Profile: The Con Artists

The Con Artistsby This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 18 Issue 3 (May 2012)


Watch the Con Artists performing for the Illawarra Folk Festival in January 2012.

Several years ago, Wollongong–based conductor and educator David Rooney took on the role of directing a community concert band, the Concord Concert Band (previously Concord 80). Over the course of three years Rooney developed and expanded the group into a lively folk/gypsy/klezmer band, a move away from its concert/wind band roots but very much reinforcing its role as a community music group.

With a vast line-up of wind, brass, percussion and string instruments, the Con Artists’ high energy repertoire is influenced by the musical traditions of New Orleans brass bands, Klezmer, Balkans, French-Canadian fiddle music, Italian Folk, and others.

Challenging Voices

by Phil Mullen. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 18 Issue 3 (May 2012)  

The English organization Sing Up develops a voice network to work with children excluded from mainstream school.

In mid-February this year a group of 11 community musicians got together for a weekend in Birmingham in England to share songs and music games and to discuss what it was like working with some of the most difficult and sometimes most challenging children in the country.  They talked about the complexity of the challenges these young people faced and shared their own ways of engaging them and helping them find motivation to make music.

Music Training Has Impact on the Aging Process

by Wendy Leopold. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 18 Issue 3 (May 2012)


Age-related delays in neural timing are not inevitable and can be avoided or offset with musical training, according to a new study from Northwestern University. The study is the first to provide biological evidence that lifelong musical experience has an impact on the aging process.

Indigenous Festivals in Australia

by Dr. Peter Phipps.  Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 18 Issue 3 (May 2012)

Performing cultural survival and community transformation

Indigenous festivals are booming. There are well over 100 Indigenous festivals in Australia annually – from small, one-day events with a focus on sport, music, culture, history or a mix of these, to a smaller number of large, complex tourism-arts events such as Garma or The Dreaming. The vast majority of Indigenous festivals are small, locally oriented events held primarily for their local Indigenous communities without dedicated festival administration or support, but pulled together by local communities and organisations often on short timeframes.

The Outcomes of Young People’s Participation in Music Festivals

by Dr. Jan Packer and Dr. Julie Ballantyne. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 18 Issue 3 (May 2012)

Music festivals offer unique opportunities for young people to actively engage with music. They usually take place over the course of several days, during which many participants camp on the festival site and thus become totally immersed in the festival experience. This research was conducted to gain a better understanding of the nature and outcomes of music festival experiences and to explore the extent to which they contribute to the psychological and social well-being of the young people who participate.