Experiencing the Power of Song at Grassy Head

The stunning tropical venue at Yarra, Grassy Head.

THE Yarra Adventist Youth Centre at Grassy Head, where the rainforest meets the sea, was a perfect venue for the ‘Power of Song Festival’ held over the weekend of 17, 18 and 19 March with all attending enjoying glorious autumnal conditions.

The Sunday morning workshop, led by Uncle Micklo Jarrett and Ilka Schroeder, produced a joyful resonance throughout the Centre’s Chapel and surrounds, as a diverse group joined in to experience the magic of the local and international song languages combined with rhythmic body percussion.

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Festival attendee Trish Paterson told News Of The Area the Festival was a great way to spend a weekend.

“I participated in various workshops including a drum circle with Luke Rhodes, rhythm classes and Greek traditional songs with Parissa, who taught a cha-cha-cha song and other south American songs and rhythm too, so good, plus expertly taught harmonic singing with Jo Pierce and also the amazing Kirsten Mackenzie,” Trish said.

Band member Ben Walters described the three day event as a “wonderful weekend of immersion in music, with rhythm and voice”.

“Songs from around the world were especially great to hear and participate in, as well as learning songs from Gumbaynggirr language with Uncle Micklo,” Ben said.

As choir leader, therapist and coordinator, Ruth Nolan was pleased to comment on the program of events.

“We enjoyed lots of laughs, world music, great food, connections, and people exploring their voices and playing with rhythm while learning new songs and harmonies.”

“The choir is not really about performance, it’s more about self-care and community,” Ruth said.

“It provides a safe space to share community and quite literally ‘harmony’, where all are welcomed into a group of ‘shower singing’ enthusiasts who come once or even twice a week for the uplifting experience of group harmony singing, where we gather to sing world music and ‘folk’ songs, sea shanties and prayers, gospel songs and Latin chants, Zulu chants and songs collected by Miriam Makeba.”

Cabins and dormitory accommodation were available for Friday and Saturday nights and Ruth encouraged all interested in future sessions to check out the regular weekly events held in Macksville and Kempsey.

The Festival was made possible thanks to funding from a Covid-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program grant from Resilience NSW.

To find more information about joining the local choirs and upcoming events, contact Ruth Nolan on 0431 868 149.


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