Song shines light on mental health

Rural voice: The Grenfell Men's Shed, producers, singers, councillors and local students came together to record the song. Photo: Ngaire Soley.
The people picured are -  Tom Robinson, THLHS music teacher Brodie McKnight, Grenfell Men's Shed president Geoff Earl, Peter Soley, Jesse Thompson-Jones, Abbey Smith, Kris Schubert, Axl Delandro, Ethan Reid, Josh Pargeter, Jan Parlett, Phill Diprose, Connor Day, Jackson Chapman, Brendan Knight and Henry Best.
Rural voice: The Grenfell Men's Shed, producers, singers, councillors and local students came together to record the song. Photo: Ngaire Soley. The people picured are - Tom Robinson, THLHS music teacher Brodie McKnight, Grenfell Men's Shed president Geoff Earl, Peter Soley, Jesse Thompson-Jones, Abbey Smith, Kris Schubert, Axl Delandro, Ethan Reid, Josh Pargeter, Jan Parlett, Phill Diprose, Connor Day, Jackson Chapman, Brendan Knight and Henry Best.

After months of planning and preparation; writing music and fining tuning lyrics, the day of recording finally arrived for a small, but passionate group of people in Grenfell.

Over four weeks in July and August, members of the Grenfell Men’s Shed and 10 boys from the Henry Lawson High School, participated in workshops to collaboratively write both lyrics and music for a song that not only reflected their community, but also touched on mental health.

Out of that process the brand new song ‘Sunshine on the Peaks’ was written. The participants recorded the song at the local TAFE centre on Friday.

The Men’s Shed members and students had support and guidance from the high school music teacher, along with John from the Grenfell Music Club, Bathurst-based musician and audio engineer Kris Schubert singer-songwriter Abby Smith and councillors Carly Brown and Jan Parlett.

When the Western Magazine spoke to Grenfell Men’s Shed and project co-organiser Phillip Diprose on the Friday, he said it was great to have such a dedicated team.

“The secret to success in any project is great people,” he said.

Mr Diprose said things were going really well on recording day.

“It’s fantastic to have 10 talented young men from the High School involved,” he said.

“Everyone is helping each other out. No-one is being offended or anything like that if someone has an idea, it’s all just about the song.”

Mr Diprose said people in the group had suffered from mental health issues, but he said the song was for everyone going through a difficult time.

“The way I see it I hope the song becomes a bit of an anthem and speaks to anyone… For anyone hearing the song we want them to know we understand and care,” he said.

The project came together through a partnership between Arts OutWest, Grenfell Men’s Shed, The Henry Lawson High School and Grenfell community, NSW Health with the support of three local Councillors. Funding comes from House With No Steps’ Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services.

Mr Diprose said after one of the many meetings to organise the project, some local figures were brought to his attention.

“It was the two major areas of population decline in Grenfell and they were 15-24 years and over 70. The older generation because they might lose their partner and the younger group because they may lose their mate because he’s left the town. So they both grieve and thus become more isolated,” he said.

“So we decided to focus on a project for men of all ages, who also wouldn’t normally interact.”