July 27, 2015
The Maryknoll Centre at St Mary’s Catholic College in Kingaroy was packed out on Friday night when the school held its annual Rock On Stage Concert … and this year, after seven years in the wilderness, the school’s Parents and Friends finally had a win against the teachers.
Their side-splitting stage act, which included parish priest (and well-known soccer fan) Fr Nigel Sequeira playing the lead role as a goalie trying to defend against against several elderly women in walking frames and some lavishly dressed ladies, won the judges’ approval over a Beatles ensemble performed by the school’s teaching staff.
The win was a triumph for the P&F who have been involved in a running battle with the teachers at Rock On Stage for so long no one can quite recall.
The P&F members, teachers, students and the standing-room only audience of almost 1000 voted the night a rip-roaring success.
What is most amazing about the annual concert is that it is all put together – from scratch – in just two weeks.
Every year, in third term, the school alters its normal 6-period day to a 7-period day for a fortnight by pruning a few minutes of each off the normal classes to create a special “Rock On Stage” period.
Students use the extra time to prepare an act for their class, select music, arrange costumes and rehearse.
The program is purely voluntary, but has proved so popular with St Mary’s students that participation levels are close to 100 per cent.
And the rushed preparation program leaves little room for stage fright to develop, or performance exhaustion to set in.
“The students love Rock On Stage and they all support it,” music teacher Jane Iszlaub said.
“They know they’re not going to be criticised if their performance is less than perfect, and they’re not afraid to get up and make a goose of themselves because everyone else in school is doing that, too.
“So the result is always a really fun night that all the students and parents enjoy.”
Deputy Principal Sean Erwin said adults also got involved in Rock On Stage.
“The concert is organised by our school’s senior students,” he said.
“Teachers provide guidance but the nuts and bolts work is carried out them, while the teachers and parents prepare their own acts.”
Mr Erwin said the competition between the two adult groups had grown to State Of Origin proportions, and he’d heard rumours the P&F group had been practising extra hard this year.
“They haven’t had a win in six or seven years now, so they’re hungry for it,” he said.
In the end, the P&F walked away with bragging rights this year.
But the real winners were probably the audience, who enjoyed a fun night of light-hearted stage entertainment delivered with genuine verve and enthusiasm by every grade in the school.