Dalby State High School students will bring Simon Cleary's novel to life as they perform their original songs on Friday.
Dalby State High School students will bring Simon Cleary's novel to life as they perform their original songs on Friday.

Students create soundtrack for war story

MONTHS of hard work from a group of music students will culminate at a free concert tonight as they present a series of original compositions.

Dalby State High School senior music students have spent the last eight weeks composing songs and instrumental interludes based on Australian novel The War Artist.

When Dalby State High School music teacher Helen Gleeson was approached by Topology, a Brisbane-based quintet, about pairing up for a project, it was an offer simply too good to refuse.

“I had just read Australian novel The War Artist and I thought it was a great opportunity for students to take characters from the novel and create songs,” she said.

“I knew that the whole book would really lend itself to a rock, contemporary, soulful style of music, which I knew the kids would like to create.”

Tonight Topology will travel to Dalby to accompany the students as they perform their original compositions.

“I know they’re going to be really excited when they hear these musicians play what they’ve written,” Mrs Gleeson said.

“They’re world class musicians, so the kids are concerned that the music is too easy but I said it doesn’t matter that it’s easy, it will be the way they play it with emotion and such intensity.

“I think when they hear it, they’re really going to be floored actually.”

Mrs Gleeson said the student’s songs captured the sombre mood of the novel.

“The story is very sad, a lot of the characters are suffering emotional turmoil and have had tragedies happen to them,” she said.

“They needed to be quite emotional and big songs like you hear on the contestants on The Voice, they sort of belt it out, they’re not sweet, delicate songs, they really very gutsy.”

Novelist Simon Cleary will be in the audience tonight as the students debut their songs based on his work.

Mr Cleary visited the students two weeks ago and was moved to tears by their music.

“Simon Cleary and his wife came and they really got emotional and I think that really struck a chord with the kids.”

Sacrificing lunch breaks and dedicating hours of their own time, the students will take to the stage tonight to showcase 14 original songs.

The free performance will be held at the Dalby State High School Hall tonight from 7pm and the community is welcome to come and enjoy the entertainment.


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