“The Friendly Heart of the Great North West” has been solidified in song this week, as part of Cloncurry’s 150 year celebrations in 2017.
A committee chaired by Deputy Mayor Dane Swalling wanted a unique way to express the town’s identity, and what better way than the medium of music?
The ‘C150’ committee invited musician Josh Arnold to collaborate with local school children on a song and music video for the town, capturing the essence of this outback community.
Mr Arnold runs an organisation called Small Town Culture, which started as a school project six years ago and has now produced more than 100 songs and videos for schools and towns throughout Queensland.
150 children from St Joseph’s Catholic School and Cloncurry State School packed into the Cloncurry Community Precinct for a day of brainstorming.
“That’s Cloncurryyyy” begins a catchy earworm of a chorus that students wrote during the four hour workshop with Mr Arnold on Tuesday.
Mr Arnold says it’s a unique opportunity for students and community members to create a sense of identity and celebrate what makes their town special.
“There have been songs written about Cloncurry, but not necessarily for Cloncurry,” Mr Arnold said
“This is like an anthem, something for the whole community to embrace.”
Local poet Keith Douglas attended the writing workshop, and musicians from the community have come on board to sing and play on the track.
Mr Arnold described the collaborative process of writing, saying he tries to go in with as little information as possible.
“I try to let them tell their story, so it’s straight from the horse’s mouth,” Mr Arnold said.
“The kids help me write the song, they give me their ideas and we let it evolve from there,” he said.
Students were also given the opportunity to sing on the recording and star in the video.
Small Town Culture has been recording and filming on site this week in Cloncurry.
The music video is due for release in April, ahead of Cloncurry’s 150 year celebrations in September.