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A celebration of emerging performance artists.

There is nothing more thrilling, as a performing arts teacher, than watching young people find confidence, determination and a sense of self as they develop their talents. Some of these talents are unique to themselves, which can sometimes mean that it comes with fear and trepidation as most of us don't like to stick out as different, but there can be so much satisfaction in not being mainstream.

I have watched two of my voice students emerge as fine performers over the past 7 years and it is a spine tingling moment every time I get the opportunity to see them onstage. When I say performers, I mean that they have gone beyond being just a singer, they create a moment, they imprint their own personality and creativity into each note and word, they affect their audience. You can see and feel the joy in what they do and how performing has built their confidence and self belief in who they are as people.

So I celebrate the part I have gotten to play as these young people are finding and developing their skills, their personality and their self-esteem to carry into their futures, whatever that may hold for them.

Lily Bratchell has always come with a personality and infectious warmth, she has a love for being onstage like no other and sometimes doesn't even need a stage to perform for anyone. From a young singer, who could pull off any comedic character song and had no qualms in putting herself out there to get the laugh to the Seymour College Year 12 Performing Arts Captain, leading other young people in developing their skills as performers, working hard and celebrating the joy and adrenaline rush of being in front of an audience. Now, this hard work has culminated in Lily performing in Seymour's Musical as the Genie in Aladdin and she has blown the audience away with her skill level, comedic timing and polish in her performance.

Georgie Eyres and I have always had a special connection, and most people are a little baffled by the way we openly tease each other to the point where it can be a little uncomfortable, but it comes with a genuine and real admiration, well it does on my behalf anyway, she may just tolerate me and think I am odd. You know when you meet someone and you know there is something special about them, well that is how it has always been with Georgie. She has a talent that is far deeper than she realises and a sense of humility that is comforting. I have thrown challenges at her and she rises to the challenge, attempting songs that most other young singers would struggle with technically but for Georgie, it was all taken in her stride.

Proud, isn't enough of a descriptive word for how I feel! Inspired, motivated, thrilled and excited is a start but there is so many more feelings that hit me as well. I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to share my experience, expertise and impact so many young people through my vocal studio, Wings2Fly Theatre or my own performing and I celebrate every single one of their own personal achievements and accomplishments.

Thanks to Festival Photos for the images from Aladdin.

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