School children from prep through to VCE are putting the finishing touches on their acts in preparation for the 70th annual Geelong Schools Music and Movement Festival (GSMMF)
The region’s oldest festival, this year’s GSMMF is set to be one of the biggest in recent years, with about 2660 students from 50 schools performing across three days on August 12,15 & 16. For the first time, the festival is being held at Deakin’s Costa Hall on the Geelong waterfront.
The festival gives students an opportunity to shine in a professional theatre environment, through a variety of performances including song and dance, circus acts, rock bands, choirs, orchestras and concert bands. Young people from the city, coast and country will come together to perform for friends, family and fellow students, with nine sessions scheduled across the three days.
GPAC General Manager Jill Smith said the festival’s 70th birthday was a perfect opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of teachers who dedicate so much time to preparing their students for performing on stage. Many schools return year after year to take part in the festival.
“After 70 years, it’s fair to say that the festival has had a big impact on tens of thousands of young people in the region and their families. For many, this opportunity to perform on stage ignites a life-long love of the performing arts.”
The festival began as the Annual Music Festival, organised by the Geelong Association of Music and Art, held across two days in the Plaza Theatre. In 1978 the festival moved to Centenary Hall Norlane, returning to the brand new Geelong Performing Arts Centre’s Ford Theatre in 1981.
During the 1990s up to 5000 children came from all around the region to participate and by the 2000s, the festival had expanded to include movement (such as dance and circus acts). Today, the Geelong Schools Music and Movement Festival remains a highlight of the annual schools calendar.
Sisters Rose and Ellie Sejean, both well-known local performers, will host the 70th annual GSMMF across the three days at Deakin’s Costa Hall. Tickets to all sessions are just $5 each and are available from the GPAC box office, phone 5225 1200 or online at www.gpac.org.au