The Dunoon Public School marimba ensemble was formed in February 2006. It is now part of a network of small Schools that take part in a performance program providing unique opportunities for its participants.
Our marimbas are xylophone type instruments based on traditional south-west African designs that can be played by up to four people at once. They are constructed from a variety of materials including hard and soft woods, PVC pipe, rope and a number of other basic hardware items. The instruments feature large keys with labels signifying notes so that formal musical training is not essential.
The marimbas can be played by all of the school children from Kindergarten to Year 6. The music is specifically arranged for the marimbas with different parts played by performers of varying ability levels. The inspiration for the program comes from the talented musician, Jon Madin who is always available for consultation and repertoire enhancement.
Highlights for the Dunoon Public School group since their formation include performing at the Sydney Opera House Concert Series in 2006 as well as appearances at all three performances of the 2006 Schools Spectacular held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The children have also played at the Lismore Show, The Performing Arts festival in Lismore, The Channon markets and at the Dunoon "Turning on the Lights" launch at the sports ground.
The State Small Schools Marimba Ensemble, of which the Dunoon children are now a part, has performed at the Sydney Opera House regularly since 1998, played at the Schools Spectacular every year since 2000, produced a high quality CD that was highlighted on the Alan Jones show and Clive Robertson's Classic FM on the ABC, featured live on National ABC Radio on the "Australia All Over" program with Ian McNamara and were named "Best Student Performance" at the 2004 Schools Expo at Sydney's Rosehill Gardens.
The State Small Schools Marimba Ensemble will be playing again this year (2014) at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Festival of Choral Music Endeavour Concert on August 7.