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Starring role in Year 12

Schools

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College graduate Svetlana Dias was one of the ‘star’ performers of Catholic education in 2018.

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As well as gaining two SACE merits in music-related studies, she was one of only 20 students in the State to be selected to participate in the Class of Cabaret.

Established by singer David Campbell in 2010, Cabaret brings together talented young vocalists who learn the craft from some of the best professionals in the industry. In the first half of the year Svetlana attended regular rehearsals which culminated in a concert at the Festival Theatre in June.

As the opening act, the young star had a lot riding on her delivery of Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ but she produced a stand out performance that brought rave reviews.

Like many of her peers the 18-year-old juggled a range of commitments during her final year of study.

On top of her singing commitments – which also includes performing regularly alongside her mum in the choir at Holy Trinity Church at Para Hills – Svetlana was Performing Arts captain at OLSH and was also involved in various social justice fundraisers such as the can drive for Vinnies and Walk a Mile in My Boots for Hutt St Centre.

She particularly enjoyed being part of the ‘adopt a grandparent’ program where students met with residents at a local nursing home to play games and sing songs.

Svetlana also squeezed in about three shifts a week in her part-time job at The Cheesecake Shop and put in an outstanding effort with her final year of secondary studies.

In Year 12 she completed business and enterprise, music, accounting, general maths and English literary studies, achieving an ATAR in the 90s with merits in music individual study and solo performance.

“It was a super challenging year. It took a lot of effort,” she said, adding that being part of the Class of Cabaret was a highlight.

“My actual singing style is ballad but a friend did Cabaret the year before and she invited me to the show and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Cabaret is so different from other styles of music because you are able to express your performance through singing and interpret its relevance by speaking through ‘patter’. I was so intrigued and the teachers at school encouraged me to audition.”

The talented vocalist, who also plays the piano, ukulele and is learning the guitar, said music had always been part of her life.

“My grandfather was in a band when he was younger and Mum sings as well so I’ve grown up with music,” she explained.

Born in India but raised in Dubai, Svetlana said the chance to pursue music at school only started when the family moved to Adelaide four years ago.

“We never got to showcase music as much in Dubai so moving here and having the opportunity to do more in music was amazing.

“OLSH is a great school. When I first went there it was hard but in four or five months I had made some friends and the school is so multicultural that it’s easy to fit in.”

Svetlana, who is a member of the Clearview parish and was a recipient of a Mary MacKillop Award in 2018, said her Catholic faith was important to her and had provided much comfort during the difficult times when her family moved.

This year she hopes to study medical imaging at Uni SA and plans on continuing her love of singing in her spare time.

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