Second Compass Music Festival has twice the entertainment

Last year’s Coffs Harbour show was so successful there will be two nights this year. Photo: Department of Education.

FOLLOWING the huge success of last year’s inaugural Compass Music Festival, and with so much talent available on the NSW North Coast, organisers have found they can no longer fit the popular event into one evening performance.

Department of Education Arts Coordination Officer Simon Kermode said, “Interest in the festival has doubled since its pilot in 2022, with a second night of performances having to be added to accommodate all applications.

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“Each day will feature a completely new combined ensemble cast.”

The Compass Music Festival is one of a wide range of initiatives to promote the arts in NSW public schools by the Arts Unit of the Department of Education.

It aims to create local opportunities for students, teachers and schools to showcase their musical talent to their own communities.

30 schools from the Nambucca Valley to Pottsville will participate in the festival’s three combined ensembles, primary choir, secondary choir and recorder ensemble.

Coffs Coast primary and secondary schools from Corindi down to Repton and across to Bellingen and Glenreagh will be represented.

More than 600 students from years 3 to 12 will perform across May 29 and 30, accompanied by the Bellingen Youth Orchestra.

Participating schools are provided with all the teaching materials and repertoire at the beginning of the year, but it is only on the day of the performance that all performers come together.

Michael Trist, Narranga Public School principal, said, “As much as we have a focus on literacy and numeracy at Narranga Public School, we also try to involve our students in as many different learning experiences as possible.”

“Our senior choir took part in last year’s inaugural performance and are excited to return this year.

“They enjoyed the singing as well as working with other schools and gaining from the expertise of lots of different staff members, and of course performing with the Bellingen Youth Orchestra.

“Events like these are one of the great strengths of public education.”

Tickets for the Compass Music Festival can be purchased at

By Andrew VIVIAN

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