Students from Katherine High School have made a stellar entry into the NT Government's Territory Day video competition.
The usual explosive Territory Day celebrations for July 1 have been called off this year.
To give schools a way to still celebrate, however, the NT Government launched a Territory-wide competition for students to create a video set to the song 'Family' by Arnhem Land group 'Black Rock Band'.
The competition offers a range of prizes for schools and students and asks entrants to creatively apply the song to a video about their experience in the Territory.
Katherine High School's final product was a collaboration across all years of the high school, with backing vocals by year sevens and instruments, solo vocals etc. contributed by students from year nine up.
Year Eleven student Apisa Uluivuya played a starring role on the drums, and shared his thoughts about the process, music and the Territory identity this morning.
"I've been playing drums since I was eight, a friend of mine in Fiji taught me and I love the energy compared to other instruments," he said.
"To learn a song I just put headphones on and listen to it over and over.
"I only moved to Katherine at the start of this year from Boroloola, but life in the Territory for me is about going out fishing and hunting with friends.
"I know the song well and the chorus is the highlight for me, I was introduced to it through a friend's Dad and when they start talking about skin names we all took notice, he said.
Classmate Gypsy Schmidt's outstanding guitar and singing talents feature in the video and will see her enter the NT's battle of the bands later this year.`
She said the process of putting together a full product like the Territory Day is something she hopes to apply to her own solo work.
"I've only been playing guitar for six months but I love it because you can sing at the same time," she said.
"I make my music about what I'm feeling or things I've seen happen, I'd never done a big product like this before but I think maybe I can use it one day for my own music which would be cool.
"I've been to other places in Australia to visit, and I think the NT is different because people are more free up here.
"It's hotter of course and the Territory is special to me because this is where I grew up, so this is where all my mates are," Gypsy said.
Senior music teacher Clare Gorton coordinated the effort.
She says while the identity aspect is important, it was the process of compiling the video which gave the kids most value in the end.
"The kids were really enthusiastic about it, especially once we got the year seven choir singing back-up vocals the older kids just thought that was really cute," she said.
"It can be hard to get kids singing if they haven't before but the little ones aren't so fussed yet.
"The song was a good choice because all the kids have heard it, it's difficult to encapsulate everybody's experience of life in the Territory because it's so diverse here.
"But the kids do know that group are from the Territory so even if they don't listen to it all the time they do connect with it a bit.
"Mostly though I think it's the experience of putting a song together piece by piece, doing separate recordings then mixing them together which will stay with them.
"They've never had a chance to do something like this before so it is a unique opportunity for them to learn and that was my biggest priority," Ms Gorton said.
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