Education / Social / 5th October 2023
Moorambilla celebrates marks on country
Music and song have overcome distance with inspiring performances from regional youth that showcase the transformative power of the arts and its connection to Country.
A total of 245 children throughout north-west NSW attended the award- winning Moorambilla Voices residential camps in Baradine during August and September fortheleaduptothegala Riversong 2023: Marks on Country concert.
Founded in 2005, Moorambilla Voices pride themselves on being more than just a choir. It provides creativeandperformance opportunities to young singers and dancers across central and north- west NSW through a series of residency workshops with primary and secondary students held during August in Baradine, culminating in a gala performance in Dubbo in September.
This year’s ensembles had the opportunity to learn the story of Guliyali the Pelican with Walgett- based Gamilaroi visual artist Frank Wright and co-create dance works with four choreographers – Worimi and Dunghutti man, Jye Uren, Birripai woman Tammy Bouman, Wiradjuri man Neville Williams-Boney and Jacob Williams.
Artistic director, Michelle Leonard OAM, said the students have been singing their hearts out in Indigenous language featuring Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri.
“What an extraordinary and creative energy exploded out of the Baradine Memorial Hall this year at the August residencies for Moorambilla Riversong 2023,” Ms Leonard said.
“Just like our rivers in flood, the capacity of our regional children to sing, dance, play Taiko drums and connect us all to the joy of singing is immense and incredibly powerful.
“I am so utterly delighted to be seeing the fruition of so much work from so many people in the region come to life in this year’s program. The music is absolutely glorious, the dancing and Taiko is so incredibly powerful and strong; its breathtaking in its energy!”
Ms Leonard said that, for the first time, the gala in Dubbo will take place over a larger area, giving more people the opportunity to watch the performances.
“Over the weekend we will be showcasing our dance, visual arts, lanterns, and fire sculptures in Victoria Park,” added Ms Leonard.
“The lanterns the children have made for the ‘Fire, Sand, Light’ walk are just so heartfelt and beautiful, the magnificent fire sculptures and large-scale lanterns will be breathtaking, the energy from the sand dance will stay with you for years to come.
“Moorambilla is all about celebrating the energy, tenacity and enormous capacity of our region’s children and this has been an extraordinary year.
“Moorambilla Voices continues to celebrate this region’s inspiring beauty and capacity through another magical musical experience with ‘Marks on Country’.”