THOUSANDS of drought-affected country children have received musical instruments via their city cousins restoring joy to their lives thanks to Rural Aid’s ‘Gift of Music’ program.

Canberra Grammar School will hold a Moonlight Concert 2019 fundraiser for Rural Aid this Thursday, 20 June from 7 to 8.30 pm to purchase 20 guitars for Boorowa Public School in NSW affected by drought.

Rural Aid’s ‘Gift of Music’ program is designed to bring happiness to children in rural and remote areas by providing them with musical instruments to either augment or establish rural school music programs.

The concert is a student-led initiative of Canberra Grammar School that started in 2018. This year, School Vice-Captain and Year 12 student Oliver Merchant took the lead, using the funds raised from the concert as a way of lending a helping hand to people who put meals on our tables.

“People forget the importance of Australian farmers,” he said.

“You don’t realise what you have until it’s gone and it’s time to look at our own backyard to make a contribution to help people in rural communities – after all, we are one community.”

Canberra Grammar School is a co-educational boarding school with 2088 students including boarders who come from families of primary producers, rural towns and Indigenous communities.”

Rural Aid General Manager Wayne Thomson said, “We are asking all Australians who may have an instrument no longer in use, to consider donating it so we can share the resources with those that need them.”

“The gift of music can change a child’s life and the gift of an instrument to a rural school in need, can change many children’s lives,” he said.

“Much needed monetary donations (which are fully tax deductible) purchase instruments which are on teachers’ request lists and/or the repair of useful donated instruments.”

The Gift of Music program gives children access to life-changing opportunities which music provides in terms of socialisation in country towns, a new skill-set and the confidence, discipline and self-esteem which comes along with training and performance.

The instruments provided include ukuleles, guitars, percussion, strings, brass and woodwind, and come from schools committed to getting behind regional communities who are fundraising thousands of dollars to support disadvantaged school children.

Entry to the concert costs $10 and tickets can be purchased at the door or online at

The concert will be held at the Canberra Grammar School PDHPE Centre, 40 Monaro Crescent in Red Hill with all funds raised will be donated to Rural Aid.

To learn more about Rural Aid and Gift of Music visit: or telephone 1300 327 624.

Image caption (L-R): Canberra Grammar students Saphyre Farrelly, Sebastian Bonanno, Oliver Merchant, Maddie Pik and Rafael Priest.

[All students are involved with organising or playing in the Moonlight Concert].

Media contacts: 
Richard Forbes – 0427270687 or Canberra Grammar School Strategic Communications Manager Reece Cummings 02 6260 9731 | 0411 835 510