You can’t beat a good old singalong at the local school

By Riverine Herald

SCHOOLS from around the district came together at St Mary’s Echuca on Wednesday for the 10th year of the biennial Festival of the Sacred.

The music spectacular saw almost 400 Grade 5 and 6 students from seven Catholic primary schools in the northern plains region come to town to perform as part of a choir.

For the past eight weeks students had been honing their performance skills at school and came together as a massed choir at Wednesday’s performance.

Event organiser and Catholic Education Office officer for the arts Claire Spinelli said the Festival of the Sacred had something for everyone.

‘‘The repertoire for this year’s concerts included two high energy dance numbers and a variety of choral offerings, woven together through short dramatic skits performed by the Grade 5 and 6 students of Sandhurst’s western deanery schools,’’ Claire said.

‘‘The concert has an Indigenous touch with Birrama Mana, and a few blasts from the past with old school pop and Motown musical numbers interspersed among contemporary easy listening and theatrical fare.

‘‘True to our Catholic tradition, the finale massed choir item was Praise His Holy Name by Keith Hampson.’’

Ms Spinelli said this was the first of five Festivals of the Sacred taking place across the Sandhurst diocese this year, and if this one was anything to go by there were great things to come.

‘‘The thing that is the most exciting about this event is seeing the students’ engagement and just how excited they are,’’ she said.

‘‘Take Pyramid Hill students for example, to come from a small school to then be a part of an almost 400-strong choir they see how rewarding it is to be a part of a bigger group coming together.’’