Celtic Spectacular 2021
Recently, I, as well as other QACI students; Mia Heritage-Kemp, Emily Bennett, Aarya Dath, Artemis Fahmi, joined by QACI Alumni; Kaija Scott and Bryce Delaney, performed in the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy Chorus under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Patrick Pickett of The Queensland Pops Orchestra, for the long-awaited Celtic Spectacular, held at QPAC! For many QACI students, this was the first time they would perform on the QPAC stage, and I am sure it was a night to remember. This experience was thrilling and spectacular in all aspects that had everyone singing along and leaping for joy!
The hard work and dedication of the numerous people and organisations that went into this performance were two years in the making. Due to the challenges presented by the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the Spectacular was cancelled during 2020. However, all sights were then set on making 2021 a performance to remember.
Featuring principal artists were Sarah Calderwood, ARIA nominated singer-songwriter, first joining the Pops Orchestra in 2019, alongside much-loved Brisbane favourite Gregory Moore, who performed as a Tenor Soloist at the very first Celtic Spectacular in 1998. Working with both soloists was delightful and provided a rare opportunity to work with leading artists in their fields and get a taste for the music industry. Both Sarah and Greg brought such emotion and energy to their craft, which I am sure has lit the musical fire of many performers.
Alongside The Queensland Pops Orchestra and both soloists, the Brisbane Boys Pipe Band, OzScot Highland Dancers and Watkins Academy Irish Dancers delivered a performance that definitely brought the spectacular. After all, what is a Celtic celebration without bagpipes and dance? Both the band and dancers truly brought the Celtic spirit to life with copious amounts of energy and excitement to create not only a performance the audience could enjoy but the performers as well.
Performing as part of the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy Chorus was such an honour and pleasure. Not only was it enjoyable, but it provided me with multiple take-aways, from performing with a professional chorus, one of those lessons being the need for flexibility and adaptability to all situations. A willingness to 'go with the flow'. Our chorus director for this performance was none other than the incredible Alison Rogers, the director of the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy and director of the two vocal groups here at QACI, Vocal Collective and VOX. As always, working with Alison is such a joy, and there is never a dull moment as she brings her infectious enthusiasm and pure love for music to all aspects of this performance and all that she does.
We want to extend our most profound appreciation and thank you to Patrick Pickett and The Queensland Pops Orchestra for inviting the VMA Chorus, as well as the featured artists: Sarah and Greg, the BBC Pipe Band, The Highland and Irish Dancers and finally, the QPAC Production Team who without, this performance would not have been possible.
Hopefully, we will join the orchestra again for their next performance, and we hope to see you there in the audience!
...article written By Lexi Parrish, Year 11.