Griffith University: Griffith takes creative arts to the outback

Griffith University hit the road with its music, visual arts and film programs, performing an epic concert and running a series of school workshops in Longreach.

Musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium (QCGU) in partnership with members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) performed a selection of popular orchestral music, film scores and Broadway hits.

This was accompanied by animations and short films by students and alumni from Griffith Film School (GFS) and Queensland College of Art (QCA).

The concert marked the world premiere of a live orchestral accompaniment to the stunning Luminescent Longreach show at the QANTAS Founders Museum.

The event was the brainchild of QCGU Deputy Director Associate Professor Peter Morris, who has spent the past year working on the event – pulling together an epic evening of music, dance, art and film in the outback.


Longreach locals performed A Metal Cry by Justene Williams
The Longreach School of Dance performed a live work, A Metal Cry, by internationally acclaimed artist and Queensland College of Art (QCA) lecturer Justene Williams.

Bachelor of Musical Theatre student Tiffany Payne said a highlight was the concert at the QANTAS Founders Museum – an event that drew hundreds of locals from around the region.


Musical theatre student Tiffany Payne
“Working side by side with the QSO and musicians from Longreach was such a fulfilling experience,” she said.

“It reminded me of the importance of music and how it helps us connect.”

“I had so many people come up to me around town and share their personal experiences with the music – it made me feel really grateful.

“We worked with so many students who are passionate about creating music and art but haven’t had the opportunity to see professional performers and artists in action.

“I hope we were able to inspire them.”


Griffith ran a series of school workshops in Longreach
QCA, QCGU and GFS ran three days of workshops for school students from around the region.

Assoc. Prof. Morris said the regional arts event was designed to inspire the next generation of musicians, artists and filmmakers.


Assoc. Prof. Peter Hegedus
“To sit in on the workshops and see the rush that they got was amazing,” he said.

“The exhilaration of being on stage with 20 or 30 people all locking in and playing the same thing is a powerful experience.”

The Open Conservatorium at Griffith University provides opportunities for students in regional Queensland year-round through the State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP). However, this was the first time the creative arts programs have collaborated on a regional event that encompassed music, art and film.

Longreach State High School art teacher Thea du Plessis said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for her students.

“Exposure to experiences like these are vital, because our students don’t always get an opportunity to express themselves artistically,” she said.

“The results were incredible.”

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