By SOPHIE FIEGERT
Ever wondered what UniSA’s music students spend all semester doing?
Apparently it’s not like a scene out of School of Rock, where a Jack Black-like teacher gives everyone gold stars while they sit around hanging out and playing music.
At an intimate show on Friday night the UniSA Music Theatre One students proved there’s a lot more to studying music than mucking around on a guitar.
Titled Overload, the students showcased their musical skills both individually and in groups to a packed-out theatre in the small but cosy Hartley Playhouse at UniSA’s Magill Campus.
The musicians mixed classics with pop and rock, showing that music gets even better with age.
Organiser and tutor Richard Chew was thrilled with the emerging talent in the music class this year.
“If you went to the Conservatorium you wouldn’t find the level of quality that you’ll find here,” he said.
Before the showcase even begun the crowd was treated to some beautiful acoustic tunes sung by Tanya Cornish and Ellyn Chappell in the Foyer.
As the lights dimmed and the crowd was ushered in, nerves were high and a certain buzz of anticipation hung in the air – and that was just the audience.
Beginning with a classic, Sarah Valle’s rendition of a Beethoven piano piece set the tone for the night, it was clear the standard was high.
A Michael Bublé song brought the crowd back to the 21st century, sung by the charismatic Oliver Lee with Ally Rolling on the piano.
Proud parents whipped out their cameras, although not always at the most appropriate times – flashes were forever going off during performances.
Ellyn Chappell’s soulful take on Adele’s Turning Tables brought whispered responses of ‘she’s good!’ among the crowd.
Even Petra Tomeko’s giant xylophone performance made the cut, and showed that playing a xylophone requires just as much skill as any other instrument.
A special mention should go to Abbie Von Bertouch who performed an original song, Somebody to Ease the Pain which she wrote when she was 13 years old.
Beautifully lit under a spotlight, a perhaps unnecessary smoke effect blew over Von Bertouch as she sang a heartbreaking tune that seemed too emotionally driven to be written by a 13-year-old.
During a group jazz performance that sounded a lot like Christina Aguilera’s Candyman, Lee provided some comic relief with an interesting mix of dance moves.
An honourable mention should go to the bass player in the group version of Teenage Dirtbag, who sang the girl’s verse in the original song with as much dignity and grace as a guy in a little purple dress can.
The night ended on a successful note with whooping cheers from the audience and clear relief from the students that their job was over – for now.
The hard work of these students was obvious and they managed to put together a fantastic show amidst looming exams and deadlines.
If you love music, or perhaps just want to witness performers before they are famous then look out for more showcases coming from the music students this year.