Shannon Noll salutes the young people of Condobolin who are reviving a non-existent music scene


If you were to walk around the quiet little town of Condobolin on a Wednesday evening, you would be surprised by the explosion of musical rhythms emanating from an unlikely building.

Inside the old structure you will find a group of school-aged children playing to classic and modern tunes.

One of the youngest, eight-year-old Rose Collins, learned to play the piano when she was four. She can also play guitar and bass.

“My dad started playing guitar, so I tried it and liked it, so I kept playing guitar,” she said.

The Making Sounds Music program gave Rose a space for her to explore her talents.

Siblings Scout and Rose Collins can be very serious when it comes to practicing their music.(

ABC Central West: Shannon Corvo

)

Rose is part of a group called the Baphomets alongside her brother, Scout Collins, 10.

He started playing the drums around the age of six.

“I can play three or four songs with my sister, but I can play a lot more on my own and with my dad,” Scout said.

“We come for you”

Condobolin is no stranger to musical talent.

Singer and songwriter Shannon Noll lived there for a time as an adult.

He was a finalist in the first season of Australian Idol and has become a defender of regional Australia.

The four members of the Neighbors We Know group, who practice in space, are very aware of Noll’s legacy.

Three teenagers with guitars and a keyboard smile at the camera.
Members of the band Neighbors We Know are excited to start performing live outside of school.(

ABC Central West: Shannon Corvo

)

The group plays rock, alternative and pop and formed less than two months ago.

Billie says she is grateful to have the program available to young people like her who are interested in music but are limited by their location.

The program offers young musicians a space to explore their skills.

“It’s a place that’s not my home and it’s a place that isn’t school, so I don’t feel like I have to do anything,” Billie said.

A man wearing a black jacket and blue jeans sits in a chair in front of a drum set.
Ben Crouch is both a musician and a youth leader.(

ABC Central West: Shannon Corvo

)

For 16-year-old Xavier Grimshaw, the best part is being able to be himself.

“It’s an expression, you know? he said.

“You can express the feelings that you are having at the moment and show it to people and they can feel it too.

“It gives this city the opportunity to have live music because we hardly have live music here.”

Youth worker and Condobolin local Ben Crouch combined his love for music and government funding through Western Plains Regional Development to run the program.

“So there are a lot of kids in town who were born to be musos, but there’s really nowhere to work on that – well, there are now.”

Shannon Noll puts her hands in her pockets.
Shannon Noll says he is proud of the children who make music in Condobolin.(

AAP: Tracey Nearmy

)

“Proud of the children”

Multi-platinum seller Noll said he was proud of the young musicians and the space that had been created.

“I think it’s absolutely fabulous,” he said.

“I think there could be a lot more musicians and just being able to go and have instruments on hand is very beneficial for the kids.

Before moving to Condobolin at the age of 18, Noll spent his formative years wearing Guns N ‘Roses shirts and wielding a skateboard in Tullibigeal, a town about 72 kilometers southwest of the city.

He thanks his brothers, his father and his science teacher for helping him get to where he is today and stresses the importance for children of having access to musical instruments and teachers.

A small brick-built convenience store with a large sign above an awning saying MIDTOWN.
The Mid-Town Corner Shop in Condobolin was made famous in Shannon Noll’s 2004 music video for What About Me?(

Provided: Google Maps

)

“Without that I don’t know where we would have gone or if we would have ever had the other group of covers,” he said,

“Because I probably wouldn’t have discovered anything about music.”

Noll said music education should be available to students across the country.

“Maybe we could take a little guitar tour and put some unused guitars back in working order and give them to the kids to give them a chance to use them.

“It’s a form of expression. A lot of people can relax with music that they usually remember, so I think that’s very, very beneficial for mental health as well.”

A white building behind a tree with autumn leaves.
This unpretentious building in Condobolin is home to some of the city’s most impressive young musicians.(

ABC Central West: Shannon Corvo

)

Australian regional schools “disadvantaged”

Rachel Whealy, who was Music Australia’s national music program director, Music Count Us In, said that although the initiative is “excellent” schools in regional areas are often “at a disadvantage in terms of the quality of education. musical “.

“It’s definitely not the teachers’ fault or anyone else’s fault, it’s just the system in Australia,” she said.

“The most important thing is that the principles and school communities value music and the arts and are willing, if they can, to devote part of their school budget to hiring a specialist music teacher or maybe at least some professional development. “


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