Talent, talent, talent

First off, Wollongong may never be the same again.

Teen singing sensation and Australia’s Got Talent winner and Jack Vidgen will perform in Wollongong on Saturday.

The 14-year-old became a household name almost overnight when he took out the TV contest in May, picking up $250,000 for his efforts.

Billed as the next Justin Bieber, he attracts hordes of young – mostly female – fans wherever he performs and dozens are likely to be present when he performs his debut single Yes I Am in the amphitheatre at 1pm.

Following his performance, the young star will sign autographs at JB Hi-Fi in Wollongong Central from 2pm…


Meantime last Sunday I watched Mrs Carey’s Concert. Did you? It was and is absorbing, wonderful. smiley-happy005smiley-happy005[3]smiley-happy005[5]smiley-happy005[7]smiley-happy005[9]

In summary, to borrow from Margaret and David:

This magnificent documentary begins with a teenage girl, Doretta Balkizas, waiting for her cue to play a violin solo at Sydney’s Opera House. This young girl’s emotion-filled face is the starting point for a film about the work that goes into the staging of an annual concert by students at Sydney’s MLC School under the supervision of Mrs. Carey. As preparations for the 2009 concert take place, much of Mrs. Carey’s attention is focused on Emily Sun, who was born in Australia to Chinese parents who suffered under the Cultural Revolution, and who is to be the soloist for the year. In contrast there is Iris Shi, who leads a group of girls who can’t see the point of the concert and who present a discipline problem for the staff.

This astonishing fly-on-the-wall documentary from Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond is a tribute to teachers and pupils alike. The amazing amount of work that goes into the bi-annual MLC Opera House concert is even more astonishing when you remember that these teenage girls have their regular school studies as well. Everyone’s expected to take part, but the dedicated and talented young musicians have to work extremely hard and overcome misgivings and other difficulties, egged on by their dedicated teachers. Connolly and Raymond obviously had total access, which makes for a rounded and very satisfying film that is both hugely entertaining and incredibly inspirational.

I found the “bad girl” Iris Shi quite fascinating – super-intelligent, and amazing strength of character.


But at the end she is despite herself caught by the occasion. And what a brilliant occasion it is! I am just humbled by the quality of teaching to be seen in this doco, and by the talented students. Read Brenda Chew’s review.  Everyone, just everyone, should see this movie!

It isn’t just in private girls’ schools that such fantastic teachers can be found. He will hate this, but to judge from the small sample of his work I have now seen on Facebook Thomas is going to be – already is – one such, and better for sure than I was at that stage in my career!


This is a capture from Thomas’s Facebook video – heavily treated by me for ethical and privacy reasons. But you get the idea – except you can’t hear what he is saying to his Year 12 class! And that is what was so good!