TIDES raise BEAT excitement

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After COVID disruptions to last year’s BEAT Festival, the 2021 talent showcase has attracted 50 schools from Darwin, Palmerston and Rural, Katherine and Alice Springs.

The NT Music School extravaganza, slated for 15 to 17 September, follows cancellation of the onstage event in 2020.

The spirited 2021 theme — TIDES — celebrates the uniqueness of each person and their journey to reach their potential.

The BEAT will feature a 35-piece orchestra, 12 to 18-year-old soloists, dance groups and rock bands.

Principal Bill Grose said this year’s “untimely lockdowns, suspensions on playing brass and woodwind instruments, physical distancing, and mask wearing when singing” have been challenging.

“A lockdown axed our only major rehearsal, so we’re going into the BEAT without a comprehensive practice session,” he said.

“Students who missed out in 2020 are taking to the stage for the first time, so there’s a very thrilling mix of eagerness and nerves.

“The performances are being enlivened by an extra measure of faith, courage and determination.”

Mr Grose said the audience reaction to last year’s videoed BEAT was extraordinary.

“Replacing the live show [with videos] turned out to be an amazing experience for all the students, and everyone involved,” he said.

“To participate in a major recording and video project was a very different arts experience.

“The BEAT videos topped 11,000 views in three months.”

The BEAT will be performed at the Darwin Entertainment Centre.

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