Performing Arts creativity thrives during COVID-19 restrictions

Performing Arts creativity thrives during COVID-19 restrictions

2021 has been such a creative time in the world of Music and Dance. Learning to sing and play an instrument is not about working towards a performance. There are so many individual skills developed and benefits in the activity of playing music whether it's in a performance, in a private lesson or simply having fun playing at home. Semester 2 allowed the world of individual music making to flourish. Private Music lessons continued online via zoom over the semester allowing the students to continue to learn and make music. New skills were developed that would not have happened if we were not in lockdown.

PLC Sydney Music students have been working very hard on their solo performance skills. The Friday lunchtime Macindoe concerts in Semester 1 were adapted to become the Macindoe in Lockdown Concert series where students submitted a video to be included in a half hour weekly concert. This allowed the students to not only work on practising and aiming for a goal of perfecting a piece of music ready for performance, they had to work on their video editing skills to create the end goal of a video that had visual clarity and was well balanced.

These concerts were amazing and everyone who took part must be congratulated. Performances included amazing solo piano works, virtuosic instrumental solos with accompaniment whether it was flute, clarinet, french horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, drum kit, bass guitar, cello, or even beat boxing. Many students created wonderful videos of themselves singing over background rock or pop bands, or incredibly edited choreographed dance videos. Amazing student compositions were featured as well, as a result of the wonderful work our students do in the Compositional Club. Special thanks must go to Mr Malcolm Heap for his amazing work in editing the final video each week.

In addition to the opportunity of taking part in the Macindoe Lockdown Concert series, many PLC Sydney students submitted performance videos to Solo competitions within the local or wider community. A number of students took part in the recent Ryde Eisteddfod with numerous 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings awarded. On a wider scale, some students submitted videos in Australia wide competitions such as the Australian International Music Competition or even on an international level such as the Singapore Raffles International Music Festival, again receiving well earned placings.

It may have appeared as a quiet semester for our larger groups however most ensembles met on a weekly basis via zoom and rehearsed in very creative ways or focused on developing new skills. These skills included learning to conduct where students learnt the basics of conducting techniques by focusing on the repertoire to be played in the future. This gave the students the opportunity to express the music through their hands instead of their instruments. Students in the jazz bands focused on learning how to improvise by listening to music and playing along with backing tracks, whilst other groups had special guest clinicians attend their zoom meetings.

The Dance Troupes also met regularly. They worked so hard on preparing for their performance in the Wakakirri Eisteddfod which unfortunately moved from being postponed to eventually cancelled. It is hoped that the troupes will record and release a short video showcasing their wonderful work over this semester.

Emma Furlan, Year 4, Trumpet

Senior Dance Troupe Performance 2021

Congratulations and thanks must go to all students and staff who have continued to show their enthusiasm in creating exciting, wonderful and entertaining opportunities and performances.

Mr Philip Harper
Director of Performing Arts
Coordinator of Bands