Less well known to audiences was his role as a mentor and advisor to many young performers that he worked with over the years. Following his sudden death in 2008 while performing the role of the Wizard of Oz in Wicked, the Rob Guest Endowment fund was set up as a tribute to this outstanding performer, to continue his work in nurturing and progressing young developing talent in the musical theatre industry.
Now in its fifth year, the Rob Guest Endowment is an established and highly anticipated annual opportunity to showcase some of Australia’s finest upcoming young talent, which culminates in a night of stellar performances at the Rob Guest Endowment Gala Concert.
In 2012, judges auditioned over three hundred applicants in Sydney and Melbourne, drawn from six states, to finally select the top six performers to compete at the Gala Concert.
The 2012 recipient of the Rob Guest Endowment was Glenn Hill, who performed “For Good” from Wicked, at the recent 2013 launch to the delight of those present, along with last year’s Encouragement award winner, Kirby Burgess, and Gretel Scarlett, the 2011 finalist who has now been cast as Sandy in the upcoming production of Grease.
Previously the Gala Concert has been held in Melbourne, but this year it’s Sydney’s turn on 25 November at the Lyric Theatre.
All applicants must be between 18-30 years of age and have well developed vocal, dance and acting abilities to front the panel of judges, who have the task of selecting the best six young performers. The judging panel is made up of top industry experts and they will award the prize to one of the final six on the night of the Gala Concert. The prize package will provide financial assistance for their future, as well as access to tuition and industry specialists, both in Australia and overseas, to allow them to develop their skills and knowledge.
Sandra Tiltman PHOTO: John Pond