Pleasant Street Primary School stage a concert every two years, with the alternate year being an art show, in which the entire school becomes an art gallery with installations, short movies and every type of visual art imaginable. This year’s concert theme was Retro Revival with all grades performing a nostalgic look at the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s.
This was the first school concert I have attended. My previous concert experiences at school have been speech nights, and musicals where only some of the students were involved. This school concert involves every student, with teachers heavily involved in choreography and crowd management and parents in costuming and makeup. It is another way in which the school community come together to produce and celebrate an aspect of learning.
The school concert can be a fraught experience. Children can suffer from stage-fright, stage parents can be a tad bossy, there are slips and forgetting of lines and steps. However, audiences are somewhat more forgiving, given that they are either related to many of the performers on stage.
However, I’m not sure if it was the combination of music from my childhood and teens, seeing my first born equip himself to the task of dancing, or the boundless enthusiasm of a five year old bouncing and dancing along in her seat, but it was fantastic!
We all had our favourites. I particularly enjoyed the Grade Two rendition of Blues Brothers, where they really conveyed the narrative of the movie with their dancing, and where they interspersed their scenes with stills from the movie sreened against the backdrop. The casting was also inspired, with a tiny blonde girl filling the role of Aretha Franklin.
Mr BG really liked a Grade 3/4 production of Gilligan’s Island/Wipeout- the choreography was tight, and it was apparent that many of the students had benefited from dance classes at one of the myriad of dance schools that Ballarat hosts. In fact, the Grade 3/4’s were the best grades in terms of performance and panache, and costumes!
Miss BG loved the music, recognising many of the old songs from kinder (ABC by the Jackson 5 and The Addams Family were particular favourites) and really liked the Flintstones (also a Grade 3/4 production)
The Grade Ones (Master BG) performed Dr Seuss’s Wacky Wednesday, dancing to Ain’t it great to be crazy and The Witchdoctor Song. The choreography was simple and worked well- my only critique was that it was over all too soon (and also I really should have put some hat elastic on his hat).
The highlight of the show was the finale, with all the students appearing on stage and dancing to Prince’s ‘1999’. The entire school on stage in all their finery was a delight to see. Credit should go to Jackie Kelly the drama teacher and Grade 3/4 teacher Kate Lewis for their organisation, choreography and boundless energy.