Dromana College has not put on a musical production in 10 years. However, the upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz has a cast and crew of 130 skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with excitement.
After commencing a music and vocal teaching position at the college in 2014, current Head of Music Jacqui Rodden was determined to not only lift the level of vocal and instrumental music at the college, but to combine all the performing art forms in a musical production. “We chose The Wizard of Oz because it had so many wonderful vocal roles for solo and chorus and had a number of big dance scenes,” Jacqui said.
The production also gives instrumental music students the opportunity to perform in an orchestra at the Frankston Arts Centre, which will be directed by Jacqui and feature students from Years 7 to 12.
Jacqui now teaches more than 30 vocal students, and the school boasts an impressive choir and a cappella ensemble. Recent enhancement programs in the performing arts, specifically dance, have given seasoned dance teachers Taryn Sabell and Jennii Johnson an opportunity to work with and choreograph talented performers and prepare them for Wakakirri in 2016 and the college’s musical production this year.
The Wizard of Oz showcases the college’s impressive performing arts students. Thirty-three dancers from all year levels fill the stage in glittering snowflake tutus and vibrant poppy costumes in Act 1 and return as menacing Jitterbugs in Act 2. VCE Dance student Madeline Turnbull features as the acrobatic commander of the monkeys, sidekick to the stunning-in-green yet evil Witch of the West, performed by VCE Drama student Julia Gregory. William Buckley, another VCE Drama student, takes the title role.
Year 10 soprano Iris Roberts studies voice with Jacqui and will be playing the starry-eyed Kansas girl Dorothy. Jacqui’s other vocal students also headline this production: Kayla Wilson as the Tinman, Daniel Gough as the Scarecrow, and bass-baritone Trent Taylor as the Cowardly Lion.
The Wizard of Oz is the first musical production with full orchestra that the school has prepared in a long time. “It really is a whole school production,” said choreographer, teacher and production coordinator Sarah Cossey. “VCAL Technology students have helped build sets and props, art students have contributed to media and marketing, and a large number of staff and students have assisted in rehearsals, costuming, make-up and design.”
The Wizard of Oz will be performed at Frankston Arts Centre, 27-37 Davey Street Frankston on Friday 12 May at 7:30pm and Saturday 13 May 13 at 1:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets at http://artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au/Whats_On_-_Buy_Tickets/Dromana_College_-_The_Wizard_of_Oz or phone 9784 1060.