PERFORMERS: Gladstone Performing Arts Company Youth Academy Secondary group students Jake Lyle, Nicola Bradshaw, Tahnee Walker, Jasmin Antoniou, Bethany Morrissy, Taneal Magic, Keira Gibson, Ella Bartlem, Jade McErlain, Tehya Graham, Zachary Lanzon, Annika Messervy, Zoe McDonald, Teah Long, Jenna Lester, Logan Nutley and Ismari van der Westhuizen.
PERFORMERS: Gladstone Performing Arts Company Youth Academy Secondary group students Jake Lyle, Nicola Bradshaw, Tahnee Walker, Jasmin Antoniou, Bethany Morrissy, Taneal Magic, Keira Gibson, Ella Bartlem, Jade McErlain, Tehya Graham, Zachary Lanzon, Annika Messervy, Zoe McDonald, Teah Long, Jenna Lester, Logan Nutley and Ismari van der Westhuizen. Contributed

Youth Academy shines on eisteddfod stage

AFTER launching in February, the Gladstone Performing Arts Company (GPAC) Youth Academy competed for the first time on Wednesday night at the 2019 Eisteddfod .....

The Youth Academy falls under GPAC and aims to give young people a space to learn performance skills and grow into confident, engaging stage performers.

The Youth Academy has been split into two groups - primary and secondary, with about 20 students in each.

Youth Academy teacher Leanne Brooker said she was proud of how well the two Youth Academy groups have grown since the launch of the academy in February.

"We feel like we've really filled a gap in local arts education,” Ms Brooker said.

She said although there are "fantastic” performing arts schools in the region, GPAC wanted to offer something new to Gladstone.

"We want to bring teachers together more and ensure students have the opportunity to learn about healthy vocal technique, part-singing, drama, acting, and movement all under the one roof,” she said.

The students participated in the 2019 Eisteddfod on Wednesday evening in their first competition since the launch.

"This was the fist public performance so it was lovely to see them all in a polished performance and to a wider audience rather than just the parents,” Ms Brooker said.

"Given that they've only been working together for an hour a week, this is their third term, I think they pulled it together so beautifully and everyone is commented on how enjoyable the performances were.”

"For us to see our students just performing with others is really great, and being able to pass on technical skills to these kids is really important too.”

She said they all enjoyed it. "There was such a great buzz in the audience last night because we made sure each group could watch each other's performances as well so there was lots of support going on between the three groups”

"It was a really enjoyable evening.”

Moving forward, Ms Brooker said they hope to do their own performances at GPAC and continue with offering professional development opportunities.

"I just think there is so much potential for these kids,” she said.

"The parents were just saying how the kids have become so much more confident ... they've just really come out of their shells having so many opportunities to perform.”

GPAC president Asher Roby said he was very proud of how the students performed.

"I'm actually really excited with how they went ... the quality of their performances for their age levels is really high so I'm really excited to see what that looks like in the next couple of years,” Mr Roby said.

"I think it's great for Gladstone and you never know what you'll see coming out of this place.”



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