March of the Fire Ants brings music to Illawarra schools

On 22-23 October 2018, three Illawarra schools will receive a visit from one of Australia’s leading music education groups thanks to the generous support of Energy Australia.

March of the Fire Ants brings music to Illawarra schools


Touring the region for Musica Viva In Schools, March of the Fire Antswill stop off at Albion Park Rail Public School, Warilla North Public School and Mount Brown Public School, bringing the sounds of the Aussie backyard to life in music by Australian composer, Paul Kopetz.

Clarinettist Rianne Wilschut, pianist Jonathan Ng, cellistKatherine Philp and vocalist Shelli Hulcombe star in a performance that showcases the inhabitants of the fire tree, including jet fighter lorikeets, swarming fire ants and machine-like cicadas.

The children will join in to make a musical storybook from the sights and sounds of their own worlds. They’ve been preparing for months, engaging with Musica Viva In Schools learning resources which not only tie in with the musical themes of the performance but also into facets of the education curriculum ranging from environmental awareness to social studies.

“Children of all walks of life deserve to experience the joy of live music and the transformational effect it has on their lives,” said Michael Sollis, Musica Viva’s Artistic Director of Education. “Sadly, schools often lack the means to access music education programs or the expertise to teach music in the classroom.

“Energy Australia is helping us bridge this gap to provide around 1,000 local students with a free live performance, a term’s worth of teaching resources and accredited online professional development for their teachers. We’re immensely grateful for this opportunity to bring music into the lives of so many children.”

The partnership has also enabled Musica Viva to deliver a free professional development workshop for local teachers, helping address educational needs and build confidence in teaching music.

Jason Lee, Asset Leader at Tallawarra power station, said the aims of Musica Viva's programs, to support the professional development of local teachers and inspire children through music, were reflected in the ideals of Energy Australia’s community grants program.

"Our grants program supports local communities by backing great ideas to do with education and social inclusion,” Jason said. “My old school was part of a very similar music program and it’s something I look back on fondly to this day.”


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