Moorambilla Voices is more than a program about country kids learning about artistic expression, it’s a program that helps them find their voice, their passion and even their path for the future. Established in 2006 it has brought together many communities as part of a unique cultural experience. In 2019, 3,481 children in 20 Local Government Areas were seen by Moorambilla’s Artistic Director inviting 122 schools from 54 towns as she delivered 79 skills development workshops, this takes the total of children involved in our gifted and talented program now to 35,500.
332 children over our three ensembles (33% of our first round offers identify indigenous with 76 indigenous kids participated) at Baradine residency camps created our program that was seen in the Dubbo Regional Theatre online by 9300 people and reached 15,500 and rising. In 2019 Moorambilla Voices exemplifies "More than a Choir" with 2 Full Time staff, 5 part time staff, 44 artists throughout the year over 19 events.
Each year over 300 students attend a camp where they dance, sing, compose, paint, weave, play taiko and learn about the cultural traditions and stories of their landscape. This is done in partnership with the highest quality professional musicians, performers, composers, dancers and visual artists.
We have been celebrated nationally to critical acclaim in documentary and feature film format –"Outback Choir" & "Wide Open Sky". Moorambilla has won every National award of excellence in our field, we have been led by our Founder and Artistic Director Michelle Leonard OAM for the entire 14 years. Michelle being originally from Coonamble, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for Services to the Community and Performing Arts in 2017, 2018 the Sydney University Alumni of the year award for services to the arts and in 2019 was named in the Financial reviews top 100 most influential women in Australia.
Once part of the Moorambilla Voices these young people become part of a broader artistic family that allows them to develop their cultural identity through the telling of stories, travelling their lifelines and exploring the landscapes of the unique region of north-western NSW.
Our Skills Development Workshops Tour includes schools from the following Local Government Areas:
Dubbo Regional Council (Geurie, Wellington, Ballimore, Wongarbon)
Narromine Shire (Trangie)
Parkes Shire (Peak Hill, Trundle, Tullamore)
Gilgandra Shire (Tooraweenah)
Lachlan Shire (Tottenham)
Warrumbungle Shire (Binnaway, Coolah, Coonabarabran, Dunedoo, Baradine, Mendooran)
Upper Hunter Shire (Cassilis)
Gunnedah Shire (Mullaley)
Mid Western Regional Council (Gulgong)
Coonamble Shire (Gulargambone, Quambone)
Walgett Shire (Carinda, Burren Junction, Rowena, Collarenebri, Lightning Ridge)
Narrabri Shire (Pilliga, Gwabegar, Wee Waa, Bellata)
Brewarrina Shire (Goodooga, Weilmoringle)
Bourke Shire (Enngonia)
Central Darling Shire (Wilcannia)
Bogan Shire (Nyngan, Hermidale, Girilambone)
Cabonne Shire (Yeoval, Cumnock)
And while Moorambilla Voices is supported to some extent by contributions from government agencies and private donors, there is always a large shortfall that needs to be filled through fundraising to ensure the voices continue to sing, dance and drum. While all participants are subsidised, we don’t want any child to miss out if they can’t find the $660 they are asked to contribute themselves. ANY financial help you can offer to help support these candidates in some of the most disadvantaged communities would be much appreciated. We know they are worth all the effort.
After fourteen years graduates of the program are now moving into tertiary education and planning the next phase of their lives, shaped in part by their experience with Moorambilla Voices; pursuing careers in music, community services and the environment.