Musica Viva in Schools (MVIS) aim to bring quality music education to as many students in Australia as it can. Last month, the popular band Zeeko transported their catchy vibe to students from Alice Springs to Croker Island thanks to the generous support of the Northern Territory Department of Education and a private donor.
The 1,700km tour for Musica Viva In Schools included visits to 20 schools in Bradshaw, Larapinta, Alice Springs, Girraween, Howard Springs, Moil, Palmerston, Katherine, Roseberry, Berrimah, Kormilda, Humpty Doo, Nakara, Nightcliff, Leanyer and Croker Island.
Starring renowned performers and music educators Jess Ciampa (bass guitar, percussion, vocals),David Hewitt (drum kit, percussion, vocals) andSorcha Albuquerque (guitar, vocals) on this tour, the electrifying ensemble creates a unique blend of colours, with influences ranging from bluegrass and Caribbean rhythms to jazz and ambient music.
Over the course of an hour, Zeeko takes students on a journey, exploring the natural world in original songs about fast food, golden frogs and the deep ocean. The children join in on glass bottles, squeaky toys and body percussion to create brand new soundscapes. They’ve been preparing for months, engaging with the Musica Viva In Schools learning resources which not only tie into the musical themes of the performance but also into the Australian curriculum in maths, science and literacy as well as intercultural understanding.
Thanks to a private donor, the tour culminates in a visit to the 70 students ofMamaruni School in Minjilang, the main community on Croker Island. Situated 200km northeast of Darwin where the Arafura Sea meets the Timor Sea, Croker Island belongs to its traditional owners, the Yarmirr people, with a population of just 300, and is one of the most remote areas in Australia.
“It is very moving to witness the impact of a group like Zeeko,” says Musica Viva CEO Mary Jo Capps, who visited Croker Island for the occasion. “We are immensely grateful to our supporters for helping us open up a whole new world for these children.”