Layla, Beau, Isabella and Jonah with guitar teacher and singer/songwriter Mark Maroney and Eumundi School of Rock director Katie Noonan.
Layla, Beau, Isabella and Jonah with guitar teacher and singer/songwriter Mark Maroney and Eumundi School of Rock director Katie Noonan.

Ready to rock: Budding musos to wow at drive-in concert

Talented young performers will rock the radios off dozens of cars during a new live gig as virus restrictions dramatically change the music industry.

The COVID-19 outbreak first halted the Eumundi School of Rock from performing at its annual concert, but the emergence of drive-in gigs has allowed the event to go ahead.

Five-time ARIA award-winning artist and local mum Katie Noonan, who founded the school for students in Year 3-8, said this year's program had taken a turn.

School kids rock out: Eumundi School of Rock students are preparing for a drive-in music concert in August.
School kids rock out: Eumundi School of Rock students are preparing for a drive-in music concert in August.

"Thankfully, the absolute legends at The Imperial Hotel came on board," she said.

Although the students would usually rehearse for the concert at the nearby state school, Noonan said the owners of the Eumundi hotel had stepped in to provide a new practice space.

This allowed the electrifying drive-in concert to go ahead in August, with performances planned from the young rockers, plus the newly-formed Imperial Superband.

"It's totally safe to come, even if you have a weak immune system, you can just stay in your car and not get out of your car the whole time," Noonan said.

"You tune in via your FM radio and listen in the comfort of your car, and then there's a massive screen where we'll have a multi-camera mix of the gig.

Singer Katie Noonan.
Singer Katie Noonan.

"There is something magic about an outdoor gig … for kids rocking out, I think it's going to be awesome."

Now in its fifth year, Noonan said the Eumundi School of Rock performers were all given the same opportunity to rock out.

"I'm a huge believer in the importance of music education for all children, regardless of whether you go to a private or public school, or honestly whether your parents can afford it or not," she said.

"It's just gone from strength to strength, and we've had almost a 300 per cent increase in auditionees, so the quality keeps on improving.

"I have no doubt a lot of them will get into the industry because they're very talented, and they've got that kind of passion."

75,000 reasons mayor didn't vote on huge project

Don't worry, beer happy: New takeaway option launches

After a difficult time for all during the COVID-19 pandemic, Noonan said the event had come at the perfect time for performers and audiences.

"Music is such a powerful tool," she said.

"It's great for kids' mental health, it's great for their sense of community, it's great for forming new friendships.

"I'm just really relieved that we could keep it going because I think it's been a really difficult year, and I think these kids have needed this possibly more than ever this year, to be honest.

"It's going to be wonderful, I can't wait."

The drive-in concert will be part of the Horizon Festival, with 100 per cent of ticket proceeds going towards keeping the program free for students. Purchase them here.

Headlines