Catholic Schools Music Festival

Catholic Schools Music Festival

Celebrating its 34th year in 2022, the Music Festival returned to the Adelaide Festival Centre with 1,900 students from 81 Catholic schools delivering outstanding performances on the stage of the Festival Theatre from Monday 26 to Thursday 29 September. This year the team were pleased to embrace the facelift of this much-loved venue and enjoyed working front-of-house and backstage and most thrillingly, on stage.

Of the 67 schools participating in the massed primary choirs, six were from regional schools: St Joseph’s School Murray Bridge, St Mary MacKillop School Wallaroo, Samaritan College Whyalla OLHC Campus and St Teresa’s Campus, St Joseph’s School Clare, and St Columba’s Memorial School Yorketown. All schools came together one month prior to the festival for their combined rehearsals, hosted by Loreto College.

Support Act audition applications came from 19 secondary schools and colleges who submitted 63 separate items comprising large and small instrumental ensembles, vocal groups and solo artists. The 2022 Festival committee accepted 30 acts from 16 schools. Foyer Acts represented by five schools and colleges presented foyer entertainment creating a lively atmosphere in the Festival Centre’s Quartet Bar.

Supporting artists who accompany the massed Festival Choirs included the Festival String Ensemble comprising seven students from St Mary’s College, St Aloysius College and St Dominic’s Priory College; the Secondary Boys Vocal Ensemble with a membership of 31 boys representing Blackfriars Priory School, Cabra Dominican College, Christian Brothers College, Nazareth College and St Michael’s College; the Secondary Girls’ Choir with a membership of 25 students from St Mary’s College; the 3-piece rhythm section represented by Kildare College. Festival Accompanists, Ms Meredith Wilson and Ms Pamela Buccini, played two performances each and assisted at professional development workshops, schools’ hub assessments, combined rehearsals, and various student auditions throughout the year. Pamela retires as festival accompanist at the conclusion of 2022, a role she has enthusiastically held since 2001. She completed her 80th performance on the final evening of the Festival.

The Monday and Tuesday night performances were compered by Mr Gary Pascoe, Deputy Principal at Emmaus Catholic School with co-hosts Cabra Dominican College student Isla-Cate Wilson and Christian Brothers College student Henry Tran.  Ms Marianne Loftus, Deputy Principal at St Paul’s College, compered the Wednesday and Thursday evening performances with co-hosts Erin Ng from St Ignatius’ College and Caleb Head from Nazareth Catholic College.

The Catholic Schools Music Festival Management Committee in 2022 comprised 12 members consisting of principals, deputy principals, APRIMs, music coordinators, choir trainers, and representatives from the Catholic Education Office. New members Mr Adam Slater, Deputy Principal at Holy Family Catholic School and Ms Michelle Page, Senior Leader, Mount Carmel College were welcomed to the committee. Retiring at the conclusion of 2022 is Mr Gennaro Mannella who has served on the Management Committee for 20 years, and as Chair since 2011. Current and past members sincerely acknowledge Gennaro’s steadfast support, and genuine dedication and commitment to the students and the festival.

Visit Catholic Schools Music Festival Website