29 May 2011

Another Top Night of Music in Newport

Friday's folk club session provided the perfect tonic for the dawning of winter in Melbourne. The bush orchestra, lead by Chris, Christina and Kathryn, lead a couple of rousing medleys of Australian tunes, Simon K performed 2 of his originals, we had a Michelle Shocked tribute band with a finely tuned orchestration of one of her songs, and then lots and lots on top of that. Christine McDonald lead the evening and made sure that old and new comers were welcome and had a chance to strut their stuff. Terry made sure the tea and coffee were hot and provided sustainance during the break so we could play on (and on... til a bit after 11). Highlight of the night? Moira, one of our senior citizens, leading the cast and crew in a vigorous rendition of that good ole singalong / swing song '5 Foot Two'. Moira is not one to seek the limelight (she insisted in playing from the back pews) but the shine on her dial lit up the room and everyone left with plenty a lovely warm feeling. Good on you Moira - what's next?

26 May 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra Term 2 May 9, 16, 23 2011

Present May 23: Alasdair, Annette, Chris K, Christine H, Fiona C, Greg O, Helen C, Kathryn, Kerry, Leonie, Llyn S, Michael DV, Rob R, Simon D, Trevor, Wendy.

Present May 16: Alasdair, Annette, Chris K, Dave I, Greg O, Julie R Kathryn, Kerry, Leonie, Llyn S, Marilla, Michael DV, Rhonwyn, Trevor Wendy.

Present May 9: Alasdair, Annette, Bruce S, Chris K, Christine H, Dave I, Fiona C Greg O, Helen C, Julie R Kathryn, Kerry, Leonie, Llyn S, Marilla, Simon D, Trevor Wendy.

Well, over the past three weeks old age, illness, school camp and marking mountains of homework caught up with yours truly and I've spent a fair bit of time quietly whimpering under my bed. This is the longest period that been absent from NBO since records began!

Many thanks to Christine Hemphill for stepping in and keeping track of who's where, doing what, on which instrument, at what time and with whom, while I've been away.

According to relatively reliable sources (Greg), Greg has been putting the group through their paces with some cracking new tunes including:

Joe Yates Second Reel
Ten Pretty Girls
Trentham Jig

and making a good start on:

Liberty Bell and The Palais Glide.

Looks like I've got a lot of catching up to do. Now, where's my blue blanket? Time to get back under the bed!!

See you all next Monday,


16 May 2011

Yarra Ranges Opens it Doors to the Public

After years of planning (the first serious discussions began in 1992) the newest museum in
the country is finally open. Director Maggie Solly and her team have worked tirelessly
towards this day. After the welcome to country by Aunty Joy Murphy, the speeches and finally
the ribbon cutting, the enthusiastic guests were allowed into the body of the building.

But of course I would be lying if I didn't say that I was there to enjoy the release of
our little digital story, Edith's Lyrebird. Commissioned by the museum and made in
collaboration with Malcolm McKinnon we have been waiting for months for the film to be
available for general viewing. It was a treat to finally see a small audience chuckling away
at the antics of 'James'. And I am so proud of the music arranged and performed by
my buddies, Greg O'Leary and Michael Stewart from the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club. Now
we have had a taste of movie making, we would love to make more.

The Dame Nellie Melba collection is one of the draw cards to this museum and visitors will
not be disappointed when they see the Melba case -the woman travelled and dressed in style!
I was struck by one of the labels in the Melba section '... she was the first singer in
international standing to broadcast on radio.' Lyrebird James, the star of our little
film was the first lyrebird to be broadcast on the radio - a beautiful coincidence.
Learn more: Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

15 May 2011

Newport In the Yarra Valley?

03 May 2011

Newport Bush Orchestra Term 2 2011

Present: Alasdair, Annette, Bruce S, Bruce W, Chris K, Christine H, Christina P, Fiona C, Greg O, Helen C, Jenny P, Kathryn, Leonie, Llyn S, Michael d V, Rhonwyn, Rob R, Simon D, Trevor.

Well, the National Folk Festival is but a fading memory and the Bush Orchestra has it's eyes firmly and resolutely fixed on future events such as how will Richmond fare in next weekend's footy round... and of course upcoming bush dances and our own Newport Folk Festival in July.

Tonight we learnt two new tunes: 'Joe Yates 2'nd Reel' in D and 'Bill Moyland's Set Tune' in A.

We also welcomed Jenny and Fiona to the group and Leonie brought in a couple of gigantic pumkins to be shared around! Thanks Leonie... pumpkin soup for all!

And also in the thanks department: Christine Hempill has very kindly volunteered to collect the fees for the Term. Thanks Christine! And I would like to thank Alan Davies for coming along last Term and learning a bunch of tunes very quickly in order to help out on the rhythm guitar duties at the National Folk Festival. Alan, your efforts are very much appreciated. Also, Bruce Stanbury made and distributed both a recording and photos from the Stockcamp at the National. Thanks very much Bruce!

Greg also sent an email yesterday to NBO members which sets out our immediate focus for the Term. I include a copy below:


One focus will be Tom Walsh workshop

On the site


are tunes from the BO book and Vic tunes for the national

I am going to put up all of Tom Walshes tunes I know soon

there are a number there already


old schoolmaster

Me and my true love

Tom walshes 2 polkas

step it out Mary

Girl on the hill

Can you have a look the Tom ones that are there?


That's it for this week,

Bruce W

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