It’s hard to believe we got there: two periods a week of Work Related and Personal Development Skills crammed together, last thing on Friday, with 22 Intermediate and Senior Music VCAL students. It’s a teaching experience I have frequently been known to refer to as ‘herding cats’. But every juicy, mad, ambitious, resourceful and colourful idea for the festival came from them.
First and foremost they are musicians; creating the opportunity to play their music and be heard by-more-than-their-mates was the goal. And they did it. They planned, decorated and set up 4 stages, populated them with bands and then performed, stage managed, mixed, MC’d, grated garlic/chopped tomatoes and cheered on other bands, according to their various skills and/or motivation.
However, what made this more than our annual VET gig was the extraordinary participation from other departments:
· Peter Anstee’s Live Production crew made it work by running the entrances and cash, doing ALL the OH&S, planning most of the logistics, painting walls and creating signage. Most particularly, Morgan Beck kept us from going off the rails on many occasions – somebody employ that boy!
· Tech students Michael, Yasin, Hayden, Nathan, Riley and Morgan who virtually mixed every stage;
· Tracy Paterson’s Create group knocked our socks off by turning a bunch of old ‘road-kill’ couches into wonderful, topical and luminous sculptures, and thereby turning our corridor into a glorious gallery;
· Various art students were encouraged by their teachers to run ‘pop-up’ shops, selling stickers, totes, T-shirts and wrist-bands, and creating a brilliant buzz in the corridor. These were hugely successful and have inspired Kylie to focus more on developing the student’s entrepreneurial skills next year;
A huge thanks also to the staff who turned up to help (and enjoy!), James Savvas’s dad John for the mouth-watering Gyros, and the ‘ex-Northie’s’ students who came and played and cheered as a tribute to how much this school has meant to them!
The VCALs are now going to write up the definitive manual, “Getting to Couch…”, so we can do it all again next year, ONLY BETTER!