Students attending the week-long Wimmera Bands Group Music School have been practicing from sunrise to sunset.
All have been working intensely from 8am from 5pm with some even taking extra lesson in the evening.
Their hard work will be on show this Sunday when they perform a free public concert at Eaglehawk Secondary College from 1pm.
WMB Music School chief executive Peter Battersby said 85 students had attended this year’s school.
“This week has been great. The school has given us the run of a few buildings and a number of staff have come into sessions for a listen,” he said.
“We were maybe hoping for a few more but given it is our first time in the Bendigo region, it is a bit of an unknown.
“A number of the children who come are from Bendigo, so we asked the Bendigo (brass and concert) bands if someone would host and they said they would do it as a group.
“There are a number of students from the Bendigo region and hopefully they pass the word on (for future years).”
After forming in 1971, the WBG Music School expanded from hosting Wimmera-based brass bands.
“It was set up by Ian Lofts of the Wimmera Bands Committee after he saw that music needed an education system (in the Wimmera),” Mr Battersby said.
“I went through the schools as did my kids and in 2002, when Ian was considering retiring, he approached me to run it.”
Over the years, the school has expanded from brass and percussion instruments to include woodwind and strings.
Tutors and instructors at the school are made up of teachers and former students.
“Our instructors have all done the music school from early days. We have got number of volunteers who have been teaching for 25 years,” Mr Battersby said.
“Most of the music school’s are teachers from Melbourne, who were brought up and born in the Wimmera and done the school.
“It’s all voluntary. Our enrolment fees toward music books and accommodation.”
The school’s reputation is so strong that families travel from all parts of the state for their children to take part in the annual music week.
“After a number of years it was opened to anyone who wanted to come. We have students aged from eight to mature age including some in their 80s,” Mr Battersby said.
“A lot come from Melbourne but we have had families from Sydney and exchange students who are visiting Australia.
“Some families plan their holiday around the school.”