I’m sure that’s how we all felt after watching GCC’s Oliver which was completely brilliant from beginning to end.
With the challenge of COVID-19 and ever-changing restrictions, the musical seemed to be in jeopardy mid-March. However, our Head of Arts Stacey Marshall and her dedicated team pushed on determined to not only put on a musical, but to wow us with magnificent performances. It would have been a tragedy if these Year 12 students particularly did not get one last opportunity to demonstrate their “musical theatre chops”.
I saw the production on Saturday night with my family and was absolutely spellbound by what unfolded. My eleven-year-old daughter watched the performance with eyes as wide as saucers excitedly relaying to me after the finale how much she was looking forward to her chance to be on the stage.
It was easy to forget that the performers were our students and not professional actors who had been treading the boards for years. I would like to congratulate all the students who participated in the musical and make special mention of those with lead roles:
Oliver Twist: Ryan Stead
Fagin: Julian Munyard
The Artful Dodger: Jonty Brown
Bill Sikes: Riley Myers
Nancy: Isabel Holley
Bet: Kiana Reeves
Mr Bumble: Jacques Theron
Mrs Corney: Alex Cameron
Mr Brownlow: Joel Woodhead
Mr Sowerberry: Bakani Kombanie
Mrs Sowerberry: Felicity Agius
Charlotte: Calani Payton
Noah Claypole and Mr Grimwig: William Mathey
Mrs Bedwin: Nicole Theunissen
Old Sally: Rachael Griffiths
Charley Bates: Ewan McPherson
I would hasten to add that everyone, including the chorus and other roles who were on that stage, executed their role superbly. I was incredibly proud of everyone. There was humour, pathos, drama, swagger, polish, poise, excitement and energy packed into the performance.
The high quality of the orchestra was another one of the highlights. The hours of rehearsal and the high skill levels of each band member came together to powerful effect. Our orchestra was a combination of staff, parents and students and they did a fantastic job. Thank you so much team for your dedication and wonderful skills.
Of course, it takes a whole team to achieve something the magnitude and quality of Oliver! I would like to thank everyone involved, staff, students and parents, whether it be those who worked in the backstage crew, who helped with makeup over the two nights, who cut out patterns and sewed costumes, who constructed props, helped with the stage setup, helped with ticketing and front of house responsibilities on the two nights.
I was not alone in my admiration and received multiple emails saying how fantastic the musical was, including this one:
“I attended the Musical Oliver last night with some family friends that attend your school. The performance was amazing and outstanding!!! I would like to pass on my congratulations and compliments to everyone involved in bringing this production together, you all deserve a huge pat on the back, such wonderful talent and commitment from all those involved. Thank you for a wonderful night.”
Oliver! would not have been the success it was without some key people and I would like to particularly acknowledge and thank Stacey Marshall as Director and Ebony Hilton as Musical Director. They were wonderfully supported every rehearsal by James Follett and Sonya Kadel as Assistant Stage Directors, Melinda Carlson in charge of costume making and John Vreeling and Patrice Cutlack who did a significant amount of work in bringing the sets to life.
Jordan Bull (GCC graduate, former College Captain and now professional photographer) captured the performances beautifully with his camera skills and they are all now on the GCC Facebook page. You can see them all on this link: Oliver! By Jordan Bull Photography.
Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and supported our production.
Our next musical will be in our new performance theatre and all I can say is, “Please sir, I want some more.”
Farm and Feed Day
There was another special event that happened on Friday and that was our Farm and Feed Day.
This is an annual event where students of the Agricultural and Hospitality Departments come together to showcase their respective skills and knowledge by entertaining, informing and feeding parents and industry professionals. This year we were delighted to have Mr Ross Hooper, one of the owners of Maleny Dairies, and Mr Matt Golinski of TV and celebrity chef fame, join us as two of our guests of honour.
The day began firstly with a tour of the wonderful farm facility where parents progressed in a socially distanced way, from station to station where students discussed what they had been learning and some of their experiences as part of the Ag program. I was very impressed by the high-level knowledge that the students had and how eloquently they were able to express this.
Then we were treated to lunch by the Hospitality students which was a delightful and eclectic treat.
In the midst of these COVID restricted times, it was not your usual Farm and Feed Day and it was only through the tenacity and thorough planning of the staff involved that the event could take place. However, with careful attention to detail and the cooperation of the non-school people involved, it was possible.
I would like to congratulate all of the students and staff involved on a wonderful day and particularly acknowledge the vision of Jade King our Head of Agricultural Science and Julie Peters our Head of Hospitality to make this day such a success in the midst of these difficult and restrictive times.
Mike Curtis, Principal