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Community & Business

22 April, 2022

Music education week

After last year’s success of the first biannual Warren Chamber Music Festival (WCMF), in its year off, the festival will be running a musical education week.

By Emily Middleton

Including live street performances, workshops, lectures, trivia, and an array of concerts, the education week aims to include every level of the community.

“This time we have gone into the community, into the schools, to the aged care residents, to the early learners, and we say ‘look, just take this. Try this’,” said Frances Evans, WCMF coordinator.

“This is a different week, not just concerts, our committee really have a mandate to get it right into every level of our community.”

Last year, performed in between COVID-19 lockdowns, the WCMF sold over 600 tickets to the inaugural three-day event.

Audience members travelled from right across the state, and Ms Evans says it’s the music that brings people together.

“We were so fortunate to run it last year, and then this year again restrictions have lifted so people can come together. Music is a great way to bring people together to be inspired and be happy and grow together,” said Ms Evans.

“The stars aligned, and we ran the festival for the first-time last year with a $20,000 grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), as well as support from Outback Arts and Warren Shire Council.”

The WCMF came about by the passion of three Warren locals. Ms Evans explained that two of her friends came to her with the concept, and the idea has only expanded.

“Two of my very dear friends, Phil Leman and Dr John Bourke, they’ve lived in Warren almost their entire life, they came to me and said ‘hey do you think we could run something like this?’, - and they put down the Port Fairy Spring Festival program, which happens in Victoria – and I said to them, ‘well I don’t think we can quite manage the Port Fairy musical but we can certainly do something’.

“And that’s how it all kind of evolved.” Ms Evans is no stranger to music festivals, having played in a multitude of classic music festivals, orchestras, and ensembles.

“I really know the repertoire, and I really know what people are going to enjoy, because there is so much beautiful classical music out there.

“We love music, and we love our town, and we want to make sure the people in the district here have the opportunity to fall in love with classical music even if they haven’t yet heard it before.”

The WCMF have listened to last year’s feedback and are poised to take on next year’s festival.

“We are really excited about 2023 as well. Next year - I’m already bursting out of my skin - the Golden String Quartet are coming, they’re arguably Australia’s best string quartet. They are willing and wanting to come this far west to bring what they’ve got to our audiences.”

The education week kicks off early next month.

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