Choral festival returns to centre stage

After a four-year hiatus due to COVID, the Central Coast Choral Festival is back. Luke Horton reports.

Students sitting on stairs and standing on stage with a teacher. Students sitting on stairs and standing on stage with a teacher.
Image: Members of the Gorokan Public School choir practising ahead of their performance at the Central Coast Choral Festival.

The Central Coast Choral Festival will celebrate its 20th year at The Art House in Wyong this week.

The festival is a series of concerts held across three consecutive days, starting Tuesday 24 October.

It will feature more than 600 students from more than 30 NSW public primary schools across the Central Coast.

Festival founder and Gorokan Public School teacher, Karen Morrow, said the concerts would include performances from individual and group artists, as well as a massed choir.

“After COVID, we were itching to perform again. Many of our students have not been able to showcase their talents on such a professional stage and cannot wait for the opportunity,” she said.

“In 2021, we were in our last rehearsal and all the theatres closed. It’s been four years since the last festival and we’re very excited to be back.”

Ms Morrow said the concept of a choral concert on the Central Coast was born in 2002.

The first of the biennial concerts was in 2003 at Mingara Recreational Club and the festival continued there until 2017, when it moved to The Art House.

“I’m passionate about performing and kids performing,” Ms Morrow said.

“The concerts are designed to give our kids the opportunity to perform in a professional theatre, on stage with sound and lighting.

“Parents and teachers love to watch the students shine on stage and make new friends. 

“It’s also a great opportunity to mentor younger teachers with a passion for the performing arts, so they can continue the tradition.”

Music from Australian composer Katherine Ruhl will feature across this year’s festival, along with 13 songs by massed choirs and individual performers. 

Wyong Public teacher Alex Scotton and Kariong Public teacher Kerry Hansard are the 2023 festival production co-managers. Both have worked closely with Ms Morrow to bring the event back to the stage.

“It’s really exciting to have the choral festival back,” Ms Scotton said.

“It’s a great celebration of the performing arts and public education.”

Tickets for the event are still available and can be purchased from The Art House website.

  • News
Return to top of page Back to top