Catholic students strut their stuff at Performing Arts Festival
The Loreto Nedlands Beethoven Strings, who won a Shield for Excellence at the Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges, perform at the associated Carnevale event on 8 September. Photo: Supplied
By Rachel Curry
A boost in entries has led to more than 20,000 students participating in this year’s Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges, demonstrating the huge level of talent being nurtured in Western Australian Catholic education.
Run by Catholic Arts, the festival started on Wednesday, 20 July, with an Opening Mass at Infant Jesus Parish Church in Morley and finished on Friday, 2 September, culminating in the Festival Concert held at the Perth Concert Hall 10 days later.
Along with demonstrating some of the incredible performances of the festival, the concert celebrated the 35 Shield Winners across the six genres of drama/speech, dance, instrumental ensemble, instrumental solo/duet, choral and Christian.
The Christian Brothers College Jazz Band, who participated in the Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges, perform at the associated Carnevale event on 8 September. Photo: Supplied
The four schools that won Zenith Awards for Overall Excellence in Performance and Participation and two schools that won Zenith Commendation Awards for Sustained Improvement were also recognised on the night.
Meanwhile, four students were given a chance for a brighter future, receiving the Vera Chidlow Scholarship, Chapman Scholarship, Catenian Association Scholarship and St John of God Health Care Scholarship respectively.
They were cheered on by a number of special guests, including Archdiocese of Perth Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Vicar General Father Peter Whitely, Judicial Vicar Monsignor Michael Keating, Catholic Education WA Executive Director Tim McDonald and WA Minister for Education Peter Collier.
The concert was a fitting finish to the festival, which involved 110 schools – including 10 from regional areas – and numerous events over a two-and-a-half month period.
Students performed at a large variety of venues, including the Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Wellington Room, Zenith Music Auditorium, Applecross and Greenwood Parishes, Chapel of St Brigid at Mercy College, Chapel of St Michael the Archangel at Catholic Education WA and college performing arts theatres.
Executive Officer of the Catholic Arts Office, Sabrina D’Roza, said she was very happy with how the festival was received.
The Whitford Catholic Primary School Liturgical Dancers, who participated in the Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges, perform at the associated Carnevale event on 8 September. Photo: Supplied
“The Performing Arts Festival was a great success this year, with an increase in entry forms from schools across WA and an increase in student participation. Due to the popularity of the festival and its events, the timeframe was increased to six weeks during the months of July/August,” she said.
“The concert was also a great success with many positive comments and feedback provided by audience members, VIPs and teachers. The concert displayed the vast talent and polished performances of some of our Shield Winners.”
For more information, including a full list of prize winners, visit www.catholicarts.wa.edu.au/performing-arts-festival.