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27 February 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
Horsham College will offer attendees of next week’s Wimmera Machinery Field Days a sneak preview of this year’s student production of the musical School of Rock.
The college has promoted itself at the Field Days with student displays of textiles, dance and hospitality for several years, and began offering performing-arts production previews three years ago.
Production director Emily Friedrichsen said previewing shows at the Field Days helped promote the college’s shows to a wider audience and get students comfortable with performing new material publicly.
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“When we did a Field Days performance for Happy Days last year, not a lot of people knew Happy Days was a musical,” she said.
“A member of the crowd came up and said ‘I wasn’t going to see it, but I will now’.
“It definitely creates an opportunity for the kids to put on a display of their abilities and what they’re capable of doing.
“It’s a bit of advertising for the school as well, but for us it’s an opportunity for our kids to perform.
“The more opportunities they get to perform, the better – this is what they want to do and they’re involved in performing arts for a reason.”
Horsham College announced the cast for School of Rock two weeks ago, with Liam Robertson and Oscar O’Brien sharing the lead male role of Dewey, while year 12 student Josie Thomas has been cast as the female lead, Ms Mullins.
“The role of Dewey is an extremely full-on role and for both of the boys, around the time of the school production, they will hopefully be going for auditions for higher education next year,” Ms Friedrichsen said.
“To look after them they have agreed to share the role so they don’t kill their voices before the main audition.”
Robertson said preview performances gave the cast a valuable opportunity to see how audiences responded.
“I think it gives us a rough understanding of what the actual show is going to be like for us,” he said.
“It’s like another big rehearsal, but with an audience, so you get to work off the audience and see how they react to what you do and be able to change that for the actual big performance.
“I think it’s a really good way to overcome nerves so you’re used to them by the time you’re on stage.”
Thomas said she was ecstatic to be cast in a lead role for the first time.
“I was so excited when I found out, especially because it will be my last year doing productions – I’ve done them since year seven,” she said.
“I know what they’re all about and I love doing them so much, so finding out that I got a lead role is really exciting.
“I think School of Rock is a great musical.
“I love it because it’s new and modern and it’s a lot of fun.”
The musical is based on a 2003 film of the same name, with music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Ms Friedrichsen said the students would perform three numbers – an a cappella performance by Robertson and O’Brien, a solo by Thomas and a song by the student ensemble – during Field Days.
She encouraged attendees to check out the performances and stop to sample the college’s other offerings, such as food prepared by VET hospitality students.
• The Horsham College Student Showcase includes textile students modeling their garments and showcasing their latest creations, from 2pm each day in the Field Days Auditorium.
The entire February 27, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire February 27, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!