Almost a decade since long time Settlers Tavern sound tech, the late Gordon Andrews, arrived at the tavern one afternoon venting his frustrations about the lack of musical instruments available to local school children, kids from Margaret River Primary School are preparing to once again take to the stage.
The collaboration between Settlers Tavern and MRPS has seen students form their own bands and musical acts, using equipment purchased through the program.
The students then perform a ‘one night only’ show at the Tavern, where parents, locals and visitors turn out to support the young musicians.
Settlers’ Karen Gough said Mr Andrews brought the issue to her attention and started the ball rolling.
“He came in here one day really annoyed that these kids were trying to study music without so much as a keyboard, and we started thinking about what we could do to help,” Mrs Gough said.
Settlers Tavern funded the purchase of the first synthesizer, and began a relationship with the school that has seen thousands of dollars raised towards the music program.
“Over the years we’ve been able to help the music department extend with new instruments and technical equipment including amplifiers and iPads.”
Music program coordinator and teacher Helen Collis said the support from the Tavern crew as well as the school community was invaluable to the childrens’ learning.
“Karen and Rob Gough from Settlers are simply amazing. Year after year they generously donate funds, which enhance our music program and what we can offer to our amazing students here at MRPS,” she said.
“We also have fantastic, committed and generous musical mentors such as Mike Goodwin and Graeme Smailes among many others who spend their time guiding the students on their musical journey.”
Both said the introduction to the entertainment industry at a young age was an important lesson for those wanting to pursue a music career.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids to see first hand the amount of practice, dedication, work and professionalism that is required to maintain a career in the business,” said Ms Collis.
This year, bands include the Bella Melodia Singers, who have been rehearsing under the guidance of local vocalist Andrea Frances Manners, as well as The Lollipops, The No Names, Yeeeaaahhhh Boood, Black Lightning and the Skel-E-Tones.
“The kids and their mentors have been working very hard to perfect and polish their performances and we are really pleased with the results, come along and show our support and catch some of our future stars,” said Ms Collis.
MRPS Rock the Tav is on Wednesday November 28 from 5pm to 7pm.
A prize pack including an electric guitar and amp, plus two guitar lessons from Mike Goodwin, will be raffled with tickets sold on the night.
For more info visit www.settlerstavern.com