Roe­bourne trio add their voices to choir

Pilbara News - - Education - Court­ney Fowler

■ The Red Earth Arts Fes­ti­val is over for another year but for three Roe­bourne stu­dents it has left a last­ing mem­ory af­ter they were in­vited to sing with the Gond­wana In­dige­nous Chil­dren’s Choir last month.

Lo­cal stu­dents Katie-May Healey, 13, Kim­ber­ley Wil­son, 12 and Iver­son Cedar, 11, joined 36 tal­ented in­dige­nous singers from Cairns and Ku­nunurra in a per­for­mance at the Roe­bourne Cul­tural Cen­tre for the REAF Voices con­cert.

The com­mu­nity was also treated to the an­gelic voices of the acapella quar­tet Co-Cheol, as well as a guest ap­pear­ance from the Cat Em­pire’s Felix Riebl.

Katie-May de­scribed the per­for­mance as a “once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“Af­ter they held au­di­tions at the school, me and three other kids were picked to join the choir for tonight’s per­for­mance,” she said.

“We learnt the songs in less than a week, re­hears­ing at the Ibis Ho­tel in Kar­ratha for the big show.

“Singing with a choir is just awe­some — we have got to meet a lot of new peo­ple from around Aus­tralia.”

For 17-year-old Cairns singer Tea­gan, the Gond­wana choir has pro­vided a sec­ond fam­ily since join­ing in 2009.

She said it was a priv­i­lege to share a glimpse of her own tribe’s cul­ture in the REAF Voices per­for­mance at Roe­bourne.

“I am from the main tribe in Cairns and the choir has been learn­ing some songs in my lan­guage,” she said. “I feel very lucky to take my cul­ture across to the other side of Aus­tralia.

“It’s amaz­ing here and so dif­fer­ent from where we are from ... it’s awe­some singing in the red dirt.”

Gond­wana founder and artis­tic di­rec­tor Lyn Wil­liams said she hoped to bring the choir back to Roe­bourne and con­tinue to de­velop re­la­tion­ships.

“We feel the kids who have the in­ten­sive re­hearsals with us, it re­ally has the ca­pa­bil­ity to change their lives,” she said.

“It gives the kids a great drive and pur­pose and they can see the hard work pays off when they get to do fan­tas­tic trips like this.”

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