Generations returns to the Mount

BACKSTAGE MAESTROS: Adelaide theatre technician Tom Kitney and Marcus Jones from VideoLive Mount Gambier made sure the new GIJ Improvised Gala ran smoothly for the Blue Lake City from behind closed curtains.

Tyler Redway

WITH the Generations in Jazz (GIJ) Improvised Gala event held last week, event organiser Karyn Roberts said it was exciting to be able to see previous scholarship finalists and winners return to Mount Gambier to form the big band for the night.

Held at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre with an added livestream, which marked the first time a livestream has been used for a GIJ event, Ms Roberts said it may only be a one-off thing unless Covid came into play again.

“The experience is really what the students and participants are all about,” Ms Roberts said.

“I think everyone is really about the experience of having connections in real life as opposed to emails.”

With the added pressure of not being able to host an event for more than two years, Ms Roberts said it has had an impact on both the participating schools and the economy of Mount Gambier.

“For the schools, it has been the fact they haven’t had a focus for their students to aim towards,” she said.

“From the economy perspective, it has had a big impact on what would normally be generated during the weekend of GIJ in May.

“I think keeping people’s enthusiasm alive is also hard when there isn’t anything tangible to go to.”

Ms Roberts mentioned how an entirely new system for schools had to be developed in order for online performance submissions to be adjudicated.

“Particularly since the beginning of the year, the schools have really been struggling to cope with everything that’s going on,” she said.

“I wouldn’t like to think this is the way forward for schools to participate, it’s not what they want but it is certainly something in the background if given the worst case scenario.”

She mentioned how events such as GIJ Improvised was an incredible opportunity to have Mount Gambier and the Limestone Coast as a region which hosts a worldwide phenomenon.

“It has been a lot of moving targets for everyone and I think we were all really pleased with how the adjudication process has gone,” she said.

“I think the hunger from the schools is there, the market will grow even more so.”