Friday 23 September, 2011

programimage2What 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.

It’s hot up here - not only the temperature but what is happening is hot hot hot!  Yesterday finished with an open rehearsal at the Baradine Hall with the Central School and local Catholic School as audience.  Watching the little ones in the front row grooving to the Taiko playing of the MAXed OUT company was inspirational. In the evening the townsfolk of Baradine gathered for a proms style concert featuring the Voices ensembles, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Sydney Brass and Taikoz.  People commented they could hear the drumming and the singing from their homes as the sound resonated through the whole town!

image3Last night was the first time a concert has been held in the Baradine Town Hall as a fitting thank you to the community for their ongoing support. It was lovely to hear the buzz of excitement and comments like ‘the hall hasn’t jumped like that for a while!’

We’ve made it ….we are finally here in Coonamble, Paris of the west! The Coonamble community are gearing up for the opening of the Festival later today and rehearsals have been in full steam in the beautiful art deco Plaza Theatre. ABC regional radio did a three hour live feed from the rehearsal interviewing the artists, the composers, the students, the staff, and recording live performances from Taikoz, Sydney Brass and of course the choir and orchestra.  Great talent indeed!

image1This afternoon the festival opens with a premiere concert from the MAXed OUT company featuring the work they have written together with composer Dan Walker based on the artwork of the Wailwan Ngemba artist collective. The word is the street is ‘be there!’