Little band of rockstars were a big hit at Bluesfest

Susanna Freymark

ABOVE: Nora, Jesse, Arthur, Tamelia and Jack at Bluesfest in Byron Bay. Photos: Contributed

How do you go back to being an ordinary school student after being a rockstar on stage at the Bluesfest?

Five Rappville Public School students performed on stage at this year’s Byron Bay Bluesfest.

The students were guided by Amanda Dumesny, director of the Big Scrub Orchestra – a not-for-profit organisation that teaches music in schools impacted by fire or flood.

Ms Dumesny has been coaching students for 10 years.

When she met Rappville School principal Kat Collis, they talked and Amanda started working with the school band.

“They’re little rockstars,” Amanda said.

And rockstars is what they proved to be.

Ten years ago, Amanda helped students from Brunswick Heads play on a Bluesfest stage. They sang an Ash Grunwald song.

And this year it was the Rappville School band up there singing River – also a Grunwald song.

Rappville students on stage at BluesFest.

Nora is the lead singer and the other band members are Arthur, Jack, Jesse and Tamelia.

Being on a big stage builds their confidence, Ms Dumesny said.

“They were pretty confident. They know they are rockstars and they had the full rockstar attitude,’ she said.

After their performance, the students stayed on to see some high school students perform.

“It puts them in the reality of this is something I could do,” Ms Dumesny said.

“It has been a wonderful addition to our creative and performing arts curriculum. All students involved have accomplished a massive achievement,” Ms Collis said.

“We are all very proud of how they rocked the stage with a calm presence.”

Ms Dumesny’s next gig is at the Jacaranda Festival in Grafton where students will be singing a Troy Cassar-Daley song.

“The Rappville Band might join us,” she said.

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