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Festival to celebrate sounds of Disney


A tribute to some of the great Disney productions will be a highlight of this year’s Catholic Schools Music Festival.

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In recognition of 100 years since the Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923, the festival will feature popular hits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Cinderella (1950), The Mickey Mouse Club (1950s), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994) and Toy Story (1995).

To be held again at the Adelaide Festival Centre, the musical extravaganza will run from Tuesday to Friday, September 26-29.

More than 1300 students from 67 primary schools will form the four massed choirs, including four ‘new’ participant schools – those joining the festival for the first time or returning after many years. They are: Rostrevor College, School of the Nativity, St Columba College and Xavier College Two Wells Campus.

Festival production coordinator Samantha Taylor said after disruptions in recent years due to COVID, preparations for the 2023 festival were running smoothly.

“We’ve already had three workshops for teachers and the students have been doing really well memorising the songs and choreography,” she said.

On June 19, the first of the mass choir rehearsals was held at Whitefriars School, Woodville Park. A total of 166 students from schools in the region including Mount Carmel College, Our Lady of the Visitation School, St Patrick’s School, St Joseph’s School Ottoway and Immaculate Heart of Mary School were put through their paces by music director, Denise Rothall.

Music director Denise Rothall leads the rehearsal at Whitefriars School.

Another nine mass rehearsals were scheduled during June and early July.

Ms Rothall has also been overseeing auditions for the coveted 32 support act spots.

“Competition is fierce and the talent on show has been inspiring,” she said.

“Being a stage performer at one of the concerts really puts you in the spotlight and can make a big difference to someone who is trying to make a name for themselves in the industry.

“You only need to look at the accomplishments of festival soloist Charlee Watt from St Joseph’s School in Port Lincoln to see what is possible.

“Charlee started out in the primary school Festival Choir, took some choir solos over the years and became a support act soloist during her senior school years. In 2022 and again this year she presented her own Fringe Shows which is such a wonderful achievement!”

The Music Festival has been running since 1989. Over the years it has brought together thousands of students, parents, school staff, parishes and the general public to witness and celebrate the extraordinary talents of young people within Catholic schools across South Australia.

For more details about the festival go to

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