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Beat Festival 2021 - Tides

PERFORMING IN THE epic multi-school production that is the Beat Festival has been a rite of passage for Territory students for 42 years.

By Anna Dowd

NT Territory Music School Principal Bill Grose says the annual event has never missed a year, and these days, with over one thousand students performing over three nights, it is undoubtedly one of the largest performing arts events in the Territory.

“Almost everyone in Darwin, Palmerston and surrounds has some connection to the Beat – sometimes multiple connections as students, parents and grand-parents,” he says.

“With a 32-piece student concert band in the orchestra pit, many hundreds of singers in the choir, dancers, rock bands, soloists and duos, and student-scripted dramatic interludes, this is a large scale, industry standard performance.”

Darwin legend Jessica Mauboy is just one of the Beat’s former soloists and performers, and Grose says that, while he gets asked about this regularly, it’s more a question of who hasn’t performed in the Beat at some point.

“Everyone from Tom E. Lewis to Phoebe Wear, Stevie Jean and James Mangohig have been in the Beat in their younger years. It’s a rite of passage in the NT,” Grose says.

“This year, we have students as promising as any other year from over four decades, including two amazing rappers from Borroloola, a wonderful singer/songwriter from Katherine, a feature band from the Darwin rural area, and more.”

For Grose, the secret to the longevity of the festival is the high standards and dedication of all involved.

“It inspires teachers, students, schools, parents, the community, to bring their very best to the project, knowing that their very best will make a difference, and it does. The Beat Festival showcases the creativity, passion, teamwork, courage and talent of our young people, engaged in collaborative performing arts education.

“We continue the Beat tradition for all of the one thousand or so students who participate every year. Some become musicians, some doctors, architects, builders, taxi drivers – who knows. This experience is for all of them.”

Beat Festival 2021 - Tides
WHEN WED 15 – FRI 17 SEP | 7PM
COST $35 | $28 MEMB/CONC, $23 3-15

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