Toward the end of May I kept glimpsing advertisements on my television for a show called The Voice. Every time it aired I’d frown at it over the top of my spectacles, wondering at the unexceptional bunch of voices they appeared to be offering the viewers. Now, granted, I never watched the show so I’m unable to make a fully informed judgment. More than that I’m spoiled, because any night that week I could see talent on the Laycock stage that would sing all over the performers on that show, and these kids weren’t even out of high school. And not just singers but also dancers, actors, and musicians of all kinds performing to a standard so mature and professional it would amaze you if you weren’t there to see it for yourself.
For the second year running I was privileged to attend one of the annual variety concerts staged by Youth in Performing Arts, a program that nurtures the CentralCoast’s youthful talent with the help of a number of scholarships, awards and sponsorships from local businesses and organisations. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the program has already provided the Coast’s young artists with a stepping stone toward professional careers in the entertainment industry.
Due to the increasing popularity of the shows extra concerts were added this year, including two performances at thePeninsula. Each of seven concerts presented 28 acts showcasing the best of the Coast’s emerging talent. There isn’t space to list all the acts that impressed me that night, but the highlights included an aboriginal dance and didgeridoo performance, a comedy duo presenting cheerleaders at a chess tournament, and a performance from NVHS Taiko Drums that turned drumming into a performance art that combined percussion, dance and martial art. There were also bands and concert musicians, a variety of dancers, and a range of vocal talent that included rock, pop, jazz, blues and opera, and culminating in a number from Zoe McDonald that covered several of those styles in one song!
If you didn’t get to any of the concerts this year, I have to tell you, you missed out! Be sure to get along to next year’s shows. You’ll be glad you did.