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    › Making Music Magic: Tuning up for a brilliant 14th Girgarre Moosic Muster

    Location: Various venues, See program for details  3624  , Girgarre - Open in Google Maps -

    Tiny dairying township Girgarre is punching way above its weight in bringing brilliant acoustic music-making to locals and visitors alike. The 14th Girgarre Moosic Muster takes place on January 8-12, offering five days of concerts, dozens of workshops and sessions, continuous jamming and plenty of novelty events. And all the music is free  - which, organisers say, makes it the most affordable and inclusive acoustic event around.

    Highlights this year include:

    • Opening night with The Biggest Bush Band and bush dance
    • Expanded open mic opportunities due to strong demand
    • At least 50 workshops, jams and singing opportunities
    • A big, varied program for ukulele players at their own dedicated venue
    • Free public evening concerts with leading bands

    Topics offered for the first time include a rock ‘n’ roll session, melodic banjo, compiling a performance set list, bodhran (Irish drum), voice skills, using the guitar capo, and a Buddy Holly singalong.

    Other workshops are expected to cover tin whistle, double bass, banjo, mandolin, piano accordion, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, blues, playing tunes, auto harp, and song writing.

    Music styles range from bluegrass, folk, blues, jazz, country and pop to Celtic and Aussie bush songs, gospel and contemporary music.

    Popular features such as the special Jigarre Jammin’ community jam, the impromptu Out of the Hat Band, harmony singing, the hilarious joke competition and the Sunday gospel singalong are all back.

    The free kids’ muster, comprising comic characters, music, crafts, poetry and games, is popular with primary schoolchildren.  And there’s even free instrument loans for those wanting to try something new.

    Continuous informal jams take place throughout the site and around the adjacent camp ground, and everyone is welcome to join in.

    “We are all about participation, learning, sharing and enjoying,” said muster director Jan Smith. “Your age and playing level doesn’t matter.  We are attracting many leading acoustic  bands and it’s a brilliant opportunity to jam all day and all night and learn from the best,” she said. “As well, we are getting a huge crowd for the free evening concerts who just want to listen, to kick back on a balmy summer’s night with their drinks and nibbles and just take in the sounds.”

    The muster began as a couple of musicians supporting the first farmers’ market held in the little community. The market was a way to lift spirits and revenue at the height of the crushing millennium drought 14 years ago.

    Girgarre is located between Echuca and Shepparton, a half-hour drive from each town.

    The main muster venue is the air-conditioned Girgarre Memorial Hall in Morgan Crescent.

    The only charge is for camping at the site but the low fee includes three meals and full use of amenities over the entire muster period.

    The highly popular Girgarre market takes place on the Sunday at the site, with visiting bands playing continuously.

    The full program will be available when finalised at: www.girgarre.com.au

    For more details:

    Muster director Jan Smith: (03) 5854 6283 / 0458 546 283

     E: garryandjan@bigpond.com

    Workshop coordinator Di Burgmann:   0408 011 634

    E:  diburgmann@hotmail.com