Bright Lights, Big Dreams at Gala Arts

They say there is no business like show business, and that was the business of choice last Friday night for more than 70 Redlands students as they hit the stage in the annual Redlands Gala Arts Festival.

A staple of the school since the 1990s, Redlands Gala Arts brought together students from its renowned performing arts program for a jam-packed night of talent and entertainment.

Twenty-four finalist acts of Vocal, Instrumental, Theatre and Dance performed in front of an audience of hundreds of family and friends at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood.

Congratulations to Arts Captain, Isabella Dougall, the Vocal Category Winner, who was crowned Overall Winner for Gala Arts 2016.  Isabella performed a very heartfelt rendition of I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt. 

Year 8 student, Armen Shiraz-Dilanchian won the Instrumental Category with his virtuoso piano performance of Tocatta by Aram Khachaturian.

Triumphant in the Theatre category, Year 11 duo Zoe Mamo and Francesca White, had the audience in stitches with their hilarious take on Secrets by Sammy and Randy. 

The Dance category was won by a group of 13 Redlands Ballet and Dance Academy dancers from Years 9-12, with their very poignant contemporary work Hope and Despair.

For the third year in a row, Roseby was announced as the winning house. 

David Campbell, one of Australia’s most popular entertainers, was the special guest judge, taking a break from rehearsals of his title role in the world premiere production of Dream Lover: the Bobby Darin Musical.

With a successful career in television, radio, theatre, cabaret, concert performance as well as being a multi-platinum recording artist, David’s fascinating career and insight inspired the students.

The rest of the judging panel included past Redlanders Sally Mock, Augusta Miller, Tiffany Wong and Christian Wilkins, who developed their love of performing arts while at school.

“Every year I am always so impressed by the talent, dedication and joy these students bring to their performances, and 2016 was no different,” said Principal Dr Peter Lennox.

“Gala Arts is an opportunity for our singers, dancers, actors and musicians to share their passion with the school community, whether it be the 70 students on stage or the 300 students who auditioned.

“To everyone who will performed last Friday night, every student who auditioned, those working backstage, and every parent, teacher and friend who helped in the preparation for the evening, I would like to say thank you.