread throughout our preparation has been this idea of the ‘cog in the machine’. As I reminded our students during our technical rehearsal, each of them is one part of a massive puzzle that must work seamlessly with many other moving parts. Be it sound, lighting, backstage, movements on and off stage, the success of the whole relies on all of us collaborating towards a united goal. For our students, there was challenge as they not only navigated their music, but now their movements on and off stage, microphones, music stands, transitions…so much to think about! However, as they arrived for the performance on Thursday night, there was a palpable sense of excitement in the air, a sense of readiness for the final ascent towards peak.
It was in this spirit that night was a true celebration of the achievements of our young performers, and the great potential they have in the future. It was so gratifying to see our students come off stage buzzing with excitement and energy from their achievement – be it nailing a high note, a challenging passage or feeding off the energy from each other and the audience on stage. This week our performers have been newly energised to continue their learning, buoyed by their success and the feedback from their friends, teachers and family.
Of course, an event like this does not happen without the hard work and dedication of our wonderful Performing Arts and Instrumental Staff, who have worked tirelessly to provide the rich opportunities music offers. A special mention to our ensemble directors Nicholas Fitter, Susan Neilson, Matthew Balassone, David Zammit, Edward York, Mitchell Cross and Reave Maloney for their guidance of our students. Thanks also to Dayong Wi for her piano accompaniment skills on the night for many of our groups and soloists.
Equally, the night would not have been possible without the talents of Nathalie Fox (Stage Manager), Michael Schofield (Technical Direction), Adriana Tascone (Backstage) and our backstage student crew and lighting designer.
A special mention to our Performing Arts Administrator, Sandra Kennedy for her support in ticketing and Front of House. After 22 years at the College, this was Sandra’s final concert at Whitefriars as she moves on to new great adventures. We wish her well and thank her for all her hard work supporting our Performing Arts students.
Finally, I would also like to thank you, their family and friends, for your active and vigorous support of music in the lives of our young people, that serves to give them the best experience possible.
We look forward to seeing you next term for our Winter Soiree and other concert events – keep your eyes peeled for more great Performing Arts events to come.
Mr Matthew Frampton
Learning Leader – Performing Arts