Festival aims to keep music ‘alive’ in schools

SHOW TIME: Mark Holder-Keeping from Drummers not Plumbers rehearsing with Matthew Bergamini, Oliver Hamill, Maya Turner and Ruvindri Ediriweera at Wollongong University Hall on Thursday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

SHOW TIME: Mark Holder-Keeping from Drummers not Plumbers rehearsing with Matthew Bergamini, Oliver Hamill, Maya Turner and Ruvindri Ediriweera at Wollongong University Hall on Thursday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Music education is slowly dying but an annual school band festival is aiming to showcase the good work it can do.

Specialist music teacher and music director of the 47th Combined Public Schools Instrumental Festival, Greg Costello, said music studies were becoming “neglected” despite numerous studies showing a strong correlation between children who learn an instrument and doing well in other academic areas, especially in maths.

He said the purpose for the festival, which involves 250 kindergarten to year 10 students from across the Illawarra, is to keep instrumental music alive in schools. 

“Unfortunately over the years the number of instrumental programs, in public schools particularly, have dwindled and … it’s unfortunately not a priority of the curriculum as much anymore,” Mr Costello said.

“It’s what I’m passionate about.”

Students performed in school groups and as one whole cast at Wollongong University Hall Thursday night.

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