Mulkadee’s Back

Kunj Patel performing in the 2017 Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival. IMAGE: Chrissy Maguire

The 13th annual Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival will return to Townsville this week, giving more than 1,000 local Catholic school students and teachers the chance to gain experience in their specialised artform.

The Festival, offering professional training in band, choir, dance, drama, guitar and strings, will this year feature professional instructors including Brisbane Symphony Orchestra Conductor Antoni Bonetti (strings), as well as Townsville’s own Dancenorth (dance), Theatre iNQ (drama) and Rachel Cairns (choir).

2018 will mark Southern Cross Catholic College Student Daniel Harley’s fourth year at Mulkadee.

“I’ve attended Mulkadee for band for three years, but this year will be doing my Certificate II in Music Industry,” Daniel said.

“Every year, the band’s conductor lets one of the students conduct and tells us how to conduct and what to listen out for, as well as talking about their experiences as music teachers and how they would teach their own school bands. This has made me want to become either a conductor or a school music teacher.

“It hasn’t just been the band that has influenced me though – I’ve also had an interest in audio engineering for live sound which is why this year I’m doing my Certificate II so I can follow that pathway.”

With Mulkadee open to students from across the diocese, the logistics of hosting those from outside Townsville are easily overcome with local families more than accommodating. Columba Catholic College student Kunj Patel has been travelling from Charters Towers for the Festival since 2015, staying with Daniel and his family each year.

“I didn’t have anywhere to stay in Townsville in my first year at the Festival so I applied for billeting through Mulkadee, and I ended up with Daniel’s family,” Kunj said.

“We have similar interests in the arts but really are complete opposites – I love moving around and being centre stage while he likes to be a little more laidback when it comes to performing.

“At first I started coming to Mulkadee because I wanted the whole week off school, but then it turned out to be a great experience where I met lots of amazing people and learnt new skills that will help me later in life.”

Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival will be held at the Townsville Entertainment Centre from 23-27 July, culminating in a showcase concert on the final night. For information and tickets, click here.

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