Burnie High School

Stalwart hopes all that jazz will find its groove in schools

 

TUNNING UP: Jazz legend Viktor Zappner, with students Eliza Paul, 14, Tessa Loudon-Crick, 12, Zoe Turner, 15, Jasper Quilliam, 15, and school association head Ant Dry. Picture: Tony Cross.

Stalwart hopes all that jazz will find its groove in schools

The success of the UK band Dixie Ticklers' visit to Burnie High School last year has sparked the Jazz Goes to School series.

It was a chance meeting between jazz legend Viktor Zappner and Ant Dry Burnie High School association and the parents' and friends' president Ant Dry, as they were waiting for the Prince of Wales in Hobart, when the topic came up.

Zappner was looking for a venue to showcase the talent of not only Tasmanian but national and international artists and Mr Dry said: "Why not Burnie High School's new performing arts centre?"

Zappner had been thinking about the concept of Jazz Goes to School for years.  "Young people are hooked on pop and rock and I wanted to expose them to jazz," Zappner said.  "To build not only an audience but for those who play instruments to try this genre."

Jazz Goes to School will include a workshop for young musicians and a concert open to the public.

The first on this year's calendar will be Grammy nominated New York jazz pianist-singer Judy Carmichael and UK guitarist Sam Dunn.  There will be an after-school workshop on February 22 and a public concert on February 23 at 7.30.

  • Tickets for the first concert in the series can be obtained at Burnie High School or by phoning 6431 2744.

Story by Kate Prestt, The Advocate

Picture by Tony Cross, The Advocate

Centre performs its role

High school kids take advantage of new performance space

There is nothing like the experience of performing in a professional setting.

The students of Burnie High School have learnt this first-hand, with their performing arts centre, which was was opened late last year.

The grade 9 and 10 students recently put on a performance titled Gone With The Breeze, which allowed them to utilise the school's facilities.

They put on two public performances late last month and two for students of the school early this month.

"We wanted to stage a small-scale production and provide students with a whole theatre experience.  We have everything here from stage, to lighting, to sound," head of performing arts Ben Lohrey said.

"Any experience that uses these features helps the students to develop their skills.

"We staged a mini-musical with singing, dance and drama.  It had a variety of over-the-top characters in it and it was a real comedic send-up of the Hollywood scene."

This colourful performance was chosen as it provided students with many opportunities to develop their skills.

"They were great roles for the students to take on, with big bold types of characters," Mr Lohrey said.

"It was quite balanced too, with substantial roles for the whole group.  It was a great chance for the students to showcase their skills to the public.  The more times they get to perform, the more experience and insight they gain."

Mr Lohrey said the skills learnt through performances like this would benefit students in the future.

"Some of these students have a great interest in studying performing arts in college and beyond.  Others use it as a springboard for other careers," he said.

"They learn things like confidence and thinking on their feet."

Mr Lohrey said students had been working hard all year and relished the opportunity to put on a larger performance.

"We wanted to give the senior students a chance to work towards a major project that challenged them and highlighted their abilities," he said.

Mr Lohrey said the performance received great feedback from audiences.

"It has been really positive and they all enjoyed a good, lighthearted, entertaining night out," he said.

Story by DAMITA LAMONT, The Advocate

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