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Nathan Stark's journey with a3 - from student to teacher

Seven years ago, Nathan Stark participated in an a3 program as a Year 11 student. Today, the student has become the teacher - Nathan is now working with us in Sydney, and we’re so glad that he is still part of the a3 family. Read on to find out more about Nathan’s journey.

Nathan in his role as Joseph in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' with a3 in 2011

How did you first become involved with a3?

In 2011, a3 was working with primary schools from the Broken Bay Diocese in Sydney to prepare a series of concerts. The finale item was 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat' and they were looking for someone to play Joseph. I was in Year 11 at Mater Maria Catholic College and was given the opportunity to perform the role. It was at these concerts that I first met Judith Curphey (ASPA Founder) and Nicole Muir (ASPA CEO).

What is your role with a3 now?
Three years passed and I'd just been offered a place at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) to study Music Theatre in Perth. I got in touch with Nicole Muir to express my interest in joining the Australian Girls Choir (AGC) as a tutor in Perth. Being part of AGC and a3 in Perth was a phenomenal experience and gave me three years of nurture and opportunities to focus on building my craft as a teacher. But like a flash, I'm now back living in Sydney and have been fortunate enough to join the NSW team and continue what I started in Perth. So in a roundabout way - in my current role as a tutor with a3, recently I have begun delivering a program very similar to the one in which I performed in six years ago.

When delivering a3 programs, do you see a change in the students who are participating from the beginning of the program until the end?
The a3 program I've been working on in Sydney involves fulfilling the drama curriculum for an entire primary school. We've just reached the half way point of the program and the courage and confidence the students have built already - individually, as a group and with each other - is exciting. Everyone has something to offer and we've been successful in creating a playful, trusting and explorative culture. However I find every program offers different discoveries. My first role with a3 in Perth was assisting with the Workpower program for participants with a disability, their carers and families. In that program the change was astonishing from the classroom to putting on a concert for family and friends. A lot of the participants’ success in that instance came out of the ongoing trust we'd built together.

How do you feel participating in the performing arts enhances children’s education?

I’ve found the performing arts brings that playful yet mindful freedom from the more restricted elements of children's education. It also encourages imagination and communication. It's so rewarding seeing the growth the participants have from working within the performing arts realm, getting to watch individuals shine.

In life outside of a3, how are you involved with the performing arts?
I'm back training with an outstanding new singing teacher and have been focusing on more classical repertoire which is a good challenge. I recently performed as part of a male choir for Adele in her Sydney concerts, and I have some exciting work lined up for the year ahead, which will see me back in Perth in a new Opera Australia production of the Merry Widow, directed and choreographed by Graeme Murphy with West Australian Opera in July.


Nathan today - a3 tutor, WAAPA graduate and West Australian Opera performer!