Jam to the Moosic

January 04, 2018

Organiser Jan Smith is prepping the instruments ahead of the Girgarre Moosic Muster's 12th installment.

Ukuleles are being tuned and banjos restrung because the Goulburn Valley’s favourite music jam is about to return.

Girgarre’s popular Moosic Muster is turning 12 this month.

Since 2006, the town-wide jam session has grown in prominence, attendance, and the list of classes and attractions on offer.

Organiser Jan Smith said the small-town soul of the weekend-long festival had stayed well and truly intact.

In fact, she said the moment it appeared to be getting too big, too commercial or losing its community feel, things would change.

‘‘It grows every year,’’ she said.

‘‘I guess it’ll reach a point where we don’t want it to grow any more.

‘‘We don’t want to lose the sense of community, that sense of belonging.’’

Djembe drumming, sea shanty singalongs and effects-laden slide guitars will be on hand for the some 35 classes and attractions.

Attendees can learn to play the tin whistle or mandolin and learn how to record or store their music on tablets.

A little more than a week out from the festival’s first chords being strummed, ‘‘hectic’’ is how Ms Smith described getting everything together.

‘‘Having a go’’ is the ethos on which the Moosic Muster prides itself.

The festival remains free — bar for a small fee for those camping — and visitors are encouraged to pick up an instrument and have a whirl.

‘‘So many people, particularly when they get a few years on the clock, wish they’d done this or that,’’ Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said after being given a musical teaser, people could go off and expand on their knowledge.

‘‘It’s amazing what happens from them,’’ Ms Smith said.

After all the jamming is done, Ms Smith said one of her highlights of the festival was the following Monday.

‘‘Just when everyone goes home happy and well and has had a wonderful time,’’ she said.

‘‘I sit back, and enjoy it.

‘‘When I hear that laughter, chatter ... strangers enjoying and sharing something ... that’s what I do this for.’’

Girgarre Moosic Muster is from January 11 to 14 at Girgarre Memorial Hall and other locations across town.

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