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    Horsham Rural City Band will debut one of two new pieces by Horsham composer Nick Shirrefs next month.

Art is... creating musical harmony in 2024

The ITET Gariwerd String Ensemble and Horsham Rural City Band will debut two new pieces by Horsham composer Nick Shirrefs next month in a special musical performance presented by the Art is… festival.

The June 22 community concert will feature Mr Shirrefs’ compositions titled ‘Barengi Gadjin’, referencing the original name of what is now called the Wimmera River, and ‘Bunjil’, referring to a creation figure depicted in many Victorian Aboriginal cultures.

The pieces reflect the air and water themes of this year’s Art is… festival.

Festival director Alistair Shaw said news of the performances was generating excitement among musicians across western Victoria.

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The ITET Gariwerd String Ensemble features Horsham musicians mentored by Orchestra Victoria violinist and education director John Noble.

Mr Noble’s ITET program for rural Victoria will bring musicians from as far as Mildura and Castlemaine for the performance, while one of Australia’s most successful string quartets, the Flinders Quartet, will also support the concert.

The Horsham Rural City Band has reported interest from musicians in Stawell, Ballarat, Nhill, Dimboola, Warracknabeal and St Arnaud wanting to join for the experience.

Each band will perform individually and in combination, with the orchestra growing in size and variety until all performers are on stage for Mr Shirreffs’ two original pieces.

Dr Shaw said the performance was symbolic of a growing music scene in the Wimmera.

“Two years ago I was told it was impossible to develop string players in Horsham, so we started a string program – the first of its kind in the Wimmera,” he said.

“Next month we’ll see the culmination of two years of preparation and the good people of Horsham will get to the full range of the music that can be performed here – by locals, supported by our friends. 

“We are hoping to have as many as 20 string players on stage, and upwards of 40 Horsham Rural City Band members.”

The Art is… community concert will be at the Church of Christ building on River Road from 7.30pm to 9pm on Saturday, June 22.

Tickets are $20 from the website or by emailing artis@artis.

The Flinders Quartet will also perform at Horsham Town Hall on Sunday, June 23 at 1pm, playing Mozart String Quartet K 465 Dissonance and Ethel Smyth String Quartet in C minor.

Tickets are $50, with junior and senior tickets, as well as those for groups of seven or more, discounted to $40 each.

The entire May 22, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!