Shaking rhythm

SHAKE a Tail Feather energised young performers during their lively Rhythm and Voice performance at the Kerang Memorial Hall recently.

Kids shake a tail feather in the Rhythm and Voice performance.

Kids shake a tail feather in the Rhythm and Voice performance.

The free concert concluded with a vibrant rendition of What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?

Children sang that finale in parts, guided by two conductors.

The concert followed a workshop earlier in the day, during which all participants experienced a range of learning exercises.

"It's an opportunity to bring children from the (region's) primary schools together to enjoy musical workshops," president of Kerang Music Society Angela Ginnivan said.

"They do workshops in rhythm and singing and movement and instruments as well."

She explained that groups on the day are formed by combining students from different schools as some schools have more extensive music programs than others.

Students came from as far afield as Pyramid Hill and Swan Hill, with schools in Cohuna, Leitchville and Kerang all represented.

This was the fourth edition of the annual event, with participants ranging from grade 3 to grade 6 students.

Rhythm and Voice is supported by the Kerang Music Society, Gannawarra Shire Council, Northern District Community Health and FReeZA – a Victorian Government initiative to provide affordable and accessible musical opportunities for young people.

Professional music educators, Dr Peter Butler and Jenni Heinrich led the day's program, with ample assistance from teachers Alicia Makeham, and Jim Rinaldi, and local musicians Angela Jones and Paul McNeish.

The original Rhythm and Voice workshop and concert was an initiative of the Kerang Music Society.

Jenni Heinrich conducts the choir.

Jenni Heinrich conducts the choir.

That organisation was keen to foster music in the region's schools and broaden students' exposure to it.

Gannawarra Shire threw its support behind the idea, assisting with funding and with organisational requirements, with council's arts and culture officer, Kirsty Orr actively involved.

Northern District Community Health has taken a keen interest in the event through its involvement with the FReeZA program, and is looking to expand its future connection to include assistance with organisation of the Rhythm and Voice event.

The participating schools were all sent the music for the concluding song, enabling students to prepare for the complex arrangement, which they then rehearsed as a mass group during the workshop.