Monday 19 September, 2011

programWhat began as a regional outreach program run by the Music in Communities Award winning Leichhardt Expresso Chorus has grown into a cultural highlight on the calendar of north-western NSW. This multi-arts festival, under the artistic direction of Michelle Leonard, has grassroots community music making at its heart. The Music in Communities Network is please to be able to offer you a glimpse into the heart of this wonderful festival as we "live blog" daily for the course of the festival from 23rd to 25th September.

We are getting excited as we approach the starting date of the Moorambilla Festival ready to take flight on Friday 22 September in Coonamble, Baradine and Gulargambone. Ensembles from Sydney and all over NSW are preparing, rehearsing, packing bags, organising costumes, putting the final touches to compositions, backdrops and artworks ready for the big day.

We had the first rehearsals with the fabulous SYO Flagship orchestra this weekend and they are going to blow the minds of the audiences they perform for along with the Moorambilla Voices ensemble who are primed for the challenge!  Other artistic partners: Sydney Brass, Taikoz and the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, are packing their trucks and are ready to roll – destination Nth West NSW- for some inspiring music, great spectacles, wonderful food, warm welcomes and good fun!

The Moorambilla Festival runs from September 22nd to 25th 2011 - click here to download the full 2011 Program with a sneak peak of the beautifully colourful and stunning artwork celebrating all the good things of life – a true collaboration between the Ngemba Wailwan Artists and the young people of the region from Moorambilla Voices.


imageMoorambilla Voices started its life in 2006 with a fledgling group of 37 young boys in one choir.  It has now grown in 2011 to include three ensembles of 189 participants (Primary boys, Primary girls and a youth company called MAXed OUT) who are talented, committed, enthusiastic and ready for action!!

This program is geographically centred on the regional remote and very remote regions of Western NSW, covering over one third of the state and the local government areas of Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Central Darling, Cobar, Coonamble, Dubbo, Narromine, Warren, Warrumbungle and Walgett. Skills development workshops were given in term one, 2011 at 78 schools with over 1300 children participating (which included every primary child attending school on the day of the workshop delivery).

image-1189 of these talented young people were chosen to participate in the residency camps in August.  These camps gave them the chance to do intensive choral workshops with Michelle Leonard, the Artistic Director; accompanist and composer, Luke Byrne; resident composer, Dan Walker; Taiko drumming and body percussion workshops with Ian Cleworth and Anton Lock from Taikoz and visual arts workshops with the wonderful Ngemba Wailwan Artist collective from Warren.

Come along to Festival, especially the Gala concert on Saturday 24th September to see the end results..... Inspirational stuff from amazing artists and the Moorambilla Voices Crew led by the inspirational Michelle Leonard and the fantastic artistic partners.