Some of the School of Rock cast who are gearing up to astonish audiences at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub from May 20 to June 4.

Some of the School of Rock cast who are gearing up to astonish audiences at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub from May 20 to June 4. Picture by Aubtin Namdar


A group of bright young superstars is preparing to take centre stage in Blue Mountains Musical Society's (BMMS) upcoming production, School of Rock.


Audiences are set to be impressed by the outstanding talent of the exuberant leads as they play instruments live on stage, while also keeping up with the demands of acting, singing and dancing.

School of Rock will be Reuben Kemp-Burrows' debut show with BMMS. The Blaxland resident is delighted to be starring in a show with a society that brings professional-quality productions to the Blue Mountains.

"BMMS does amazing shows and I wanted to have a taste of that, so I decided to audition," he said.

Reuben, who was cast as drummer Freddy, is keen to show off the new skills he has gained in rehearsals under the guidance of music director, Charles Wilkinson.

"Charles makes learning drums fun and easy to understand," said Reuben.

Wilkinson is thrilled to be leading the children through their musical scores.

"The kids are an absolute pleasure to work with. They are all incredibly talented, and hard workers," he said.

St Columba's Catholic College student, Taylah Cowley will also be making her BMMS debut in School of Rock, and she too has high praise for the production.

"The team at School of Rock is amazing. Every facet of the show is workshopped in detail and in such a fun way," she said.

Taylah, who will be playing keyboardist Laurie, is impressed by the devotion of the production team, cast and crew in creating the musical.

"I am inspired every rehearsal by the talent, compassion and dedication of everyone involved," she said.

The School of Rock children's cast has been double cast, with each child performing in five out of 10 shows. Playing Laurie in the opposite cast is Milan Aubrecht who first appeared with BMMS in Cats in 2014. The Springwood High School student began learning piano at just three years of age and now at 14 is excited to be part of the rock musical.

"It's a rare opportunity for talented local kids to perform onstage in a really fun show," he said.

Director Hayley Cascarino is delighted to be an integral part of this opportunity for local, young talent.

"We should give young people more opportunities to shine. The kids are honestly beyond my expectations of talent and musicality, playing at a level well beyond their years," she said.

One of the youngest cast members is James Andison who will play drummer, Freddy. Despite being just 10-years-old and new to BMMS, he is a dedicated cast member who is relishing the opportunity to expand his musical ability.

"Rehearsals are really fun. I'm enjoying acting, playing instruments, and learning amazing stuff," said the Faulconbridge Public School student.

Mila-Kate Smith, who plays bassist Katie, is also eager to expand her skills. Mila-Kate began teaching herself bass during the COVID lockdowns and is now building on those skills during the School of Rock rehearsal process. She is also a keen vocalist. Mila-Kate has sung in choirs since primary school and was scouted for a musical theatre scholarship at just nine years old after being spotted in a Billy Elliot audition workshop. She attends Newtown High School of the Performing Arts and also learns saxophone, piano and acoustic guitar.

The self-taught bassist was ecstatic to be cast in one of her favourite shows.

"I wanted to be part of School of Rock ever since I saw the original Broadway show when I was eight. I always wanted to play Katie and now I'm so excited to be playing that role," she said.

Anya Thomson, who plays the bassist in the opposite cast was also inspired to audition for BMMS' School of Rock after seeing a professional production.

"I'm so excited to live out my rock and roll dreams on stage," she said.

The Winmalee High School student is an experienced performer in local and high school musicals, including in Jesus Christ Superstar with BMMS in 2017. She is also the bass player in a band.

Louis Carroll, who was cast as guitarist Zack, is also a rock music enthusiast. In addition to being a guitarist, outside School of Rock he also plays, drums, bass, and keys. He is most excited to show off his talent in the song School of Rock (Teacher's Pet).

"It's in the original movie, which I hold near and dear to my heart, and I love rehearsing it alongside other dedicated musicians," he said.

Playing Zoey, the guitarist in the opposite cast is Piper Hill. The Newtown High School of the Performing Arts student is enjoying her first experience with BMMS.

"School of Rock is such a fun and energetic musical! It's really cool to play music live," she said.



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Blue Mountains Gazette

Blue Mountains Gazette
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