WELL TUNED: Players, from left, drummer Angus Fletcher, keys Hugo Jones, tenor sax Kalkie Gleeson, and double bass Paddy Fitzgerald.
WELL TUNED: Players, from left, drummer Angus Fletcher, keys Hugo Jones, tenor sax Kalkie Gleeson, and double bass Paddy Fitzgerald. Hamish Broome

Marathon raises $5000 for the Con

THE Lismore Conservatorium held its second music marathon on Saturday with up to 100 students playing a combined 12 hours across two stages.

Onlookers and visitors enjoyed live sounds from bands and solo performers in the courtyard stage, while indoors the Con's Concert Room delivered a smorgasbord of piano solos and small ensembles.

Funky jazz outfit Fitz-Jones and the Fez Tones were one of the outfits to mesmerise with their smooth improvisation work and lush changes, a nice complement to the steamy day.

The event wasn't just about honing performance skills, but primarily to raise money for a much needed purchase - an entire new collection of orchestral chairs and stands for the Conservatorium, which are urgently needed

Conservatorium director Anita Bellman said the aim was to eclipse the success of last year's event, which raised $5000 for building repairs, with $7000 this year's target.

"Events like our music marathon are vital because we operate with modest funding and because we're all about accessibility and inclusivity we need to keep our fees affordable," she said.

"As well as the fundraising aspect, the students get to perform and we get to invite the wider community in to see and enjoy what we do."

Alto sax player and diploma student Nicole Hobson said she had managed to make time to raise money via sponsors for the event despite juggling final year exams and lots of gigs.

"There'd be no gigs without the school continuing, and the prize is free lessons for a semester," she said.

"It's definitely worth it for the school."

Ms Hobson played a 30-minute improvisation set in the morning and joined some of her fellow diploma students for a two-hour joint set in the afternoon.

And despite the huge gasfields-free rally down Keen St right outside the Conservatorium grounds, the event certainly wasn't overshadowed - in fact, some people strolled in from the march for a break.

"It's a culmination of community," Ms Hobson said.



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