Rural Aid hands over 26 ukuleles and seven djembe African drums to Aberdeen Public School during recent hay drop

MUSIC TO THEIR EARS: Rural Aids Robyn and Wayne Thomson, Aberdeen Public School principal Corallee Kerrigan and Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music director Dr Wendy Brooks (front) with school captains Summer Dowell and Angus Sullivan.
MUSIC TO THEIR EARS: Rural Aids Robyn and Wayne Thomson, Aberdeen Public School principal Corallee Kerrigan and Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music director Dr Wendy Brooks (front) with school captains Summer Dowell and Angus Sullivan.

EXPECT some serious tunes to flow out of Aberdeen Public School in the coming months.

Rural Aid representatives Robyn and Wayne Thomson handed over 26 ukuleles and seven djembe African drums to principal Corallee Kerrigan, and her eager students, during a special assembly on Tuesday.

Not only did the pupils benefit from the instruments - thanks to the Gift of Music program, which was supported by the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music (UHCM), they also received Lego, stationery and iPads.

"We're so thankful," Ms Kerrigan said.

"The kids will gain a lot [from this donation].

"In fact, the ukuleles and djembe drums will encourage the youngsters to take an interest in music and, possibly, learn another instrument."

The director of the UHCM, Dr Wendy Brooks, was also grateful for the charitable gesture.

"We liaised with a number of local schools, like Muswellbrook South and Aberdeen Public, to work out their needs after Rural Aid touched base with us," she said.

"Some of our teachers instruct here, too.

"So, it was easy to find out what the children required.

"It's a great thing for them to have music in their lives.

"To receive 26 ukuleles [and seven djembe drums] is amazing.

"We honestly thought we'd get about five or six."

Rural Aid general manager Wayne Thomson said he was thrilled to witness the smiling faces on the students.

"It's very exciting," he explained.

"We wanted to give the pupils the same opportunities they might have if they were in the big cities, or without budget restrictions, and really enjoy that wonderful gift of music.

"The ukuleles are fun - the kids can virtually play a song straight away."

While in the Upper Hunter this week, Rural Aid also assisted numerous locals - via Buy a Bale - at Wells Gully Road, between Aberdeen and Muswellbrook.

"Following a hay run at Denman last Friday, we made another drop-off [this morning]," Mr Thomson said.

"Four road trains helped about 23 farmers out there.

"It's wonderful - and the residents were very appreciative.

"However, it was all made possible by the Australian Chinese Youth Elite Club, which put together about $125,000.

"Importantly, we rely on sponsors.

"So, they've been very generous.

"They saw a need - and that we can't do without Aussie farmers.

"The members decided to dig deep, hosting a series of fundraisers across Sydney.

"Lots of businesses and individuals were involved.

"They made it clear that Australia is their second home and they had to be there for the Aussie farmers in their time of need."