Mega student choir does something for Kate

Award-winning singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke rocks Sydney Town Hall, performing with 1,000 public school students. Linda Doherty reports.

Image: The mass student choir at Monday night’s concert at Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Anna Warr

Secondary students from 100 public schools in NSW have enjoyed a world-class performance with Kate Miller-Heidke in two concerts this week.

The ‘In Concert’ series on May 22 and 23, presented by the NSW Department of Education, features Ms Miller-Heidke singing her original songs with the mass student choir, including ‘Zero Gravity’, her 2019 Eurovision Song Contest showstopper.

The student choir and music ensembles also perform classics by Mozart, Gustav Holst, Carl Orff, and contemporary music.

Regional schools sent their singers and musicians to Sydney from high schools in Armidale, Bellingen, Bowral, Orange, Yass and Winmalee.

The Hunter region had a strong showing with 150 students from Hunter School of the Performing Arts, the Hunter Singers, Lambton and Merewether high schools.

St George Girls High School, with 86 students performing, sent its largest contingent to the concert series. Fort Street High School was represented by 90 students.

The Department’s Director of Arts, Sports and Initiatives, Jordi Austin, said ‘In Concert’ brings together secondary students to present choral works that display “the power of the voice as a musical instrument”.

“The combined secondary schools’ choir offers every student the opportunity to engage with authentic and challenging repertoires and perform alongside Kate Miller-Heidke, one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters,” Ms Austin said.

The concerts also showcase senior ensembles from the NSW public schools' instrumental and vocal ensembles.

‘In Concert’ is an annual series for NSW public school students coordinated by the Department of Education’s Arts Unit. It provides a unique opportunity for students and their teachers to celebrate and enhance their music education in a world-class performing experience.

Research indicates that participation in musical activities leads to increased student motivation and engagement in learning, has a positive impact on academic and personal wellbeing outcomes and promotes higher self-esteem.

The Arts Unit each year directly delivers programs and events to 64,000 students and 8,600 teachers, with 600,000 more students benefiting from its teaching and learning resources.

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