On Tuesday November 23 and Thursday November 25 over 200 students from Merimbula Public School showcased their talents, and the school's Performing Arts Programs, to sell out audiences at the "Performing Arts Extravaganza" held at Merimbula Public School.
Over 250 parents, grandparents, carers and community members packed the Jackson Hall each evening to be entertained by the overhead lighting display, sets, costumes, teacher accompaniments and range of student performance groups. More than 30 items were presented on the night. These included items from the Merimbula Public School: Choir, Recorder Ensemble, Instrumental Ensemble, Performance Band, Year 5 Rock Band, Woodwinds Ensemble, Flute Duet, Beginner Guitar Tutorial Ensemble, Instrumental Trio, Years 3 to 6 Dance Group, Year 5 Dance Ensemble, Kindergarten and Year 6 students.
All groups were very talented and very entertaining. "We are very fortunate to have a large talented and dedicated staff at Merimbula Public School who provide these opportunities" shared Principal Mrs Michelle Hulme. "Not many places in the world would offer free education and free musical tuition to all students. At Merimbula Public School we have a range of free tutorial programs in guitar, vocals, beginner band, recorder and dance. When students become talented in the arts they can also opt to participate in extension programs with a music tutor. This is why our programs have become so successful". Merimbula Public School also hires flutes, clarinets, guitars, saxophones and violins to students to help make music more accessible to students.
Over the evenings the student groups shared items they had been developing in beginner, intermediate and extension performing arts groups. They even presented an encore presentation of the dance and recorder items that were hits at the Sapphire Coast Learning Community performance at Eden High School and the Festival Of Instrumental Music performance at the Opera House earlier in the year. "Our Opera House and Eden High performances were such hits, we had to share them again" said Music Teacher Mr Peter Claxton. "So many parents had heard about them but had not seen the talent for themselves".
The Woodwinds Ensemble also presented an encore of two pieces they had shared with the Department Of Education's Regional Management Team at a meeting held at Merimbula Public School earlier in the month. In early November the students entertained a fascinated audience of 12 School Education Directors from the Illawarra South East Region and the Regional Director Ms Maria Grey-Spence.
Mr Peter Claxton and Mrs Fiona Hosken, together with the school's Performing Arts Committee, coordinated the Performing Arts Extravaganza. They sold tickets at a minimal $5 each in order to raise funds for new music, lighting and sound equipment for the school's performing arts groups. This will be added to the great array of equipment the school already has, including the recently purchased sound system thanks to the Merimbula Public School Parents and Citizens Association.
"We have great lighting and sound equipment at our school" said Principal Michelle Hulme. "It is great to see the students learning how to use it so that they can add to the performance". Year 6 students Ely, Madison, Jesse and Elisha were lighting directors throughout the performances. The sets were painted by talented students from the Years 3 to 6 Talented Artist Group and the Reynolds family shared a range of Christmas lights to compliment the performance.
Merimbula Public School Parent, Jo Miller, was one of many guests who thoroughly enjoyed the performance "I would just like to pass on my congratulations to the whole school for the fabulous performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great opportunity for the children to experience performing in front of an audience whilst developing confidence. It was lovely to see the students all enjoying themselves and enjoying watching their fellow students perform".
Ms Candy McVeity, the School Music Tutor, and Mrs Mary Taylor, who accompanied students on the piano, added great support to the evening. Mr Laurie Delle Vergin was also a great support to the Performance Band throughout the year, offering free tuition to participating students. Mr Ross Mannell, retired Merimbula Public School teacher, also offered his support at the performances, making a DVD for the students.
The whole school community is very proud of all of the participating students and looks forward to more students becoming a part of performing arts initiatives in the coming year. Staff cannot wait to see how great next year's performance will be!
Check out our photo albums on the front page for more great photos!