25 February 2014

NFFC Member Laurel Parkinson - Music Therapy Course and the Power of Music

Musician Laurel Parkinson stopped playing music after losing her daughter, 3, to cancer.

Congratulations to Laurel Parkinson, NFFC member, who has just begun a Masters of Music Therapy at Melbourne University’s Conservatorium of Music.  Her story  has been written up in the Leader newspaper this week and tells how the recent loss of her daughter to cancer 3 years ago has lead her to this point.  All the best for your 2 years of study Laurel and we look forward to seeing you about at the folk club when you have time off study.

Photo:  Kris Reichl Source: News Limited

03 February 2014


We kicked off 2104 with a gathering of old and new faces. We had 5 mandolins, 2 guitars, 2 fiddles, a harp, a flute, a whistle, a viol and a uke. Mark belted various things as well. It was quite an effort to organize and co-ordinate such a disparate collection of personalities, skills and interests, but such is the setup of the Bush Orchestra that we could accommodate everyone and make am amazing sound.
The principles of co-operation, goodwill laissez-fair attitudes and sensible perspective stood us in good stead and made for a very positive and enjoyable evening. Each person took away something of their expectations, which, in a group like this is a very welcome outcome.
The night involved a lot of tuning and conversation at the start, introductions and a precis of how we operate. Then I taught Cecil Chapman's Dad's Polka by ear.  A tea break and a visit by my dog ensued, mixed up with a lot of random playing and racket. 
After the break we just played over a bunch of stuff and I was pleasantly excited with the results.
Rosalee was trying a different tuning on her viol, 
Veronica was wide awake, David remained exuberant as always, 
Herb got here late as he went to the old hall ....typical.
 Kerry had his knockout Stradolin cooking away .
 The highlight was Ellen and Mike actually staying through their first session without running away! To a newcomer it must seem like the Keystone Cops meeting Vivaldi. Stick it they did and Ellen even introduced us to her beautiful rendition of 500 miles accompanied by all of us, mainly in the same key.
As a first night it augers well for the rest of the year!
Have a look at the NBO tunes site for Cecil Chapman's Dad's Polka . I will put up a Mp3 and a jpg of the slightly revised tune.
Greg O'L

Newport Bush Orchestra - Up for a New Tune, a New Term and More than One Gig on the Horizon


The Newport Bush Orchestra started of their 9th year of playing under the leadership of Greg O'Leary at Outlets this Monday night.  The group comprise mandolins, guitars, fiddles, violins, flute, percussion and even a harp - an extraordinary range of instruments that will get even the weariest of feet tapping and dancing.  The group is preparing for their next big gig at the Newport Lakes Bush Dance (March 16, 4-7pm, Newport Lakes).  The NBO is without a doubt a one-off and makes a priceless contribution to the cultural life of Newport and the West.  Watch out for their gigs - they play the sort of music that will transform your attitude to life itself!



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