Arts & Culture

Four Winds Spring Youth Music Festival will go ahead, but no live audience

Sharon Kelley6 November 2020
Nyah Cockle performing at 2019 Four Winds Spring Music Festival.

Nyah Cockle performing at the 2019 Four Winds Spring Music Festival. Photo: Sunny Gill.

The Four Winds Spring Youth Music Festival will go ahead as scheduled from 12-17 November, 2020, but without an audience.

Social distancing rules and COVID-19 restrictions relating to singing and wind instruments mean the festival will take place in schools, but students participating will be recorded at the Windsong Pavilion. All recordings will be professionally created and made available online.

The Four Winds Koori Choir, Djinama Yilaga, will be performing songs in the Dhurga language, with youth members Shakeela Williams and Requia Campbell leading the group in a performance on Saturday, 14 November, to mark NAIDOC Week.

The choir will travel to Tathra, Tanja, Candelo, Tilba and Bermagui schools to share their music on 12-13 November, and will be joined by members of the Four Winds Artists in Schools program.

The Sydney Youth Orchestra will perform for schools and join the Bega Valley Youth Orchestra for a performance in the Windsong Pavilion on Sunday, 15 November, which will be digitally recorded.

The Bega Valley Youth Orchestra and Chamber Strings groups are currently rehearsing, and individual performers and other local students will showcase their compositions and musicianship during the weekend of 14-15 November.

Young performers will have the opportunity to perform at the Windsong Pavilion during that weekend, and have their performance recorded by the digital-first team.


READ ALSO: Four Winds and other flagship events cancelled due to COVID-19


Young pianist and composer Hunter Bailey-Watts and student Nyah Cockle will perform a Vivaldi piece with the Four Winds Harpsichord, and music teacher Anna Martin-Scrase. Students will also have the opportunity to showcase their own compositions for the first time.

During the week beginning Monday, 16 November, children from kindergarten to second grade will hear performances by Zeeko, a local band that sings songs and tells stories of courage, cooperation and ingenuity during climate change.

Zeeko features musician and composer David Hewitt on percussion and vocals, with guitarist and vocalist Jenny Lang, and bass guitarist, vocalist and percussionist Jess Campia. The group will visit schools in Bermagui, Narooma, Tilba, Tanja and Tathra.

India Hartley performing at the 2019 Four Winds Spring Youth Music Festival.

India Hartley performing at the 2019 Four Winds Spring Youth Music Festival. Photo: Sunny Gill.

The Four Winds Spring Youth Music Festival is an opportunity for young musicians to gain authentic performance experience, with rehearsal space, coaches, schedules, catering, green rooms and transport, to foster and encourage youth music practice and future aspirations.

“We are so proud of our local music leaders and the inspiration they bring to our young musicians throughout the year,” said Four Winds Spring Youth Festival executive director David Francis. “Particularly in the context of the youth festival, which gives young people the chance to work in a professional music venue.

“This year, all the performances will be captured by our brilliant digital team so the performances can be shared online with audiences far and wide.”

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