The Beat 2016

beat 1Wednesday 14 September to Friday 16 September saw the 37th edition of The Beat – Stellar – at the Darwin Entertainment Centre. 

The Beat is a unique event, involving students of all ages and stages from schools across the Northern Territory, this year including Centralian Senior College (Alice Springs), Nhulunbuy High Schools, Katherine School of the Air and Casuarina Street School, and Maningrida, Milikapiti and Galiwinku primary schools..

This year’s performance was Stellar and, indeed, it was stellar by name and stellar by nature.  A top performance from all.

The integration of electronic media with onstage presence and the clever play on the Star Wars theme and story provided a great framework to display the stage presence, confidence and ability of the soloists and dancers. The 40+ member student orchestra and the combined schools choirs were outstanding. The whole production was quite a masterpiece of logistics and organisation and is a tribute to the dedication of the teachers in the individual schools, the leadership of the NT School of Music and the efforts of the whole production team, including DEC staff.

A big WELL DONE to all concerned.

the workersThe Rotary Club of Darwin’s involvement with this now iconic event was established in 1981 when a partnership between the club and the NT Department of Education was formalised.  The name of that partnership was changed in 2006 to The Beat Foundation Inc.

The board of the Foundation, which has club members sitting on it, coordinates two major events each year – the annual Beat Productions Combined Schools Spectacular Events and the annual Beat Awards.

The Beat production allows primary and secondary students the opportunity to participate in a huge collaborative production.  Each year has a different theme and Rotarians from the club, often assisted by their partners, assist on the nights of the performance with crowd control and selling of programmes.

The Beat Awards, which have a trust fund established with a major donation from the Rotary Club of Darwin, allows students to apply for awards from $500 to $1500 to further their education in the arts.  Each year the club continues to put money in the trust fund which also provides cash awards to individuals through the Nick Paspaley and Tham Thamarajah awards.  Both were club members who passed away in the 1980’s while still members.

(Acknowledgements to Connie for assistance with the words, and the late Iain “Wonderous” Smith for his excellent club history which provided much of this story.)

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