Watch highlights of the the amazing talent featured in this year’s showcase HERE
It is difficult to accurately describe the awe-inspiring experience of attending Encore last Friday without mentioning the chilling affect it had on your skin whilst the the room filled with an acapella.
As the lights in the theatre dimmed you could almost taste the anticipation and excitement in the air. From VOX’s jaw dropping opening of “Run to You” to Vocal Collective’s cover of the Sondheim suite and each performance in between, every single one was delivered in an exceptional manner. Performances ranged from quirky comedic such as Nick Prior and Conor Leach’s “Well, did you evah” from High Society, to slow and soulful such as Hayley McAlister and Fionn Richards’ “Falling Slowly” from Once.
The vocal showcase consisted of two acts. The night began with an opening by VOX who sang, “Run to You” and “Keep my Supper Warm” followed by an upbeat performance by Cammy Amghar and Benjamin Olds of “My New Philosophy”. Adiya Graf, Monique Baker and Jessica Kable then each performed solos from Beauty and the Beast, The Wiz and Seussical the Musical which was followed by Phoebe Robinson, Adelaide Stolba and Soph Ware who delivered a sassy take on “All that Jazz” from the Chicago.
Sebastian Golenko and Benjamin Olds then performed their much awaited cover of “Agony” from Into the Woods which was followed by Fionn Richards and Hayley McAlister’s duet of “Falling Slowly” from Once. During the showcase the audience was alive with laughter or touched with emotion. Later a series of solos from Conor Leach singing “Tell My Father” and Bree Zernike in “The Light in the Piazza” and a group performance by Bonnie Kirkpartrick, Kate Martin, Madeline Pollard and Isabella Zust Sullivan with “On the Willows” from Godspell.
The line-up was extensive but each performance was delivered to a stunning and professional degree. Perhaps the biggest show stealer was “You raise me up” sung by QACI’s four tenors Conor Leach, Nick Prior, Daniel Yasar and Fionn Richards. This monumental performance sent chills through almost everyone in the theatre. As music filled the air no one could deny the sincerity of the performers’ rendition.
Principal Glen Donald described the night as “amazing”. The quality and delivery of the music was of a professional standard, a quality that QACI is renowned for producing.
Congratulations to VOX, Vocal Collective, the soloists and all those who were involved in the production of Encore: Vocal Showcase, with special thanks to the Music faculty: Ms Kristina Kelman, Mr Matthew Christensen, Ms Kate Freeman and Ms Naomi O’Reilly.
by Stephany Banal (QACI Media Team)
An interview with Year 12 Vocalist Bree Zernike about preparations for Encore
Who decides on the theme of the showcase and why?
“Kristina Kelman – our Vocal Director – decides the theme of the showcase and this year I would say she chose something to suit the style of the year 12’s in particular, as musical theatre is of great interest to me and my peers.”
Who decides what songs are sung?
“We were able to choose our own songs however we then went to an audition with Mrs. Kelman and Geoffrey Ashenden – a Musical Theatre lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music – and we received feedback on our songs, how they suited our voice and whether they would suit the program for this year. In some cases adjustments were made to what was best for us and our voices.”
Is there a link between the showcase and formal assessment?
“The Showcase provides us with the opportunity to hone our performance techniques and style before we perform our final recitals in the 60 Minute Series. Many students are using this as an opportunity to record performances with a professional backing band, adding contrast to our IB performance portfolio. I personally am using one of my songs: The Light in the Piazza, for my portfolio.“
How many hours have gone into the production of the showcase? rehearsals?
“Many hours of rehearsal and production preparation have been undertaken for the Vocal Showcase. Soloists have been involved in a workshop with Geoffrey Ashenden and on Sunday the choirs engaged in the workshop with Anthony Young – A scholar and author on the male changing voice.
These workshops have been such unique experience for us as high school students. It illustrates that the Vocal Showcase isn’t just about the final performance. Ms. Kelman really uses it as an opportunity to better us as vocalists.”