2024 Narrabri Arts Festival kicks off with music segment

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The 2024 Narrabri Arts Festival kicks off its musical portion at the Cross Theater on Monday 20 May.

This year’s music judge is Nicolas Buff, Music Director of Newcastle Military Band.

Nicholas has worked with community big bands, orchestras and wind bands.

Nicholas is an accomplished woodwind musician who plays flute, clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxophone.

His musical journey combines teaching with the study of European classical music, jazz and Indian classical music.

Monday’s program begins with sections for woodwinds, brass, piano and voice, with Lillian Davis (brass folk 10 and under), Baxter Gabbert and Ava Smith (popular piano solo 15 and under) ), Violet Dawson (Pop Piano Solo, 12 years and under), Lilian Davies and Isabela Campbell (Instrumental Duo, 12 and under), Elsie Bennett (Pop Songs – 7, 8 and 9 grade).

The evening session opened with an evocative and masterful performance of Astor Piazzolla’s “Tango Etudes No. 4” by this year’s judge Nicolas Buff on soprano saxophone Curtain.

The evening continued with a colorful and exciting program.

Among many exciting performances, the Wee Waa Community band played The Tempest, Beautiful Sunday, Spirit Wind, Red Lily – From China and The Charioteer; Peter Carrett on recorder A Sea Shack, Wellerman, played “In the Garden” and “What A Friend we have in Jesus” on euphonium; Hayley Yandell-Smith played Chaico on piano Vosky’s “Juin Barcarolle”, Brahams’ Intermezzo, Phar Lap Theme and Chopin’s Nocturne in C# minor, with Daniel Smith playing Keterbey’s “In a Persian Mark”.

The musical entertainment section on Tuesday morning was also a delight with St Francis Xavier’s taking first place – ‘I Just Cant Wait to be King’ and Narrabri Public School taking second place – ‘Purple People Eater’.

Bellata Public School and Burren Junction Public School took first and second place respectively, both putting on highly entertaining performances in the small schools section.

Narrabri Public School won first and second place in the small choir primary category with their wonderful performances of “Because You Love Me”, “Broadway Lullaby” and the Jamilare national anthem.

Namoy Christian School also won first place in the “Song of Harmony” for grades 7, 8 and 9 for a piece called “Brother John” inspired by Father Jacques; Won first place in the high school percussion band project for his delightful rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”

At the end of the music section, judge Mr Nicolas Buff listened to some of the Year 12 HSC students and provided some support and advice.

He also conducted interactive workshops for rock band students which were well received.

Nic had a great time at Narrabri and spoke highly of the teachers and performers for the well-prepared performances.

He was impressed by the wide range of repertoire and instruments, the diverse program and the high standard of performance and teaching.

Congratulations to all the wonderful musical performers on Monday and Tuesday.

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