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Friday 24 November 2023

Students from Catholic primary schools in the North-East took to the stage this week to perform at the Festival of the Sacred.

The concerts, which were held over three days at the Wangaratta Performing Arts and Convention Centre on Monday and Tuesday and The Cube in Wodonga on Wednesday, showcased the extraordinary talents of students from St Patrick’s, St Bernard’s and Our Lady’s Wangaratta, St Joseph’s Chiltern, Sacred Heart Primary Corryong, St Mary’s Myrtleford, St Joseph’s Beechworth, St Mary’s Rutherglen, St Joseph’s Benalla, St Augustine's and St Monica's Wodonga, St Francis of Assisi Baranduda and St Michael's Tallangatta.

Well known songs from musicals such as Matilda and Pippen had toes tapping and the solo and choral performances were simply spectacular. High energy dances and drama presentations, were also a feature of the festival performance.

The Australian School of Performing Arts (ASPA Ed) team has been working alongside specialist Performing Arts and Classroom teachers throughout the term to prepare the students for Concert Day.

The program ensures that all students in Sandhurst Primary Schools have access to a quality Performing Arts experience in their primary years. The Festival of the Sacred program also develops teacher capacity in the development of best practice and teachers are supported with extensive resources to support the delivery of the program.

The benefits of engaging in the Performing Arts through a program such as the Festival of the Sacred include the development of resilience, confidence, and social skills. Extensive research shows that participating in Arts activities promotes well-being and brain plasticity, enhancing the growth of the whole person. The Festival of the Sacred program aligns with the Victorian Curriculum for Music and Dance.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this year's Festivals of the Sacred is the diverse range of performances. Students from various backgrounds and schools coming together to share their unique talents.

As the curtains closed on the Term four Festivals of the Sacred, it is evident that the festivals not only celebrate the arts, but also underscore the importance of fostering creativity and cultural appreciation among the younger generation.

During the year, around 2000 Catholic School students have performed at the festivals which were held across the three deaneries of the Sandhurst diocese. The biennial performing arts festival will return in 2025 with Sandhurst Arts on Show taking place next year.

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