Funk? Punk? No, this is junk! Funk? Punk? No, this is junk!

March 08, 2018

Graeme Leak is encouraging everyone to join the Girgarre Junkestra.

Graeme Leak is encouraging everyone to join the Girgarre Junkestra.

ANYONE looking to try their hand at being in an orchestra is encouraged to head to Girgarre and become part of the junkestra.

The group, led by Graeme Leak, will be playing instruments that are either made out of junk or instruments from the rubbish pile that have been repurposed.

And it’ll be a busy five weeks for participants, as Graeme is hoping to have the group performing at the official opening of the Girgarre Soundshell on April 14.

Graeme said the purpose of the orchestra is to show how accessible music is to everyone — and to showcase the local talent.

“It’s about giving the experience to people who didn’t think they’d be able to play,” he said.

“Music isn’t that mysterious or difficult and I think the way we teach it gives a lot of people the impression it’s something which is out of reach, but it’s not.

“We want locals to be the stars on the night, we’re not paying anyone from out of town to come and perform.

“It’ll be surprising, interesting and hilarious but also beautiful.”

The junkestra features a range of instruments, from single stringed cellos to paint tins, jerry cans and farm drums used for their acoustics.

And Graeme wants everyone to get involved.

“We have a weekly lesson, which I teach during different times of the week,” he said.

“I’ve noticed something about the community spirit of Girgarre, it doesn’t matter where you’re from.

“At one rehearsal we had nine people and only two were local, others were from Echuca, Bendigo, Kyabram and surrounding areas.”

For anyone looking to get involved, Graeme says come along to a rehearsal for a look.

He said you don’t have to play, however by the end you may want to.

“We have people who have never even attempted an instrument playing as well as people who are accomplished musicians,” he said.

“All week it’s the same lesson — people only need to attend one but some people have been coming along to more just to get practice in.

“But if you’ve missed a week don’t stress because you can easily catch up.”

The feedback to date has been nothing but positive for Graeme and he’s confident anyone can be concert ready in the next five weeks.

For more information and rehearsal times visit or head along to a rehearsal at the Girgarre Hall this Thursday and Friday at 1pm or 11am Saturday and Sunday.

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