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A Beat in Time

IT’S THAT TIME of the year again. Time for performing arts students, from a whole bunch of schools across the Territory, to get together for the annual creative showcase that is The Beat Festival.

By Tierney Seccull

Held by the NT Music School in cahoots with the NT Department of Education, with support from The BEAT Foundation, each festival responds to a theme. This year’s is ‘Time’, and organisers say there’s no specific reason behind it.

“It’s a word that has many meanings … and there’s a wealth of material out there to choose the repertoire from,” says NT Music School’s Rodney Balaam.

Time features a student choir that is so big they can’t all fit on the stage at once, with 1,000 students taking part over three huge nights at Darwin Entertainment Centre.

The Beat Festival has allowed students to flex their creative muscles on stage since 1979, noted as a right of passage for Territory students over the years.

Beat alumni includes the likes of artists such as Balang T.E Lewis, Jessica Mauboy and James Mangohig (aka Kuya James). More recent times have seen Phoebe Wear and Stevie Jean climb through the ranks, so those names alone are enough to let you know what kind of talent we’ve got kicking around the Territory.

This year, a 32-piece band blasts music from the music pit, as dancers, rock bands, soloists and hosts to their thang onstage. Students go on to pursue a wide range of careers, and there are no expectations – it’s simply a fun creative outlet for all to enjoy.

“They go through the whole journey, from rehearsing in their own schools in the months leading up show time, to group rehearsals, pre-show nerves and finally arriving with the elation of performing for a real and very large audience,” says Bill Grose, Principal of NT Music School and Executive Producer of the Beat Festival.

“By working together and playing their part, they’ve helped create something so much larger than themselves.”

The 2022 Beat Festival - Time
COST $35 | $28 MEMB/CONC $23 CHILD (3-15)

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