MUSTERING UP: Rod Edwards and David Ainsworth of Macksville Rotary Club work on the new stage ahead of the first ever Macksville Music Muster.
MUSTERING UP: Rod Edwards and David Ainsworth of Macksville Rotary Club work on the new stage ahead of the first ever Macksville Music Muster.

Community musters help to support medical costs

THE Macksville Rotary Club are proving small but mighty - busy bringing the Inaugural Macksville Music Muster to fruition and also supporting a major children's charity.

Music Muster co-ordinator Rod Edwards said the club is busy building stages and preparing to host the first ever Inaugural Macksville Music from March 28-31 at the Macksville Showgrounds.

"We are hoping to attract a lot of grey nomads to the event, with plenty of camping at the showground," he said.

Rod, who moved back to home to Macksville to retire several years ago, said it was hoped that the muster would become an annual event and the perfect permanent way to fund the club's major local project.

"The ValleyCATs is a Macksville Rotary Club project which works with the Royal Far West and identifies and treats local children who enter school with untreated childhood development problems such as those requiring speech therapy," he explained.

"One in five children in the Nambucca start school with some sort of unresolved medical problem."

He said the two groups launched the ValleyCATs program in 2016 with a speech therapist working via Telecare from the Royal Far West's Manly base to work with 80 children back at their schools in the Nambucca. Another 50 children were treated through the program in 2018.

"But in 2018 we didn't have a funding source to carry on - we were looking for a sustainable way to fundraise," Rod explained.

It was about that time that local Macksville musician Vanessa Sanger suggested a Music Muster. Vanessa, well-known on the Muster circuit has since been heavily involved in getting a strong line-up of acts for the event, picking a suitable time of year and acting as an advisor to help the Rotary Club - many of them novices when it came to such events - stage the event.

"I hadn't even been to a Muster," Rod laughed. He has now - as have the committee and they are hoping for a good crowd an event that will continue to grow.

Already on the program they have Matt Scullion, Errol Gray, Bob Howson, Brendan Smoother, Graham Howle, Glen Albrecht and the Slim Dusty Band among others.

They club is hoping not only to showcase the talents of these artist but also of their town and they have been hard at work building stages and preparing for the event - not bad for a club numbers barely into the teens (and is always looking for new members).

For more details on the Macksville Music Muster 2019, go to macksvillemusicmuster.com.au.


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