December 2016

To read the Singing Strong end of year newsletter click here.

The final few weeks of study for Singing Strong students were spent in preparation for the performances given at O’Mara House and Yallambie Aged Care facilities.

This was a wonderful way for students to use their skills learned to give back to the community.

The residents thoroughly enjoyed the performances with requests to return in 2017.

Britney singing at O’Mara House

Ellia singing at O’Mara House


Zoe at her first official performance with Singing Strong

Bryce singing at O’Mara House

Alicia singing at O’Mara House

Students singing carols at O’Mara House

Trinity making her debut with Singing Strong

Zoii at Yallambie

Ella singing at Yallambie

Cameron singing at Yallambie

Natasha singing at Yallambie

Sebastian singing at Yallambie

Hollie singing at Yalambie

Students singing carols at Yallambie

























November 2016

A number of students completed AMEB exams this month.

Completing singing exams can be very daunting but they are a fantastic opportunity to focus on technical skills and preparing repertoire to a high standard,

Congratulations to the following students who completed exams this year all passing with excellent results:

Natasha Murcott: Grade 1 Singing for leisure

Jamilla Marriott: Grade 2 Singing for leisure

Emma Brinker­ Ritchie:  Grade 2 Singing for leisure

Ella Brent: Grade 2 Singing for leisure

Carolyn Crisp: Grade 4 Music Theater

Rose Mirtschin: Grade 4 Music Theater

Nisangi Sirimanna: Grade 4 and Grade 5 Singing for leisure

Sophia Patikisa: Grade 6 Singing for leisure

Georgia Dixon: Grade 6 Classical Singing Esther Capitanio: Certificate of Performance

Latrobe Chorale: Handel’s Messiah

The Latrobe Chorale performed their major work for the year. Collaborating with The Gippsland Symphony Orcestra they performed Handel’s Messiah at The Warragul Performing Arts Centre and Kernot Hall, Morwell over the weekend of 19th-20th November. Mary Mirtschin prepared the choir for the performance and the end result was fabulous with a wonderful attendance at both concerts.

Mary had the pleasure of singing beside her student Esther Capitanio with Mary singing the alto part and Esther singing the soprano solo.

Here is the Hallelujah recording from the Warragul performance.  The recording quality is a little poor, but it gives you an idea of the sound.

Esther and Mary getting ready to perform at Kernot Hall.













October 2016

Addams Family: Class Act Productions

Congratulations to Esther Capitanio, past student Corey Bruerton and Carolyn Crisp who performed brilliantly in Addams family. A very polished performance by all involved. A great review from Cinematic Randomness:

Musical Review: The Addams Family (Class Act Productions Inc.)

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for a spider is chaos for a fly.” – Charles Addams  


Emily Williams as Pugsley Addams

After many months of preparation, the results were more than evident from the moment I took my seat inside the West Gippsland Performing Arts Centre this past Friday night in Warragul. An ambiance of pale moonlight accompanied by a gentle blanket of evening fog played upon the rot iron gates of the Addams’ estate, followed by an overture of that instantly recognizable classic jingle. The Addams Family (The Broadway Musical) was about to begin!

Performed by the constantly evolving Class Act Productions Inc. in what was their second show of year following the highly successful Annie Jr. back in May, the cast and crew of the Gippsland based theatre company delivered a professional flair to their latest musical endeavour. Based on the characters created by Charles Addams; this original story revolves around morbid darling Wednesday Addams, who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet but somewhat peculiar young man, much to the dismay of her eccentric family. The cast of budding young performers aged from 15 to 25 were wonderful to watch as they conveyed the sentiments of a rather meaning narrative which explored the one’s perspective of normality, the burden of secrets and fear of inevitable change. Decorative and highly detailed sets made suspension of disbelief an absolute breeze, not mention setting the mood and tone befitting to the “all together ooky“ cast of characters.

While reminiscent of their earlier counterparts, the principal cast gave us fleshed out versions of the characters who have been previously popularized on TV, and of course, in film. Corey Bruerton as family patriarch, Gomez gave an impassioned performance opposite to Esther Capitaino as his devoted wife Morticia who embodied the show’s central theme while effortlessly delivering doses of dark humour and whit. However, there is always a scene -stealer and that honour belongs to Liam Charleston as the excitable Uncle Fester and unofficial narrator, in a performance that proves not only what an affectionate oddity Fester truly is, but his overall significance to those around him.

If this is now the standard of musical theatre that we can expect from Class Act Productions Inc. then I eagerly await their next show with great interest!

(2016, dir: David Williams, Michael Mendez, Mandie Black )

September 2016

The Music of the Night.

Held at the Premier Function Centre, Traralgon.

Thursday 15th September was a wonderful night of music and dancing.


The evening started with canapes and entertainment from a talented group of young musicians from Flinders College. Thanks to Rose Mirtschin, Lauchie Shaw, Emily Williams, Jesse Richardson and Carolyn Crisp who entertained us magnificently.


As dinner was served Sophia Patikisa entertained us with some beautiful acoustic music. Sophia returned later in the evening. Thanks Sophia for your wonderful performance.

Then the band got up and accompanied the many Singing Strong students who performed so well.

Thank you to our incredible band who accompanied all the singers:

Esther Capitanio on piano, Corey Bruerton on guitar, Sharon Richardson on bass and Chris Stammers on drums.

You did and awesome job and were even happy to sight read music on the night!

The music heated up as the evening went on with the dance floor filling as singers rocked the night away.

The evening finished on a high with Georgia Dixon and Emma Brinker-Ritchie helped with the back up chicks singing  Ï’m walking on sunshing.” The dance floor was packed and everyone enjoyed dancing and singing along.

A big thank you must go out to all the parents and friends who attended the night. It was terrific to see such an enthusiastic crowd.

Here is a small selection of the entertainment:


Paige Horn: Blank Space

Zahra Hanratty : Shake it off


Natasha Murcott : I’m in love with a monster

Natasha Murcott: Photograph


August 2016

Traralgon Eisteddfod

The weekend of 28th August turned out to be a wonderful success for the students at Singing Strong.

The Latrobe Valley Eisteddfod saw much success with many of the students at Singing Strong.

Congratulations to all those who participated. I saw such progress being made vocally with skills developing and repertoire learned by all. There’s nothing like a goal to get you motivated.

The following students can all be very proud of their participation:

Zoii Kyriacou

Ella Brent

Natasha Murcott

Sanya Palta

Cienna Pepper

Ella Hill

Britney Nellthorpe

Sebastian Poole

Cameron Murcott

Zahra Hanratty

Paige Horn

Georgia Dixon

Rose Mirtschin

Sophia Patikisa

Esther Capitanio

Alicia Hooimeyer

and past students:

John Molden

Corey Bruerton

Results include:

13 years and under vocal solo:         2nd: Ella Brent      HM: Sanya Palta

Under 13 songs from the stage:       1st Natasha Murcott  HM: Sanya Palta

10 years and under vocal solo:        3rd Zahra Hanratty     HM: Paige Horn,    Cameron Murcott

13 years and under 17 songs from the stage:   1st Rose Mirtschin      3rd Georgia Dixon

16 years and under vocal solo:         3rd Rose Mirtschin     HM  Georgia Dixon

12 years and under 19 sacred solo:  2nd Rose Mirtschin

12 years and under 19 Australian composer:  1st Rose Mirtschin   2nd Georgia Dixon  HM Ella Brent

13 years and under 19 art song:   2nd Rose Mirtschin  3rd Sophia Patikisa   HM Georgia Dixon

17 years and over folk song or spiritual:   1st Sophia Patikisa      2nd Esther Capitanio

17 years and over art song and lieder:  1st Esther Capitanio

19 years and over Aria:    2nd Esther Capitanio

17 years and over song from the stage:   1st John Molden    2nd Sophia Patikisa  3rd Esther Capitanio   HM: Corey Bruerton

17 years and under 21 vocal solo:  2nd Alicia Hooimeyer

14 years and over district solo:  1st Esther Capitanio   2nd Corey Bruerton  3rd  Rose Mirtschin HM Alicia Hooimeyer,  Georgia Dixon

16 years and over vocal duet: 1st Alicia Hooimeyer and Rose Mirtschin    3rd Esther Capitanio and Corey Bruerton

13 years and under 18 Christmas Carol:  1st Rose Mirtschin  HM Georgia Dixon

18 years and under 25 Christmas Carol:  1st John Molden  2nd Alicia Hooimeyer

16 years and under 25 Scholarship:  1st Sophia Patikisa   3rd Georgia Dixon


Junior Vocal Award:  Natasha Murcott

Junior Vocal Award:  Ella Brent

sophia geogiasophiaella brentrose


alicia john












 The Wizard of Oz

Congratulations to Carolyn Crisp (Glinda) and Rose Mirtschin (Aunty Em, crow, tree, munchkin etc..) who performed brilliantly in their school production of The Wizard of Oz.  It was an excellent performance.

finale oz glinda













Yarram Eisteddfod

Congratulations to the following students who achieved success at the Yarram Eisteddfod on Wednesday 3rd August:

Vocal solo 15 years and under novice: 1st Emma Brinker-Ritchie

Vocal solo 14 years and under:    1st Emma Brinker-Ritchie

Vocal solo 16 years and under:   1st Rose Mirtschin

Vocal solo open:  3rd Rose Mirtschin

Ada Crossley vocal solo open: 2nd Esther Capitanio.   3rd Rose Mirtschin

Sacred solo open: 1st Esther Capitanio.   3rd Rose Mirtschin

Vocal duet open: 1st Esther Capitanio and Corey Bruerton

Country music solo, duo or group open: 1st Georgia Dixon

Gala solo, duo or trio: HM Georgia Dixon

Also nice to see a past student Chelsea Smith also having success at this Eisteddfod.


May 2016

Class Act Productions present Annie

On the weekend of 27th May a number of Singing Strong students were involved in the local youth theater company, Class Act Productions which presented a quality production of Annie Jnr.

Congratulations to Alicia Hooimeyer (Grace Farrell),  Hollie Gibson (Molly) as well as Cienna Pepper, Paige Horn, Ella Hill and Britney Nellthorpe.

alicia annie finale














Sale Eisteddfod

Saturday 21st May was the Sale Eisteddfod.

A number of students participated and had some wonderful success:

10 years and under vocal solo:   2nd Sanya Palta,  equal 3rd: Natasha Murcott, Britney Nellthorpe

11 and 12 years vocal solo: 1st Bryce Witham,  3rd Ella Brent

Junior 11 years and under vocal duet:  1st Natasha and Cameron Murcott

13 and 14 year vocal solo: 1st Rose Mirtschin, 3rd Claudia Said

Year 6 and under stage solo: 1st Bryce Witham, equal 3rd Natasha Murcott and Sanya Palta, HM Britney Nellthorpe

Year 7 to 12 stage solo: 1st Sopia Patikisa, 2nd Rose Mirtschin

Open Stage solo: 2nd Alicia Hooimeyer

Year 6 and under junior championship: 1st Natasha Murcott, 2nd Bryce Withm

Open Aria solo: 2nd Alicia Hooimeyer

Vocal solo 15 to 17 years: 1st Sophia Patikisa,

Open Vocal solo: 1st Alicia Hooimeyer

Year 7 to 10 Intermediate Championship: 2nd Claudia Said, HM Ella Brent

Senior Championship: 2nd Sophia Patikisa

Most promising young vocalist: Sophia Patikisa

A huge thank you to Esther Capitanio who is not only a fabulous vocalist but a brilliant pianist who accompanied these wonderful singers.


The Latrobe Chorale

Saturday 21st May, Sunday 22nd May,  Rutter’s Gloria and Faure’s Requiem.

Mary Mirtschin, director of Singing Strong is also the musical director of The Latrobe Chorale.

It was a wonderful weekend of beautiful classical music.  A big thank you to the brass ensemble and Stephen vanderHoek on the organ.

You can listen to the performance below.

The Little Mermaid. Latrobe Theater Company

Congratulations to the cast of Little Mermaid who performed at the Performing arts center, Traralgon during the month of May.

Special congratulations to  Georgia Dixon who was a mer princess and Toby Just who was a perfect Grimsby!


May is the month of musicals.

Paris, Warragul Theater Company

Congratulations to those who were involved in the Warragul Theatre Company production of ‘Paris”.

Esther Capitanio, and past students : Corey Bruerton, John Molden.

paris john and corey











Street Requiem

Congratulations to Esther Capitanio on a fabulous soprano solo performance in Street Requiem in Traralgon on Saturday 5th March . You were absolutely fabulous!

12802992_10153855116202850_6215515577729274056_nstreet requiem