Cairns High music students fight to save Fanfare competition
CAIRNS State High School musicians will be the first to rally support to save the Fanfare music competition.
The competition, which searches for the best musical talent from across the state, is held every two years, with Brisbane staging the final event this year after funding was pulled.
The State Government withdrew funding for the competition – which involves 19,000 state school students from more than 300 schools – as part of its cutbacks to address the state’s debt.
But Cairns MP Gavin King believes the event has a future and spoke to Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek on Saturday to reinstate the event.
"While we are focused on tackling juvenile crime, we must also reward those children who are doing great things," Mr King said.
Mr King said alternative funding needed to be sought – potentially from private sector sponsorships.
"We have to find new ways to fund programs like Fanfare," he said.
"I am confident that over the next 12 to 18 months we can all work together to ensure Fanfare continues."
Cairns State High School orchestra conductor Jon Christodoulides was shocked and disappointed by the announcement, which came just weeks before the 2012 Fanfare finals.
As regional finalists, Cairns High will compete on July 31 in the semi-finals with the hope of making it to the grand final on August 2.
"It’s extremely disappointing. It gives the students an opportunity to perform at a higher level," he said.
"To play on the stage at QPAC (in Brisbane) is a phenomenal opportunity."
Mr Christodoulides said Fanfare was the only major music contest Far Northern students could compete in.
"Especially being from Cairns … it’s the experience, it’s priceless," he said.
School captain Nick Jones said he was "devastated" and hoped the competition would be reinstated by 2014.
"I’m not happy. Fanfare has been good for all the regional schools across the state," he said.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
In tune: Cairns State High School musicians Nick Jones and Kate Boylan-Ascione are hoping the Fanfare music competition can be saved. Picture: MIKE WATT