26 October 2013

The Bush Orchestra - and the Power of Music

Yesterday the Extended Bush Orchestra  performed at the Extended Families Fun day at Bulla Model Railway in Bulla.

Attendees were: Greg, Bruce Williams, Kerry, David Briggs and Karen, Bill Garamszegi, Corrie, Rhonwyn and her two growing boys, Don, Amelia, Dennis and Sandra ,Maryanne, Neil, Annette and Mark. I think that was all.

    This day is a chance for carers of children with disabilities to enjoy a day with their kids in a stimulating and safe environment. Some kids have mobility issues other have cerebral palsy, Downes' syndrome or a degree of autism.
    Funnily enough when we first did this gig about 3 years I was unaware of the precise nature of our audience. It was only when a couple of kids started dancing joyously in front of us that I realised that we were in the privileged position of helping to bring joy to these challenged young people.
    Yesterday we had Eammon , a young boy with autism come up to our group and do a little  dance, strut his stuff , touch us and our instruments, and work his way round the group beaming and grunting happy-like sounds. This didn't mean too much ...we had had this happen many times before...but this time his dad came up to me almost in tears. He said that they had NEVER seen Eammon so engaged, happy and animated and had no idea he could dance. He was beside himself with joy as he said this gave him and his wife  hope for the future and likened the experience to  "the momentous occasion other peoples' childrens' first words".  I was fighting back emotion as I talked to him and found out later that Amelia was having a similar tearful conversation with Eammons' mum on the other side of our circle.
This momentous event for their family was triggered by OUR music.
I am ceaselessly amazed at how we can produce such energy and warmth from a group of people with such a broad spectrum of skills. I constantly re-iterate how an animated body and a broad smile is as profound as a perfectly played tune in the overall effect of the Bush Orchesta performance. It is, in its own way, marvellous and it profoundly touched a little boy in a way no psychologist or doctor can do.
It was for me well worh giving up a couple of other invitations that Saturday afternoon to see that little boy with joy on his face.
Thank you all..........It wouldn't happen without you
Greg O'Leary

14 October 2013

Newport Bush Orchestra - Rehearsing Between Gigs

October has been a busy season of music making for the Newport Bush Orchestra.  After the welcoming of the Tall Ships down at Seaworks, they were celebrating the canine domain of Dogtown at the Williamstown Rotunda (the dogs especially loved the jigs) and then next week they are off to Bulla for the annual gettogether for the Extended Families organisation who care for children with diabilities.
The Extended families gig is at the Bulla Hill Miniature Railway, Recreation Reserve, Green St, Bulla. Melways: 177B7.   The invitation came with a warm welcome and an appreciation for the NBO playing and joining in with the spirit of the event over the last few years.  So ...... last night was a chance for practice, learning some new tunes and then ready to head off to Bulla.  They are becoming a highly sought after roving musical institution.  Keep up the great work! 

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