Only one thing beats sitting with a drink and nibbles in the summer dusk, listening to great, live acoustic music and that is playing the music yourself.
The renowned Girgarre Moosic Muster is on again on January 7th to 9th Jan 2011, with an even bigger line-up of concerts and workshops. It’s grown in only five years from three musicians sitting on hay bales playing to 20 people, to 60 musos playing to more than 1000 festival-goers, and it’s free.
This festival has struck a chord with thousands of new and experienced musicians from throughout Victoria. Guitar strummers, mandolin and banjo pickers, fiddlers, ukulele strummers, down-home harmonica players and their families and friends stream into the little township on Friday night, all set for a non-stop feast of concerts and workshops, with jamming sessions starting up anywhere and any time the mood strikes. Spontaneous music-making breaks out all around Girgarre public hall, the adjacent reserve and the camping ground conveniently located right across the road. Bluegrass, country, folk, rhythm and blues, pop, take your pick.
Basic and advanced workshops have been increased to a record 24, including dobro, flute and tin whistle, autoharp, double bass, basic music reading, singing and clogging. Donated instruments available for loan include violins, guitars, mandolins and ukeleles, on a first-come basis. The tutors are expert musicians many from Melbourne who donate their time each year.
Our tutors will have you playing, singing or dancing within the hour
Moosic Muster co-founder Jan Smith promises It’s absolutely ideal for the beginner but more advanced players will certainly learn new techniques and tunes. What we all love most is the adrenalin high that we get from playing our hearts out with lots of others who feel the same way.
The beginners even get to strut their stuff in the spotlight during a special mini-concert early on the Saturday night.
Jan is the president of Girgarre Development Group, which helped to bring back vigour and enthusiasm to the little agricultural township five years ago, after its spirit was worn down by drought. The group asked a few Melbourne musos to play free at their new community market. Next year they brought friends, and the idea of a music festival was born. Local band The Fig Jammers was born from the 2009 muster. Now they in turn have established Jigarre Jammin’, monthly learning and jamming sessions at Girgarre, attended by at least 50 players each month from all around northern Victoria.
Activities at the Moosic Muster are free, and campers need pay only $45 for the weekend, which includes showers and two meals. Plenty of food will be on sale, along with festival tee-shirts. Before you join in the gospels or jamming on Sunday morning, grab the chance to pick up the freshest of produce and the most delightful of country wares at Girgarre Farmers Market, right at the festival site.
Girgarre is located 35 km south-east of Echuca. Check out the full program at www.girgarre.com.au or phone Jan Smith on (03) 5854 6283, Max Amos on 0428 306 687 or Di Burgmann on (03) 5484 1183.