Another fabulous year of VSSS for our St Arnaud Secondary College students! After a two-year enforced absence due to Covid, VSSS was back on the stage! This year we took 3 lucky students down to Melbourne: Maya Feeny, Amelia Kirkpatrick-Harris and Mara Reynolds. They had a wonderful time dancing in front of an audience of 6000 in John Cain Arena next door to the MCG and Rod Laver Arena. Two shows were performed at 1pm and 6:30pm.
Leaving on Wednesday 7th September, we spent two very full days rehearsing in the Arena with 80 other Government schools. During this time the students worked with choreographers who organised each school group into their positions in a giant jigsaw on the dance floor. It is amazing to see on concert day, how the whole production comes together and the mass of dancers move as one co-ordinated group of 1200. Fantastic sequinned, reversible jackets are provided as costumes for all the dancers.
The choir, consisting of 750 students, the 50-piece orchestra and the dancers, are all unbelievably talented. Creative Director, Neill Gladwin, is well known as a member of the comedy duo Los Trios Ringbarkus. Choreographer, Deon Nuku, has performed in West Side Story, Footloose, Fame, performed with Macy Gray and Kylie Minogue amongst many other credits. Hara, our dance teacher from the Performing Dance Unit, travelled to Ballarat three times to put our dancers through their paces. VSSS provided our students with the unique opportunity of working with people of this calibre.
The Performing Arts Unit is an arm of the State Government and they make it all come to life. The lighting, staging and production are of the same quality or better than many touring artists. The VSSS has become a vehicle for many talented students to kick start their singing careers, others are spotted by dance academies and offered scholarships.
A huge thank you to Deb Feeny, VSSS Co-Ordinator and Linda Grigg who once again accompanied the troupe to Melbourne. We also have the invaluable support of our Principal, Tony Hand.
The performances are filmed by Channel 7 and after they edit the two concerts, a 90-minute show is put together. This year it will be telecast on 17th December at 7pm.
Expressions of interest for 2023 will be sought once school resumes in the new year. All welcome…have a go if you love music, dancing and fun! No previous experience is required. It is an opportunity of a lifetime not to be missed!