Warners Bay High goes MAD for talent

Dan Beazley -


We’re big supporters of up and coming talent here at Newcastle Live. So when we were asked to send a representative to judge Warners Bay High School’s MAD Talent Quest we jumped at the chance. We sent Dan along to take the chair, and he was blown away with the talent on offer.



There must be something in the water out at Warners Bay. I say this because I don’t think I’ve seen that many talented kids inside the walls of a school hall in my life.

On arrival to the event I was handed a bunch of score sheets and a list of acts that would tackle a vast array of different performance disciplines including dance, singing, acting and musical instrument playing. Soon after taking my seat the lights went down and along with my fellow judges (Ben Travis from Music Solutions Warner’s Bay and Lisa Kinna from the Conservatorium of music) the audience were treated to an evening of awesome entertainment.

Act after act assured me that the future of local live music and entertainment was in good hands. These kids were just that good.

From the bands; Never Odd Or Even, Vendettta, Toby Sam & Jack, False Alarm and The Jiggly Puffs to the comedy of Roger & Reid, everyone was putting their best foot forward here. Energetic, exciting and entertaining. These kids were giving it their all.


Tahlia Clarke’s brave and acrobatic dance routine, Sophie & Lilly’s cover of I See Fire and Christen Swales version of the Missy Higgins hit Scar showcased the student’s understanding of dynamic and fragile performance. So too did the piano playing of Cassie Parke and the duo of Morgan & Georgia. At times you could hear a pin drop in the room.

There were some “Australian Idol” moments from Curtis Yates with his crowd pleasing cover of Wonderful World and some “you go girls” moments from the vocal and piano combination of Alyssa & Courtney, but at the end of the night it was up to us, the judges to pick three winners.


After much deliberation the judges took to the stage to announce their verdict.

The encouragement award (sponsored by Music Solutions in Warners Bay) was taken out by the band Toby, Sam & Jack for their rocking cover of the AC/DC hit Highway To Hell. Third place went to the duo of Alyssa & Courtney for their performance of Someone Like You. Second place was awarded to the band, Vandetta which was a nod to the band’s tight and sonically pleasing version of Who Do You Think I was. But the night belonged to the comedy of Roger & Reid. Their side splitting comedy skit that took on everything from family, suburbia to shopping at Coles, had everyone in stitches and was a well deserved winner.

Roger Ly, who was part of the Roger & Reid comedy duo also performed a solo version of Roar by Katy Perry, showing off his multi disciplined performance skills. Expect big things from this kid. He’s a born entertainer and a skilled musician who posseses quick wit and a natural sense of humour. A clear highlight of the night.

Once again thanks to all the staff at Warners Bay High, the performers and all who attended, it’s a good indication that the future of local entertainment is bright.



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