Yesterday’s hero is man of the moment
A visit by former student and ’70s pop legend John Paul Young to Westfields Sports High is a smash hit, writes Billy Kos.
13 May 2021
Love was in the air at Westfields Sports High School last week when yesterday’s hero John Paul Young returned to where the action is for a special performance.
After taking a tour of his former stomping ground, John Paul Young spoke to around 150 students from the school’s performing arts program about his time at the school as well as his extensive music career.
A former student himself, the pop singer is best known for his worldwide hit, Love is in the Air, and also regularly appeared on Australian TV’s most popular music program, Countdown.
“Music has been important to me ever since I can remember,” Mr Young said.
“My family all sang for their own enjoyment.”
His advice for budding musicians was to collaborate with others.
“Start collaborating with people - they’ll think of things that you didn’t think of,” Mr Young said.
“It’s just a great way of broadening your horizons.”
Students were also treated to performances and inspirational talks from other former students who have gone on to have successful careers in the music industry.
Indie pop singer Ama Attanayake, Dean Alic from Pocketfiction and composer Petar Jovanov spoke about the importance of doing your best at school and pursuing music as a career.
Principal Andrew Rogers said the highlight of the event was when students joined Mr Young for a rendition of his 1977 hit, Love is in the Air.
‘Having John come back to Westfields Sports and share his journey through the Australian music Industry was a special moment for our students,” Mr Rogers said.
“John was so giving of his time and he made a lasting impression on everyone who met him. His performance of Love is in the Air, accompanied by our music students, was spectacular.
“It was a great opportunity for Westfields Sports to highlight the outstanding performing arts students who attend our school.”
School captain Breanna Nguyen performed solo before the special guests and with Mr Young on Love is in the Air.
‘I was very nervous meeting him at first, but when I got to talk to him he was so down to earth he put me at ease,” Breanna said.
“It was an unforgettable opportunity to be able to perform with him. It’s a story I will tell for a long time.”
Co-school captain Ethan Jamieson agreed and said Mr Young had left a positive impression on students.
“His personality filled the room and he is such a natural performer and person. Even though he has had such incredible success he was approachable and was happy to share his wisdom,’’ Ethan said.