The marimba belles program is no more, even though, for posterity, these wonderful clips remain. Thanks SYM.
The end seemed similar to as what Don Mclean said\" This\'ll be the day that I die\" And the day the music of these kids from Boronia Heights PS died in Australia in 2011.
The Au education system has gone completely neo con, and prescriptive with little scope for expressing oneself through the Arts. What is the best amount from a given buck and / or time period? Certainly not the performing arts.
The dozen or so ensembles developed over twenty five years provided for the participants; experiences that they will never have again, and for all observers and customers of their music, absolute delight in the energy and enthusiasm that only children of this age... 9 to 13, can provide. Naivety coupled with wisdom and joy.
I would like to thank my very calm considered colleague, Adrian Batt as well as the staff at Boronia Heights PS in Australia. There may well be a rising of the phoenix from the ashes, but I may have to travel overseas, or to explore community based music locally to realize a couple of more ensembles, before I die. And folk, I haven\'t died yet, nor do I intend to until at least the age of 105[ I wish]
Thanks to all of our followers and fans.
Lots of love, Graham Answerth. Healesville Australia.
If interested email me through the site. You will have to register as an observer, but I can assure you, the site is totally secure.I am not confident in publishing my email address, however, phone number is probably OK. Au. 03 59624682.
here are some brilliant references.
From: "G MacD"
Date: 13 June 2011 5:22:12 AM AEST
To: "graham answerth"
Subject: a Message for the magical "Marimba Belles"
In my professional capacity as a chief musician percussionist in the South African Navy Band, I once again would love to congratulate you on the magnificent standard achieved in the musical department where you teach, and particularly the wonderful accomplishments of your "marimba belles" group. I have been following the progress of your group for some years now, and I am very happy to inform you that not only does the children in this group have tremendous talent, but the effort they put into making the music they play come alive is only obvious by the fantastic toe-tapping sounds they produce. I would appreciate it if you could give my warmest regards to each and every member of this wonderful group of talented musicians, and if you could tell them that even as far as the South African shores they have a following, even if only for me and some of my friends that has been fortunate enough to hear some of the tunes which you have posted on your website.
Keep up the great work girls and boys, and remember that music is a universal language loved and shared by everyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or age. When you can speak this language well enough, the doorways to the world open up, and everyone you touch with your music is rewarded by it. Keep working hard at your talent, for it is a very special one that makes you unique, and use all the precious opportunities with which you are so fortunate to have been blessed thanks to the efforts of your dedicated teachers.
I hope you have the opportunity to travel abroad soon, so that other countries of the world and other people may enjoy the lovely music you create. If you happen to come through Cape Town, South Africa, and perhaps have a day in the South Peninsula, hopefully we can arrange a meeting for you with the South African Navy Band, and maybe even a work session with the Navy Band. This could quite easily be arranged if the opportunity ever arose.
I wish you all the best of luck in your musical careers, and in the famous words of the well-known group 'ABBA' I would like to say :
"Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me..."
Your loyal friend and biggest South African Fan
CPO South African Navy Band
From: "John Whiteoak" <
Date: 22 May 2012 11:39:58 PM AEST
To: "graham answerth"
From Dr John Whiteoak. PH D. Music
Monash University Australia.
To Whom It May Concern
I am very pleased to be asked to comment upon Graham Answerth’s music teaching ability. I have known Graham as a teacher, musician, and superb self-taught recording engineer, for more than thirty years and have occasionally assisted him with his projects in small ways. I am not an enthusiast of children’s music-making as a general rule but I have always been greatly impressed by Graham’s unique ability to identify young musical talent and painstakingly develop this talent to the absolute maximum of its potential.
The key to this unique ability seems to reside in the individualistic technique he has developed by trial and error over four decades of dedication to music teaching and also his special attention to the aural aspect of music-making and to the musical attributes and training needs of each pupil. Proof of his remarkable success is more than evident in the numerous acclaimed live, broadcast, recorded and televised public performances of his ensembles and a similarly impressive body of professionally produced CDs of the artists and ensembles he has mentored.
I have no hesitation in recommending Graham as an especially gifted musician, teacher and passionate encourager of talent for whatever organisation is fortunate enough to be offered his services.
Dr John Whiteaok
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
School of Music and Conservatorium
General co-editor of Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia, 2003, etc., etc.
Ariel Valent. Director of Public Events for Melbourne and accomplished percussionist. Colleague and co percussionist for Kate Adam. Also curator of musical instruments, City of Melbourne.
To whom it may concern,
I write to express my support for "The Marimba Belles and Beaus". I saw this group perform at the Maldon Folk Festival and was very impressed with the musicality and professionalism of the whole group.
I have been a professional mallet percussionist for more than a decade, and the achievements of these young performers is truly notable. I am also a teacher of music to children, and the performance of "The Marimba Belles and Beaus" far exceeds what I hope to achieve in my own ensembles.
Graham Answerth has developed resources and a system that works and I commend him for this.
A view from a purchaser of the CD from San Francisco.
October 13, 2013
A few years ago, I was looking for marimba music on the CD-Baby website and found an album called “The Marimba Belles”. It is an album of teen-age students in Australia. I bought the album and wrote a comment on the site. Graham was surprised to read it, as I thought it sounded very professional. The proficiency and simplicity of the tunes touched me, especially a Tom Paxton tune played by Jodie Loebert, I Will Love You Ev'ry Time. Graham sent me and e-mail and we corresponded back and forth and we hit it off, so to speak. He wrote of how difficult it is in Australia for young musicians to progress with their music. There is Showcase Your Music, but one has to be exceptional in order to further one’s musical career. Here in the USA, there are many ways to get ahead musically. One of the best ways is get a scholarship to a music school or college. There also is the possibility of winning a talent show or going on a Television talk show like Oprah Winfrey. That will bring you the exposure. I think it’s a shame that there aren’t more avenues for students to progress musically.
I was looking for music on marimba, which is not a popular instrument, but one that is very soothing to listen to. I collect recordings of many genres. I have over 1,000 albums, over 250 of which are in the New Age category. Music that is meant to heal or to meditate by. There are only a few artists who play the marimba. Graham has managed to teach these kids not only to play the instruments, but to play from the heart. When I first heard the Marimba Belles, I felt the love the students put into their music and I told him so. That’s how our friendship started. Music is a very powerful force. It takes a very special person to teach that to his students. It is a very sad state of affairs that the school system doesn’t recognize this simple truth and make it easier for them.
San Francisco, California, USA