Within a brief period of just two short days, the Somerset Sports Centre took on an amazing transformation. The venue, that had successfully hosted Speech Night, was no longer recognisable. Instead it had become a Concert Hall for the annual OC Music Gala Night. Candle-lit tables and a different seating plan, plus three separate performance areas had been staged, creating an exciting atmosphere not only for our students but also for their families.

Without doubt there was a feeling of excitement in the air accompanied by a great deal of chatter. However, the moment our Dean of Music, Jason Taggart, took to the floor there was an immediate hush. He explained that three individual groups of students would enter, take up positions in the three stage areas, then, having all performed their individual pieces, they would exit allowing another three groups to take their place, this was to continue throughout the evening. He then asked the audience to welcome the first set of performers to the stage.

It was then the magic begun. It was amazing to see our young students with the knowledge that they had only commenced the Year 3 Sing and Strings Program at the beginning of the year and yet their confidence and enjoyment was quite overwhelming. Importantly, so was their obvious interest and their keen observance of the other two groups as they watched avidly.

Observing the young students and being aware that they only commenced their rehearsals at the start of Term 1, was really amazing. Their obvious enjoyment at participating could be seen in their facial expressions and their knowledge of performance was incredible for children so young. When the second and third groups within their set performed, they stood silently watching with genuine interest, they looked quite mesmerised and in awe. For many, it was the very first time they had performed and they obviously gained so much from the opportunity.

As the evening progressed, we were entertained by many different styles of music from the various instrumental and choral groups: big bands, small symphonic groups, individual presenters, it was an outstanding display of talent and musical knowledge. It was so obvious that our younger members were learning so much from being able to watch the older grades.

The evening was full of wonderful, stimulating music which had the audience toe-tapping, swaying from-side-to-side, finger-clicking and smiling. One could easily be forgiven for thinking the music was presented by professionals, not students from Prep to Year 12.

The evening concluded with pieces that we all recognised like Soul Bossa Nova and finally the old Glenn Miller favourite, I’m in the Mood, and everybody had entered into the mood for the unforgettable 2021 OC Music Gala.

Spark something wonderful