Since the Nineties, Pacific Hills Christian School has been wowing the Dural community every two years with a musical extravaganza…and the most recent production was another sell-out event.
Previous performances have included Oliver, Godspell, Annie, Honk, Joseph and the Technicolour Dream Coat, Imagine, Seussical the Musical, Prince of Egypt, Hairspray, and Beauty and the Beast. In 2019 it was the family favourite, Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins featured a cast of 117 students from the Dural campus, with the music provided by a 14-member live orchestra.
Behind the scenes there were another 70 staff members, students and parents looking after stage managing, choreography, making costumes, building the sets, and doing make-up and hair. They worked on the musical for many months. Making sure everything ran like clockwork were the Executive Producer Belinda Nunn, Creative Director Lauren Petschack, Associate Director Justin Cox and Musical Director Ben Yabsley-Bell.
Mary Poppins was Belinda’s seventh production. Lauren, a former student of Pacific Hills, has the distinction of being involved in all of the musicals as either a performer, director or assistant. Since graduating from Pacific Hills she has sung on stages all over the world including Disneyland. Many of the cast members attend the One Maker Academy located on the grounds of Pacific Hills.
This centre teaches dance, music and vocals to the wider community, not just students from the school. OMA is directed by Annette Cadwallader who is not only the longest serving staff member of Pacific Hills (having joined in 1983), but is also responsible for pioneering the earliest musical productions. One very satisfied member of the Mary Poppins audience was the Mayor of Hornsby Shire, Philip Ruddock, “I must say, the show was outstanding!
The lead artists in my view should be in Hollywood! The School performance was the very best I have seen, and I’ve seen a few shows in my time!”