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Grow the Music returns to South East Arts in 2016

South east NSW’s regional arts development organisation South East Arts, has received funding from the Ministry for Arts to bring Grow the Music back to Wallaga Lake Koori Village. In March 2016, a month of intensive music, recording, film and language retrieval workshops will be held for the Aboriginal community of Wallaga Lake Koori Village, culminating in a huge public concert.

The Indigenous Languages and Arts Projects funding will enable South East Arts to bring back professional music educators from Grow The Music to build on the success of the program run in 2015.

South East Arts’ Aboriginal Creative and Cultural Engagement Officer, Jazz Williams has been running music lessons each week at Wallaga, alongside the homework centre.

“The kids ask me constantly when Liz and Em from Grow the Music are coming back. These kids were so diligent, so enthusiastic last time, I can’t wait to see what magic they create this time around” she said.

“Bringing Grow the Music back in 2016 means our region is in for another major cultural treat – we all get to witness and enjoy the growth and talent of local Koori kids and artists”

“It wasn’t only the Aboriginal community who were proud of the concert last year, the rest of the local community were intensely proud too. They are hungry for more exposure to the incredible Aboriginal musos and artists we are lucky to have amongst us. Some of the people who attended had never stepped foot in the Koori village and they were really moved by the concert and the sense of community” said Jazz.

Award winning Australian songwriter Neil Murray will join the Grow the Music team to explore song-writing and language retrieval with some key local Aboriginal musicians, with a view to develop songs in language for performance and recording.

One of the aspects of the program the funding does not stretch to is building a permanent collection of instruments for the community at Wallaga Lake Koori Village. South East Arts is keen to help develop this and anyone who can help out in this regard is asked to please contact Jazz directly or the office in Bega, email or call 0497 281 464.

Video footage from the 2015 Grow the Music program at Wallaga Lake Koori Village can be found here