This year, a diverse group of 10 graduates took to the stage at Bankstown Sports Club to showcase their talents in the annual TDP Graduation Concert. With students from Tamworth to Wollongong, the graduates performed a mix of original songs and covers with genres ranging from crooning to country. The evening was a succession of spectacular performances, each uniquely different to the artistry of each graduate.

After completing the first 4 months of the program over zoom, due to the pandemic, students finally had the opportunity to meet face to face in an additional workshop in November. Despite obvious adversities, students quickly adapted to learning, collaborating and performing online during these months, although being back at Waterloo Studios for Phases 2 and 3 certainly was a relief.

The theme of the 2022 Graduation Concert was “The heart of everything.” Read the Artistic Director, Peter Cousens’, magnificent address below:

The heart of TDP beats with the rhythm of extraordinary musical students from NSW Government High Schools. The students determine their own experience of TDP by uniquely responding to the creative environment in which they find themselves. It can be quite a shock! However, it is the reason why every year-group is different.

The TDP culture of constant evaluation and continuous self-reflection stirs new possibilities. “I have written my first song.”; “I feel for the first time emotionally connected to my voice. “; “You mean it’s ok to use my own accent when I perform?”; “While recording at Sony I realised – hey, I can do this!”

There are no rules in this creative space, and no right or wrong way to do things; only better choices. This newfound freedom encourages authenticity, vulnerability, and the realisation that failure lies at the heart of success. For it is through these cracks that the light gets in, to paraphrase Bob Dylan.

Our concert tonight reveals this light, as it shines from the hearts of these young artists in the form of original songs, covers, and songs from musicals. It is the outcome of a yearlong program of challenging creative tasks, training, mentoring, performances, collaboration, self-discipline, sacrifice, and the courage to open their imaginations to undreamed-of possibilities. It is these possibilities and untethered potential that you will witness tonight, as they step into the light to share their dreams with you. They make for a wonderful world and therein lies the heart of it all.

Special Thanks

I am deeply grateful to TDP’s Music Producer Philippe-Marc Anquetil who produced the music tracks and vocal arrangements, and Music Director Jacob Neale, who created the band arrangements and is conducting tonight’s concert. Philippe and Jacob are both integral to the artistic collaboration that inspires the TDP program. My heartfelt thanks to Choreographer Veronica George Beatie and Production Manager Meredith Burton, and Lighting Designer Chris Snape, who have shared their professional expertise to help draw out the best in our young artists. Finally, a huge thanks to Workshop Coordinator Manon Wilson, and TDP’s CEO Anne Fitzgerald who make everything possible.

AM Peter Cousens