In­vite caps off good year

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Boon­deru Mu­sic Acad­emy in Roe­bourne may only have started this year, but it has had a huge gain with an in­vi­ta­tion to per­form at one of Aus­tralia’s most sig­nif­i­cant in­dige­nous fes­ti­vals.

The acad­emy pro­gram, which is run through Roe­bourne Dis­trict High School, will take about 20 of its stu­dents to the Garma Fes­ti­val next year af­ter the fes­ti­val chief ex­ec­u­tive per­son­ally in­vited them to at­tend.

Acad­emy chief ex­ec­u­tive Qynn Beard­man, who runs the acad­emy with his wife, Susie, said it hap­pened as a stroke of luck.

“We were asked to look at go­ing to a fes­ti­val in Sydney, and the tim­ing just didn’t work,” he said. “And when I was look­ing at the Sydney fes­ti­val I saw the link to Garma.”

“I hap­pened to speak to the CEO and told her about Boon­deru … and she said we’d like to ex­tend an in­vi­ta­tion to you.”

The Garma Fes­ti­val is Aus­tralia’s ma­jor in­dige­nous af­fairs dis­cus­sion fo­rum and at­tracts more than 2500 peo­ple from all over the world to tra­di­tional Arn­hem Land in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory each year.

Boon­deru stu­dents will per­form at ei­ther its gen­eral or youth fo­rum mid next year.

Mr Beard­man said Boon­deru has had a busy, suc­cess­ful year with about 70 stu­dents in­volved and four more teach­ers hired for 2016. He at­trib­uted their pop­u­lar­ity to their univer­sal ap­peal of mu­sic which is es­pe­cially cen­tral to Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture.

“(The Garma Fes­ti­val in­vite) is a really great thing for us,” he said. “It’s been such a pos­i­tive year at the school and this just caps it off. This is our foun­da­tion year and we’ve achieved so much more than we could ever have hoped for.”

He said stu­dents would pre­pare a spe­cial piece for the fes­ti­val that fuses tra­di­tional in­dige­nous song and dance with mod­ern el­e­ments.

Pic­ture: El­e­ments Mar­garet River

Boon­deru Mu­sic Acad­emy drum star La­trell Moody, 12.

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