Members of this year;s South Burnett Youth Orchestra.
Members of this year;s South Burnett Youth Orchestra. Jane Kennedy

'Huge leap of faith': New orchestra success a musical escape

THE SOUTH Burnett Community Orchestra has taken a leap of faith and introduced a new Youth Orchestra, with hopes of offering local youths an escape to focus on music and their well-being.

Kingaroy born and bred Emma Leu-Marshall has been with the Orchestra for two years, and was heavily involved with introducing the Youth Orchestra.

"It was a huge leap of faith for us to set up this year," she said.

"I'm just so thankful there were plenty of locals who were keen to step up and be involved.

"Also we wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of the Red Earth program and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)."


Members of the South Burnett Youth Orchestra playing their hearts out at rehearsals.
The youth orchestra performing. Jane Kennedy

The new Youth Orchestra was created after the South Burnett Community Orchestra secured $19,000 in funding from the FRRR.

Ms Leu-Marshall said this funding went towards running a series of free weekend musical workshops.

"The original idea was to promote well-being in the South Burnett," she said.

"We wanted to encourage confidence and give them the chance to rehearse and perform.

"The original plan wasn't to focus so much on young people but more on our farmers and people in the South Burnett who don't have much access to music.

"But we've mainly had young people interested. Although including the Youth Orchestra and the mentors who help out at the weekend workshops we have an age range from ten years old to 70."


South Burnett Orchestra: families that play together stay together.
South Burnett Orchestra: families that play together stay together. Jane Kennedy

Ms Leu-Marshall said the program has been well received and has brought locals together to bond over music.

"It can be tough to talk about tough times but we know music can bring people together and help them," she said.

"Plus it helps people to come together as a group.

"It's a great chance to socialise, learn something new, and connect with others.

"We're hoping to continue the program in 2020 with new members."