The great artistic talents of students and staff across 150 Sydney Catholic Schools has been celebrated through an innovative Lockdown Arts Festival, showcasing 900 creative works, highlighting their incredible creative talent.
Entries were open to students and staff across five categories: Dance, Visual Arts, Drama, Literature and Music.
Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, Mr Tony Farley said the festival was a great opportunity to celebrate and nurture the artistic talents of school communities during the challenging circumstances of lockdown.
“It’s through the arts that we can explore, discover and understand the human condition, who we are and who we can be as part of a broader community”, he explained.
“Rights across our wide network of schools, there’s a real creative buzz about our place in the creative landscape of our city and a growing feeling and realisation that no matter which of our schools you are part of, you’re in a place where your artistic skills will be valued and nurtured”.
Amongst the stand-out schools in the competition was Holy Spirit Primary School in Carnes Hill which received a remarkable eight awards across Literature, Dance, Music, Drama and Visual Arts.
“The festival has been so well received and it helped everyone feel connected to the broader Sydney Catholic Schools community.”
Principal, Br Nicholas Harsas fsp said the school community was overwhelmed by its success.
“We’re fortunate here to have a specialist visual arts teacher, a music teacher and another teacher who specialises in dance and the performing arts, which has certainly helped. The parents were so excited to learn about their childrens’ success and it certainly helped to really brighten some of the darker moments in lockdown”.
Many of the Holy Spirit students used their work to reflect upon the challenges of the lockdown, with Stephanie Scicula winning the Literature-Short Story competition in the Upper Primary category for her work, Escape Route: Beyond Lockdown, while Darcy Lynch won a Highly Commended in the Music- Original Composition section for his work, Walking out of Lockdown. Olivia Fedrigo also won 1st Prize in the Monologue/Duologue section for Evil’s Queen’s side of the story.
The 10 member Holy Spirit Dance Crew won a Highly Commended in the Primary Class for “We’re Back!”
Another stand out school in the festival was McAuley Primary in Rose Bay, which won six awards across contemporary and classical dance, visual arts and music performance.
Multi-talented Year 3 student, Walter Burke, won first place in Classical Dance for his ballet waltz show and also a Highly Commended award for his memorable drawing, Lockdown?? Thoughts about lockdown.
Year 1 student, Vivi Lawless also won a first prize in the Contemporary Dance category for her performance of the Justin Timberlake song, ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’.
McAuley Primary Principal, Ms Nicole James said she started a special Friday Fun-Day in lockdown in which the students could showcase their work to the whole school community online.
“We would set a task for the children to do at home and we used the last few of the Friday fun-days to encourage the children to bring in their families, have fun and show their artistic talents”, she said.
“We’re fortunate here to have a specialist visual arts teacher, a music teacher and another teacher who specialises in dance and the performing arts, which has certainly helped.”
“The festival has been so well received and it helped everyone feel connected to the broader Sydney Catholic Schools community. We can’t wait now to draw upon the students talents to enter the Sydney Catholic Schools Eisteddfod next year”.
Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer also performed extremely well, winning six awards across dance, literature and drama.
Scarlet Davies won first prize in lower secondary contemporary dance, while Ashleigh Webster won a Highly Commended in the same category.
Lara Best won first prize in lower secondary classical dance, while Tamyn Schmidt won first prize in upper secondary drama and Gabrielle Kent won a highly commended awarded in lower secondary poetry.
Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator, Joanne Fumari said it was wonderful to see students enthusiastically entering the competition across a wide range of categories.
“We have a very strong tradition in the arts at our school and we continued this as best we could during lockdown, including our dance troupe and it was wonderful to see that three of the girls who performed well in the dance section of the competition were all members of the troupe”.
First prize winners will receive a trophy and a gift voucher while highly commended winners will all receive a certificate.
A full list of the winners can be found on the Sydney Catholic Schools website.