The 35th annual Pilbara Music Festival has come to a close after providing Hedland and the wider Pilbara a sonorous week of melodies, harmonies and more musicality than Marina Prior in full “Phantom” regalia.
For those of you who don’t know who Marina Prior is, don’t worry, because musically, this festival catered to oodles of musical tastes.
Running over several days, the festival gave the opportunity for everyone from singers, songwriters, guitarists, solos, ensembles, every corner of the orchestra and even spoken word artists to perform at the Civic Centre’s Gratwick Hall.
At the conclusion of the weekdays’ competition sections, the festival continued with a showcase on the Friday evening followed by a final Sunday afternoon performance including awards.
Pilbara Music Festival coordinator Jan Gillingham said the event was a great success, highlighting the fact that a choir from every local school entered this year, including Cassia Education Support Centre.
“We also had a choir come from Paraburdoo and they haven’t so done for many, many years,” she said.
Mrs Gillingham was pleased that the guitar section has grown and a marimba (like a large xylophone) player even featured.
The Festival Finale Concert showcased an array of instruments and singers, some who even returned from places like Karratha for the finale.
Afternoon highlights included Manuella and Omeara Louange’s delicate voice and guitar rendition of Katy Perry’s hit “Firework”, Triage’s “Piano Man” and an incredibly powerful and wrenching personal composition called, “It’s meant to be”, by Hedland guitarist and singer Kirk Lenton.
Competition adjudicator, WAAPA teacher and harpist Mr Anthony Maydwell came up from Perth and was amazed with the amount of community support, particularly from local event sponsors, who involved themselves with the festival.
Mrs Gillingham’s daughter Jana Buvari also flew in to perform at the festival.
“She’s always been known as the festival baby because we used to carry her around in a capsule when she was little.
“She always entered the festival when she was at school here,” Mrs Gillingham said.
As for next year, Mrs Gillingham hopes to continue widening the field of performance possibilities, saying, “We’d like to push the speech area if possible, because there are a lot of poets and poet laureates out there.”
In the meantime, it’s time to get practising for next year’s Pilbara Music Festival.
Only fifty weeks to go!