Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Students take to stage

Hundreds of Goulburn Valley primary school students showcased their musical talents yesterday by taking part in a choir at Shepparton's Eastbank centre.

JOHN LEWIS November 8, 2012 4:10am

Goulburn Valley primary school students take part in the Heinze Music Project.

Hundreds of young voices filled Shepparton’s Eastbank centre with harmony and fun yesterday at a special day-long Festival of Singing.

More than 600 students from 14 Goulburn Valley primary schools performed individual songs and sang together in a mass choir accompanied by a live four-piece band of local musicians.

Songs included Joy to the World, Do the Funky Chicken, Pushbike Song and Walkin’ on Sunshine.

Primary schools from Mooroopna, Tatura, St Mel’s in Shepparton, Currawa at Dookie, Merrigum, Undera, Ardmona, Zeerust and Waaia-Yalca South, Grahamvale, Congupna, Guthrie St, Bourchier St and Verney Rd took part in the festival.

The students also watched a performance by African drummer Mohamed Camera and Shepparton High School band Fresh.

Hosted by ABC radio personality Matt Dowling, the annual concert was the second in a three-year Heinze Music Program funded by the Fairley Foundation.

Project co-ordinator Tricia Sargant said singing improves children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging.

‘‘Their imagination is inspired, they develop more resilience and with their improvement in confidence, students are more willing to have a go at things,’’ Ms Sargant said.

She said the Heinze Music Project aims to help primary school teachers run their own singing and performance classes.

The project also provides scholarships to some disadvantaged students who wish to learn a musical instrument and supports the formation of an Association of Music Teachers in Shepparton.

The project is named after after Shepparton-born Sir Bernard Thomas Heinze, who died in 1982.

A music professor, Mr Heinze was conductor and director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music.

He was the first Australian to be knighted for services to music in 1949.

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