RAY COLLINS: DioSounds 2015

Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former president of the International Olympic Committee, had a habit of stating at the end of each of the Summer Olympic Games that the one just experienced was “…the best ever”. I am sure that many a country’s Olympic Organising Committee sweated on hearing those words at the end of the games they had invested so much energy and money into presenting.

I was reminded of that on Thursday evening when so many Principals came to me and expressed similar words about the Dio Sounds extravaganza we had just witnessed at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle.

It is always difficult to compare one year’s performance with another but one thing we can be sure of is that the 2015 Dio Sounds was of an exceptional standard and the students from our 11 Secondary schools presented a wonderful array of music, singing and dance.

I mentioned at the end of the night how my wife, Annette, had told our 4 year old granddaughter that afternoon we were going to a concert that night featuring students from our various schools. Amelia’s response was “Oh Nanna, they must have practised and practised for that”. Apparently Pre-School concerts must involve a fair degree of practice.

Dio Sounds was no exception as we heard of students practising at lunch times for a whole term, in their music lessons and as part of the school’s sport program. There was fantastic instrumental music on display, great song and dance routines, contemporary music, rock classics and some moving solo vocals performed.

Dio Sounds was (and remains) an initiative of our Performing Arts Coordinators and Music Teachers in each school, originally planned to take place every second year as a midday concert at St Francis Xavier’s College at Hamilton.

Such has been the enthusiasm of staff and students that it is now an annual event held in the Civic Theatre at a time when the students’ proud parents and families and the general public can experience the joy of music they present.

The highlight for me, even topping the quality performances we witnessed, was to hear students speak about what Dio Sounds means to them. They spoke of sharing their talents with similar minded students, giving expression to their love of music, meeting new friends and being able to perform at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle’s premier Performing Arts theatre.

Dio Sounds is the result of the commitment of the performing arts staff in each of our schools and I thank them most sincerely and congratulate them on the quality performances they have developed with their students.

As one person wrote to me following her first experience of a Dio Sounds concert, “…having witnessed what I did tonight I believe the music/entertainment industry in this country is secured for many years to come!”

To all involved, congratulations and thank you.

Ray Collins Image
Ray Collins

Ray Collins is the Director of Schools within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. He is an authority on education issues.

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