Last Thursday 4 June, more than 450 school students representing eleven Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle took to the stage at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle for the annual DioSounds music festival. Watch the entire matinee performance here.

DioSounds is an initiative of the Catholic Schools of Maitland-Newcastle and showcases the incredible musical, performance and production skills of students ranging in age from 12 to 18 years.

Before the main performance, the students took part in a matinee performance which entertained more than 1000 students representing 45 Catholic primary schools from across the diocese.

The performers had the audience clapping, chanting and singing along as they performed a diverse array of items covering many genres of music including rock, blues, folk, funk, musical theatre and classical music. The audience was particularly excited to have the performers enter the stage from the aisles for the finale of ACDC’s ‘It’s a long way to the top’, which was led by students at St Joseph’s Aberdeen. 

Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, attended the evening performance and said he was delighted with the quality of the performances.

"Each year I have the privilege of witnessing the amazing talent that exists amongst our creative and performing arts students, and this year was no exception" Mr Collins said.

"From soloists, small ensembles, choirs and concert bands to a large scale performance including up to 110 students on the stage, the audience was treated to a wide variety of performance items from contemporary rock to musical theatre," he said.

Ray Collins said from the performances, back stage and sound responsibilities to the Master of Ceremonies, the whole production is put on by the staff and students from secondary high schools.

"We are proud that DioSounds offers such a student-centred approach and it's a great experience for the students to work in such a professional setting at the Civic Theatre Newcastle," Ray Collins said.

“I congratulate all students on their performances and thank all the staff involved for their commitment to making the eighth annual DioSounds a huge success!”

Schools that took part in the eighth annual DioSounds performance this year included:

St Mary's High School Gateshead, St Pius X High School Adamstown, San Clemente High School Mayfield, St Paul's High School Booragul, St Francis Xavier's College Hamilton, All Saints College St Peter's Campus Maitland, All Saints College St Mary's Campus Maitland, All Saints College St Joseph's Campus Lochinvar, St Catherine's College Singleton, St Joseph's High School Aberdeen and St Clare's High School Taree.

View a huge gallery of images below, watch the full performance or choose your favourite school and song! Special thanks to Rebecca Heath and Emma Blackford for these images.

  1. St. Paul’s Booragul - Way Down in the Hole (T. Waits)

  2. St. Paul’s Booragul - Never Tear Us Apart (M. Farriss, M. Hutchence)

  3. St Mary’s Maitland - Pompeii (D. Smith)

  4. St Mary’s Maitland - And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (E. Bogle)

  5. St Mary’s Maitland - It’s A Beautiful Day (A. Clayton, D. Evens, L. Mullen, P. Henson, U2)

  6. St Mary’s Gateshead - Friday on my mind/Eagle Rock/To Her Door (G. Young, H. Vanda, R. Wilson, P. Kelly)

  7. St Mary’s Gateshead - Cavatina (S. Myers)

  8. St Mary’s Gateshead - These Days (Powderfinger)

  9. St Catherine’s Singleton - Hold On (B. Howard)

  10. St Catherine’s Singleton - Man in the Mirror (G. Ballard & S. Garrett arr. E. Lojeski)

  11. St Catherine’s Singleton - Such Great Heights (B. Gibbard & J. Tamborello, arr. S Bradlee)

  12. St Clare’s Taree - O (Fly On) (G.Berryman, J.Buckland, W.Champion, C.Martin)

  13. St Clare’s Taree - Instrumental Blues Jam (Original Class Composition)

  14. St Clare’s Taree - Feeling Good (Nina Simone)

  15. St Francis Xavier Hamilton - Don't Mean a Thing (D. Ellington, I. Mills)

  16. St Francis Xavier Hamilton - Allegro (Barbaro B. Bartok)

  17. St Francis Xavier Hamilton - Who You Are (J. Cornish, T. Gad, S. Peiken)

  18. St Francis Xavier Hamilton - Underground (B. McLean, W. St Claire, J. Willis)

  19. San Clemente Mayfield - Pirates of the Caribbean (K. Badelt)

  20. San Clemente Mayfield - You’re the Voice (A.Qunta, K.Reid, M.Ryder, C.Thompson)

  21. St Joseph’s Lochinvar - Summertime (G. Gershwin)

  22. St Joseph’s Lochinvar - Price tag (J. Cornish, L. Gottwald, C. Kelly, B. Simmons Jr.)

  23. St Peter’s Maitland - Roll Up Your Sleeves (M. Mac)

  24. St Peter’s Maitland - It’s Oh So Quiet (H. Lang, B. Reisfeld)

  25. St Pius X Adamstown - We Found Love (C. Harris)

  26. St Pius X Adamstown - Uptown Funk (B. Mars, P. Lawrence, J. Bhasker, M. Ronson)

  27. St Joseph’s Aberdeen - Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now (M. Shaiman S. Wittman, M. Shaiman)

  28. St Joseph’s Aberdeen -  It’s a Long Way to the Top (A. Young, M. Young, B. Scott)

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Emma Blackford Image
Emma Blackford

Emma Blackford worked for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2009-2017. During this time, Emma held the positions of Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Communications Manager for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and Marketing and Communications Manager for CatholicCare Hunter-Manning.