This year about 2000 upper primary and secondary students from 71 regional and metropolitan Catholic schools will perform at the festival. They will feature in four massed choirs, instrumental ensembles, vocal groups and as solo artists in the nightly concerts at the Festival Theatre from September 26-29.
The theme for 2023 is ‘Where Dreams Begin’, in recognition of 100 years since the Walt Disney Company was founded. Included in the program will be 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).
However, Music director Denise Rothall said the festival was “much more” than just a week of performances.
“It is a year of education, bringing together students from differing backgrounds to share social and emotional interaction in a positive learning environment, with music as the focus,” she said.
“The culmination of months of hard work and rehearsals is a large-scale professional performance in one of Adelaide’s most prestigious venues – something the young people will remember for a lifetime.”
Some of the participants in this year’s event gathered at the Festival Centre last month to familiarise themselves with the surroundings in readiness for their moment in the spotlight.
For St Dominic’s Priory College students Lucy Boyd and Jayna Chew this will be their first time performing in the massed choir.
“We’ve been rehearsing a lot and I’ve been singing all the time at home to practice,” Lucy said.
“It’s going to be really exciting,” added Jayna.
Some of the more seasoned older performers said it was always great to be involved in the production, to see how it evolved and came together on the night.
One of Nazareth Catholic College’s Year 12 music captains, Jackson Cavallaro, who plays the guitar and tenor saxophone, said there was “always a good atmosphere” at the performances and he enjoyed the opportunity to “collaborate with students from other schools”.
Trumpeter Madison Selby, who is in Year 12 at St Mary’s College and hopes to continue with jazz performance next year, said being part of the festival had provided inspiration throughout her musical development.
“It’s great to be part of the performance and its especially good for the younger ones as it boosts their confidence,” she said.
The festival held its first performance in St Peter’s College Memorial Hall in 1989, with 16 schools participating. Over the years it has grown to now include four concerts, bringing together thousands of students, parents, school staff, parishes and members of the public in celebrating the extraordinary talents of young people within Catholic schools across South Australia.
Tickets for the festival are now available at ticketek.com.au. To see a list of schools performing in each concert go to musicfestival.cesa.catholic.edu.au
For a chance to win one of two double passes to the festival, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Music Festival Competition’ in the subject line and answer the question What is the theme of this year’s festival? Closing date: Friday September 15. Please include name and contact telephone number. Winners will be notified by email/phone.
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