Tuned in to fos­ter­ing feast of mu­si­cal tal­ent

Townsville Bulletin - - FEATURE -

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.”

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