In partnership with Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message, the New Life Instrument Program encourages communities across Western Australia to get involved in the arts and other creative activities for health and happiness. Music can follow you wherever you go and provides a sense of joy and inspiration; it’s as simple as A-B-C:
Act - play an instrument or stop to chat with someone;
Belong - join a school band or community music group;
Commit - take on a new challenge or volunteer for your local community group.
The program has seen numerous instruments, including string, woodwind and brass instruments, being collected, reconditioned and gifted to schools who do not have the resources to purchase their own. These gifts offer thousands of students the opportunity to learn an instrument.
Occasionally, some bigger instruments come along, and Musica Viva was thrilled to receive the donation of a full-size concert grand Steinway piano from the Perth Concert Hall. This model of piano is the largest that exists, weighing in at nearly 500kg and measuring nearly three metres long and one and a half metres wide. The instrument was originally purchased for the Perth Concert Hall almost 40 years ago.
Thanks to financial assistance received from Rio Tinto, we were able to transport this superb instrument to the Red Earth Arts Centre in Karratha, some 1524km from Perth, where it has been reconditioned and is ready to make music for many decades to come.
‘Instruments can be expensive and difficult to source. This piano, because of its age, is well settled in and very stable. It’ll be pretty good for another 40 years. New pianos need a lot of care over the first five to 10 years and, given the distance and lack of piano technicians in Karratha, we thought this concert grand was the perfect fit.’ Chris van Tuinen, Musica Viva WA State Manager.
Located at the entrance of the City Centre Main Street, the precinct includes a professional 450-seat standard theatre, outdoor event space, regional library, a war memorial, a rooftop terrace and a gallery space. The new centre will become an important new home for local communities to enjoy arts and cultural events including the Musica Viva In Schools education programs.