From the Artistic Director Michelle Leonard: “We’re on the last few days of the 2014 Skills Workshop Tour for Moorambilla Voices! We’ve been particularly focusing on our potential MAXed OUT students and there are lots of them! I’m so inspired by the energy of the kids here, many of whom just relish the chance to show me what they can do!
“We are on the last workshops now in Coonabarabran. Creativity is such a positive force in every young person’s life and its such a powerful thing especially for teenagers, who are often struggling with identity, issues at home and where they see themselves in the bigger picture. Our workshops offer them a chance to step aside and take a look at life from another angle – one that is intensely supportive, involves their peers who are all on the ‘same page’ and one that underpins their own sense of self.
“What have we been doing at the workshops? We do a lot! In fact we’ve been beat boxing and rapping – I know! I picked up some of the words from a favourite book of my own children – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and we’ve been using the rhythmic structure to create music – you know the one that says “we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we got to go through it!” Our Moorambilla Mum Annie Berrell and I were laughing when we hit massive mud on the way to her property Midgery in Walgett – we had to go through it!
“We also do call and response activities, simple part singing, body percussion and an introduction to notation and writing music. The kids are lapping it all up, and are fascinated by the language of music and the pillars that they can learn to write music for themselves. All the kids that we have seen on this tour learn to use their hands to remember how many lines and space are on the stave. It’s easy for them to remember the #SolFa hand signs and many of them have remembered this from last year!
This year’s tour has been incredibly successful and I am busting to get back to the Moorambilla office and work out ways to ensure that as many children as possible are offered a place in Moorambilla this year. While we have been away, our supporters at the Hidden Gardens Festival donated funds to our MAXed OUT students this year. Thank you!
Look out for the ABC documentary screening on television in May or June made by Heiress Films about Moorambilla Voices, called Outback Choir. We’re really excited to have a chance to talk nationally about the incredible talent in this region that I love.
On we go to organising our August residential camps and tours where we can all get together again. For more information go to the website: http://www.moorambilla.com/2014-dates/