Tuned in to fostering feast of musical talent
A THOUSAND students from 30 Catholic schools in the Townsville Diocese have registered to participate in the 2015 Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival – the 10th anniversary of this much- loved event.
The concept of the Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival was developed from the annual music camps which took place on Magnetic Island for students in local Catholic schools.
Looking to improve and expand on the arts offering, Townsville Catholic Education took the opportunity to create a concert- style event to showcase a range of artistic pursuits, staging the first Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival in 2005 at the Riverway Arts Centre.
From humble and some would say challenging beginnings, the event has grown to become a premier professional arts development program for students from Years 5 to 12.
Townsville Catholic Education executive director Dr Cathy Day said the event was unique in terms of both concept and delivery.
“Townsville Catholic Education is the only education system in Australia to offer an arts development program of this nature,” she said.
“Everything about Mulkadee is different to other youth arts events and we are very proud to be leading the way with our investment in education and the arts.”
Mulkadee is a non- auditioned opportunity for students with a passion for the arts.
Students are invited to participate in a week- long program of learning in their chosen arts area under the guidance of highly- acclaimed professionals.
Dr Day said the Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival offered students from every corner of the diocese an accessible and affordable opportunity to develop their talents and love of the arts.
“The fact that this year our students will learn and work with organisations such as the Sydney Dance Company and NIDA indicates the incredible opportunity this event offers,” she said.
“Many children, particularly those in rural and remote areas, rarely have an oppor-
‘‘ Everything about Mulkadee is different to other youth arts events and we are very proud to be leading the way with our investment in education and the arts TOWNSVILLE CATHOLIC EDUCATION’S DR CATHY DAY
tunity to participate in a program of this nature without having to travel significant distances at significant cost. Even for those students in Townsville who have more opportunity than their rural- based peers, Mulkadee is an amazing program and one that is very affordable for families.”
The Mulkadee program continues to offer workshops in choir, band, guitar, dance and drama.
This year, David Lawrence will run the Mulkadee choir, Peter Francis lead the Mulkadee band and Paul Svoboda take the guitar students, an area that has grown significantly since it was introduced in 2013.
“In addition to this stellar line- up of artists, we will welcome representatives from the Sydney Dance Company and NIDA to lead dance and drama,” Dr Day said.
While there have been many changes and developments over the past 10 years, one thing has remained the same – and it is an element that often surprises parents and teachers.
“So over the course of five days they are taken on an intense journey – learning and preparing to perform,” Dr Day said.
“One thousand students arrive on the Monday morning without prior knowledge of the pieces they will be learning and performing.
“So over the course of five days they are taken on an intense journey – learning and preparing to perform their vocal, instrumental and dance pieces in a culminating concert on the Friday night.
“This is the incredible part of the Mulkadee experience.
“The transformation over the week is fascinating and each year the students continue to raise the bar in terms of their behaviour, their passion for learning and their love of performing.
“In this, our 10th anniversary year, I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank our school communities and families who do so much to help us deliver the event and who have worked to transform Mulkadee into the professional production that it is today.”