20 Jun 2017

Give Peace a Chance – Rockfest17

Rockfest17 was a feast for the senses. Themed around ‘Songs of Peace and Protest’, this year’s concert showcased some of Newington’s most talented students from the Contemporary Music program as they took to the stage to make a statement and take a stand for peace and humanity. 

Head of Contemporary Music and Rockfest co-ordinator, Mr Chris Paton said “My aim was for the boys to gain a musical insight and interpretation of war, injustice, equal rights and protest throughout the 20th Century and to further develop their social conscience and empathy for others”.

He adds, “throughout history, Music, Art and Literature have frequently been used as a means of raising awareness to human suffering, injustice and social issues. None more so, than in the second half of the 20th Century when Rock Music in the mid 1960’s (as opposed to Rock and Roll of the 1950’s) became a significant platform for the ever-growing Anti-Vietnam War sentiment. Although the protest song movement began as a response to anti-war sentiment, they have since gone on to highlight many other humanitarian causes.”

21 bands auditioned over three days in the lead up to this annual event and as a result the quality of the acts was at an all-time high. Boys paid homage to both local and international acts such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Midnight Oil and U2 with some performances combining elements from the Orchestra and Choir. 

2016 Old Boys and regular Rockfest headliners, Jack Jacobs (ON 2016), Leon Vitogiannis (ON 2016), Terry Christoforu (ON 2016) and Jacob Turl (ON 2016) returned to the stage as The Equalitaives.

Testament to the legacy of Rockfest, Contemporary Music Student Leader, Daniel Pascale (12/FL) said “When I was in Year 7 and performed at my first Rockfest, I found that the experience of performing at such a professional concert made me more of a mature and thoughtful musician. This all stemmed from the commitment you had to give to your band. It really helped define what team work was to me.” 

A big thank you to Head of Contemporary Music Mr Chris Paton, the parents and Newington Community for their ongoing support, in particular the Creative Arts Association for giving up their own time on the night to put on a fabulous BBQ for the boys and to also keep the dance floor energised by selling drinks and snacks on the night. 

Until next year!



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