Children from all over the remote north west of NSW will leave their farms, houses, centres, schools and homes to drive, catch a bus and ride to Baradine in August for the annual Moorambilla Voices camps. Up to 170 children have been selected purely on their ability to sing and make music, and hard work behind the scenes is still taking place to fundraise to ensure they each get a place.
The children come from all backgrounds. Now in its eighth year, the program provides one of the only cultural experiences available to the remote, regional and Indigenous children across the north-western third of NSW.
Baradine will welcome the three children’s choirs, including the MAXed Out Company created just for teenagers. They will be writing music with Australia’s finest– including Sydney Symphony Fellowship, Australia’s TaikOz drumming ensemble, premiere vocal group the Song Company, and professional dancers, including Indigenous Australian Ballet trained dancer Eric Avery and popular television performer Move it Mob Style’s Ghenoa Gela. The children will create work about their region with visual artists Frank Wright and the Ngemba Wailwan Collective.
Artistic Director of the program is Coonamble-born Michelle Leonard. “This kind of opportunity is so special to Moorambilla Voices, and gives our children an experience that many kids in the big cities would love to have. We are bringing to Baradine Australia’s finest musicians and artists, to create an intense creative experience. We will be singing up a storm, in readiness for our performances at the Moorambilla Festival in Coonamble in September”.
Baradine resident and Voices supporter and caterer Nea Worrell says: “Baradine loves having Moorambilla Voices in our town, the kids are such a energy here and when they sing the roof nearly lifts of the Town Hall. We are cooking nonstop – we have made 42 cakes so far! And we are making up the beds in our Camp Cypress to get ready so they get a good sleep.”
Text and photographs: Lliane Clarke