As a Loreto Normanhurst tradition, the Music Festival has always been an anticipated event in the minds of parents, students, and staff alike. Held at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, a recent change of venue from the States Sport Centre in Olympic Park, the night never fails to elicit a sense of excitement from all. This year’s Music Festival was no different, perhaps more exciting in fact as it marked Ms. Watkins’ final Music Festival as principal and showcased the best and most talented Normo has to offer.
As a year 12, experiencing this for the last time was emotional to say the least and many seniors felt a twisted sense of sadness and joy as we would finally be able to take our place on stage in the ending ‘Cruci’ - yet we knew that never again would we get to join one hundred and twenty or so girls in chorus singing with passion and the deep desire to take home a trophy for your house. Despite this, the night began with group braiding and frantic ribbon hunting in an effort to look as coordinated as hundreds of girls with different hair textures can. A final check of roles, badges and blazers marked the beginning of the night as the lights dropped and silence descended.
A ‘Welcome to Country’ by the Indigenous students of our community began the performances. Our hosts, Performing Arts Captain Lily Black and Music Captain Yasmine Barraket, led the night in spectacular fashion - composed, articulate, and entertaining; the hosts were finally able to relax and revel in the success that their hard work and dedication produced. A myriad of incredible performances followed with pieces from the school symphony, chamber strings, primary band and choir demonstrating the musical capacity held by Loreto girls.
This year, despite there being no year 12 performance, there were many individual year 12s who showcased their brilliant abilities on stage. The acts included Margaux Choo on piano, Isabella Davey on clarinet, and Claire O’Connor singing opera. The primary choir was enthusiastic and lively, whilst the boarder choir, as always, didn’t disappoint.
After intermission began the house choirs, with two standouts this year - Kuring-Gai and Barry, performing ‘War’ and ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ respectively. Unsurprisingly, Ginger Soames won Best Conductor for her creative and daring composition and enthusiasm, whilst Barry took home the big prize of the night: Music Festival Winner 2018. Whilst very much deserved by Barry, the high calabre of many the choirs’ performances meant it was hard to predict a winner and many were divided between these two and a few other houses. Kendall won best accompanist of the night with star played Stephanie Arnold, with House Spirit going to the marvellous Mulhall Choir for their amazing participation and enthusiasm when listening to the other houses.
After ending the night with a farewell composition for Ms Watkins with soloists, a year 12 performance and a whole school sing-a-long, many left the centre feeling elated and personally, this Music Festival seemed to be the most lively and entertaining yet - whether this was because it was my last or because it seemed the entire school was just as enthusiastic as I was is unclear, but what remains is that Music Festival is an incredible and unique night - one that never fails to disappoint.