Sunday 25 September, 2011

programfire_moorambillaWhat 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.

The night sky was alight with fire sculptures as the crowd gathered at the Coonamble Pavilion for the Gala concert for  the Moorambilla Festival.  500 people pulled up in cars, buses, utes and all kinds of transport to gather and marvel at what the local people, under the fire sculpture facilitator Phil Relf of IKARA, had produced.


image5They then gathered in the pavilion itself for a night of incredible spectacle and music. It began with ‘Fiant Luminaria’ from ‘The Heaven s Declare’ by Paul Stanhope performed by the Voices ensembles, Sydney Youth Orchestra and the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus followed by Gerard Brophy's suite – ‘Moorambilla Dawn’ commissioned for the festival along with ‘The Meeting of the Waters’ arranged by Ian Munns, and Luke Byrnes fabulous ‘Hydra’ written about the three rivers that meet in the Coonamble, Baradine area. This was followed by the SYO performing some works written for the 2009 festival by Elena Kats Chernin and a  flute and clarinet concerto written by Justice George Palmer for Emma and Richard Sholl and performed by Michael Last and Aleisha Kahn.  The Sydney Brass Quintet wowed everyone with five pieces and then Taikoz took the stage with a piece written by Ian Cleworth. The evening finished with Dan Walkers ‘Of Stone and Earth’ written during the camps with MAXed OUT and a final body percussion/Taikoz extravaganza – ‘Demon Dance’ performed by the MAXed OUT company.

image7All this with the back drop painted by the Wailwan Ngemba collective and the bora poles painted by the Wailwan women with help from MAXed OUT. The effect when all the children, dressed in blues, yellow, oranges and pinks threw their coloured scarves in the air was breathtaking.


image12The last day featured more workshops, mare fabulous morning teas and a  final concert showcasing the workshops and what they had got up to.  All wrapped up with lunch at 2828 at Gulargambone before everyone wended their way to their respective homes – near and far. Moorambilla 2011 – the biggest and the best yet!!

For more amazing photographs from the Festival check out the MiCN Facebook page.