For the fifth year in a row, Grow the Music returns to the region. South East Arts is proud to again be able to bring Grow the Music to the Wallaga Lake Koori community, where they will spend two weeks conducting music development and recording sessions.

At the end of the program everyone is invited to the Wallaga Lake Koori Community Concert on Sunday 14 April at 3pm, at the Wallaga Lake Koori Village north of Bermagui. The concert will feature performances from people of all ages who will work in the lead-up with the Grow the Music team. This program was made possible through funding from the Federal Government’s Indigenous Languages and the Arts round.

“A lot of the kids at Wallaga are seasoned performers now,” says Jazz Williams, Aboriginal Cultural and Community Engagement Officer for South East Arts. “With the support of South East Arts and Grow the Music, they’ve performed at Cobargo Folk Festival, Candelo Village Festival, Giiyong Festival, Bermagui Seaside Fair and the Narooma Kinema over the last few years.”

Special guest performer at the concert on Sunday 14 April will be Matty Walker. He grew up on the Far South Coast and performs regularly on the coastal circuit.

This year, Grow the Music are bringing Roy Jugadai from the Docker River Band all the way from the Northern Territory to be a mentor on the Wallaga program and to collaborate with Bermagui hip hop artist Gabadoo. Roy performed at the Giiyong Festival in September at Jigamy, Eden with his band. Gabadoo and another talented local artist Takeisha Thomas, will also work as mentors on the Grow the Music team at Wallaga.

After the Wallaga program Grow the Music will deliver a week of music and recording workshops for young people in Eden, thanks to a partnership between Department of Family Services (FACS) and South East Arts. These will take place at Aboriginal Evangelical Church, Corner Moorhead & Clare Street, Eden 2551 from 17 – 22 April.

Grow the Music and South East Art’s partnership sky-rocketed on social media in 2018 with the release of two original songs on YouTube. Bega High School’s ‘Koori Nation’ and Eden Marine High School’s ‘Always Be True’ were both written and performed by the students as part of the last Grow the Music program in the region.

One of the unique features of the Grow the Music team is their ongoing connectivity. They stay in touch with all the communities and families they work with and they like to leave a little something behind, something tangible, in the way of musical instruments.

South East Arts and Grow the Music invite you to donate your unused or new instruments for distribution through their programs around Australia, so that participants, including locally, can build on the skills that they have begun to develop and foster a long-term love of music.

Following the success of last September’s Giiyong Festival, which was a culmination of five years of working in the arts arena with local Aboriginal people, South East Arts continues to invest in and support Aboriginal performers in the Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Snowy Monaro. For further information on Grow the Music programs locally, or instrument donation please contact South East Arts on 64920711.