Big names return for Manning Valley Schools Spectacular in Taree

Founder of the Australian Children's Music Foundation Don Spencer is a crowd favourite of the Rotary Manning Valley Schools Spectacular.
Founder of the Australian Children's Music Foundation Don Spencer is a crowd favourite of the Rotary Manning Valley Schools Spectacular.

“It’s going to be brilliant!”

That’s a promise from the producers of the 2016 Rotary Manning Valley School Spectacular Tanya Brown and Roger Griffiths, which will be staged at the Manning Entertainment Centre on October 27. 

And George is coming back!

George Houvardas (Carbo from the hit show Packed to the Rafters) is coming back this year to compere both the matinee and evening performances.

“This is George’s third visit as compere and we are so excited to have him back again! He’s such an asset to the performances and the kids just love him,” said committee chairman Maurie Stack.

George Houvardas.

George Houvardas.

The School Spectacular concerts are responsible for providing funds to the Australian Children’s Music Foundation to continue the music classes they provide to disadvantaged and special needs students in five local schools including Manning Gardens, Taree High, Taree Public, Chatham High and Chatham Public Schools.

Every dollar raised will be used in Taree.

Don Spencer will return to the Manning Entertainment Centre stage to perform some of his most loved songs with students from local schools.  

He is an audience favourite too, with many mums and dads having grown up watching him on playschool!

“I am delighted to be performing in Taree again for the 2016 Rotary Manning Schools Spectacular - it's such a special event!,” said Mr Spencer.

As founder and CEO of the Australian Children's Music Foundation I find myself playing at many fund-raising concerts - and this one is one of my favourites.

“We run five programs in Taree - at Manning Gardens Public School, Taree Public School, Taree High School, Chatham Public School and Chatham High School. We have three fabulous music teachers running these programs that incorporate bands, choirs, drumming and class music lessons.

“The ACMF couldn't run these programs without the help of the many Rotary Clubs of this area, the wonderful Maurie Stack and our other supporters. Thank you to you all.”

George Ellis (composer and conductor) will also return this year to conduct an orchestra of local musicians.

George has given permission for the orchestra to perform a selection of his arrangements from his show “Beatles Orchestrated”.

Jake Davey will sing a number of songs by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison with orchestral accompaniment.

This is also the third year George Ellis has given his time to the local ACMF fundraiser.

“The School Spectacular concerts showcase the superb talents of young musicians throughout the Taree region,” said Mr Ellis.

“I have been to two spectaculars and I was amazed at the dedication to the performing arts shown by the students.

“I know it will be even bigger and better this year and I am very much looking forward to being involved,” he said.

Local young musician Mitchell Brown will also perform the Adagio from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the orchestra.

“It is one of my favourite pieces for clarinet. It’s such an honour to be soloist for Mr Ellis and to play with a string orchestra. It’s very exciting!” said Mitch, who has been rehearsing his performance since February.

There are two performances this year.

The matinee performance will start at 11am and feature performances by ACMF students, Rachel Scott from ACMF and Don Spencer as well as items by some of our areas most talented musicians.

Cellist Rachel Scott is back.

Cellist Rachel Scott is back.

The evening gala is titled “Mozart and McCartney” and will feature orchestral performances, Don Spencer, George Ellis, Jake Davey, Jai and Grace, Keegan Gibson, Abigail French, Cassidy Donovan, Georgina Saad, the cast of Crystal Dreaming and lots more.

“It’s the most amazing program we have ever had,” said Maurie.

“The vocalists are wonderful and we have really featured some fabulous young instrumentalists this year.

“We have more than 15 local schools involved. The support from the schools has been amazing again this year.

“The Rotary School Spectacular provides a professional and inspiring performance opportunity to our young musicians and it’s wonderful to see the ACMF students getting up there and giving it their all,” he said.

Tickets are on sale at  Adults $35, concession $20, students $10.