Indigenous choir celebrates culture

Facing the music: The Mount Druitt Indigenous Choir has an important role to play. "The group is honouring the language of the land," founder Dave Armstrong said. Picture: Gary Warrick

Facing the music: The Mount Druitt Indigenous Choir has an important role to play. "The group is honouring the language of the land," founder Dave Armstrong said. Picture: Gary Warrick

THE first notes were sung at a carols event in Dawson Mall in 2010.

The music continues for the Mount Druitt Indigenous Choir, which has since performed at more than 100 events.

The choir founded by St Marys resident Dave Armstrong turns heads everywhere they go, singing traditional and popular songs in Darug language.

Their repertoire includes We are One and Lean on Me.

Taught by Aboriginal elders, the group aged 4 to 15 also perform dance items and indigenous actions.

"The kids come from different tribes in NSW but most reside in Mount Druitt," Mr Armstrong said.

"To learn a song and get up on stage to perform is empowering for them and gives them confidence. Some now sing in their own school choirs."

The choir leave a lasting impression everywhere they go.

They are popular on Sydney's northern beaches and performed at the St Ives Show last weekend.

"People will be in the audience crying because they've never heard the language before," Mr Armstrong said.

"The choir gives the community a sense of passion and hope by interacting with people's emotions about reconciliation. We use reconciliation as a tool and make it a positive experience."

The choir is also beneficial to its young participants.

"It's a good way for them to explore their culture, kinship and language in a fun environment," Mr Armstrong said. "It links them with their identity and language and brings families together. They're learning skills that will help them in the future."

The choir performed at Dawson Mall on Saturday and also at the Blacktown Council's National Sorry Day yesterday.

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