Pictured here is the dedicated band of Old Paradian troubadours who are each committing their substantial talents and energies to the staging of a one-off celebration of Parade College’s 21 years of musicals.
They are from left to right Reardon Jones (2003), John Abrahams (1982), Ross Chapman (2006), Brad Cocks (1999), Luke Bortignon (2017), Michael Butera (2002) and Stephen Valeri (2007).
These acclaimed organising committeemen have been meeting on a regular basis in their quest to bring to life Encore! – a show chronicling the stories and songs accumulated from every show from as far back as Oliver in 1996 through to Catch Me If You Can last year.
The committeemen have a number of exciting announcements to make along the way – including the naming of the iconic venue at which Encore will be staged, tentatively on the night of Saturday, August 25, which is set to see the biggest musical ever staged by Parade.
But they can’t do it alone. Which is why they’re calling on former cast and crew, together with orchestral members and production team from Parade, CLC Eltham, Our Lady’s Heidelberg, Santa Maria College Northcote and Mercy College Coburg to again lend their support.
To quote Brad: “We’re getting the band back together”.
“More than 1500 people in cast, crew, orchestral and production teams have gone on to create lifelong friendships and careers as a result of their involvement in the musicals,” Brad said.
“To celebrate in true style, plans are underway for two massive events in 2018 . . . and we need anyone who was ever involved in a Parade show overt the past 21 years to help spread the word.”
In the lead-up to the big night, the organising committee is planning a causal get together of sorts on the evening of Friday, April 27, at which those previously and currently committed to College Musicals can share in the excitement and essentially declare their interest over a few drinks
The group has already launched its Facebook page – Encore! 21 Years of Parade College Musicals – which now boasts more than 300 members, most of them expressing an interest to be part of the big night.
Each member has been asked to source the names of cast, crew orchestra and production team members of all 21 productions, to ensure they at least know about this much-anticipated extravaganza.
“To those who read this story and may be interested, we are keen to get as many people involved as possible,” Brad said.
“What we can tell you is that everyone ever involved in the productions will want to be there on the big night – and they are fundamentally the essence of this on-going story.”
Each member of the organising committee brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this major event.
Reardon is the former head of the Old Paradians’ Theatre Company, John is a current member of the OPA committee, and Ross is committing to this event as Musical Director alongside his Master of Music studies at the University of Melbourne.
Brad is an award winning live show producer while Luke most recently started in the lead role of Frank Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can.
Michael is a singer/songwriter who only recently returned from Northern America and Stephen Valeri is fresh from a major role in the recent Sydney staging of Grease.
“We’re calling on everyone, whether from Parade, CLC, Our Lady’s Santa Maria or Mercy to be part of this night. Whether you have been involved in one show or many, the latest or the first, buckle up for a hell of a ride”.
For those not on Facebook but would like to be kept informed, emails to firstname.lastname@example.org are also welcome.
Most importantly, the organising team is calling on anyone who was involved in a musical in some way, or knows anyone who was, to share the below ‘expression of interest form’ to gather as many contact details as possible of all former members so the team can begin planning of the upcoming show - https://goo.gl/forms/JGN04T1B2rFdp5bf1