Students Take to the Stage for Rock Ya Socks Off

Rock Ya Socks Off is a highlight of the Music calendar at Santa Maria College. It is a night full of excitement, as eight student bands from Years 8 to 12 take to the stage to perform covers of popular songs. The concert is compulsory for Music students in Years 9 to 12, with Year 8s having the option to participate if they wish.

We spoke to Head of Music, Paul Kinsella, to learn more about this incredible opportunity for our students.

What has the preparation process looked like for the girls in the lead up to the concert?
The girls have spent six weeks rehearsing during class time, as well as recess and lunch. They have been choosing, learning and polishing their songs to ensure they are ready and prepared to perform at a final show standard.

How long did it take to transform the Hall into a performance space? What was involved?

Myself, Music teacher, Jess Del Borrello and guitar tutor, Taylor Cutts, do all the setup, which includes 16 stage pieces, full PA and instrumental set up. Instruments, including a drum kit, bass guitar, keyboards, guitars and multiple microphones for vocalists, are set in the space, along with audience seating. This process took a day and a half, and everything was all taken down right after the concert ended.

What were some of the songs the student bands covered?

There were about 30 songs in total performed on the night, including:

  • “Ghost Busters” by Ray Parker Jr.
  • “I Want it That Way” by Backstreet Boys
  • “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams
  • “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
  • “Glorious” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse

Why are performances like Rock Ya Socks Off beneficial for the students?

The performances teach the students to learn and perform music more interactively, to engage their audience and develop self-confidence by being responsible for their role in the band. Performing in front of an audience of over 200 people and under stage lighting is very challenging. Still, ultimately it is a rewarding experience, and the girls get a real buzz out of the concert!

What is a highlight for you as a teacher?

A particular highlight is seeing the level of sophistication the students are operating at from year to year. Also, seeing some students take on instrumental roles that they have yet to try. For example, one of our Year 12 bass players is a violinist who has never had a formal lesson on bass guitar but has become a very proficient player over the years through her participation in RYSO.

Here is what Music Captain, Ciara Smithies, had to say about the performance:

“As Music Captain, it was amazing to watch all the girls show off their talents on stage and heart-warming to see how the crowd supported each performance with lots of enthusiasm. My highlight of the night was seeing the Year 8s confidence grow and ending their song smiling after hearing the crowd cheer for them, as well as receiving compliments from very sweet Year 7s on our band’s performance.”

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the concert. It was a spectacular night of performances that our students should be extremely proud of. 

Music Captain, Ciara Smithies
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