It’s a good way to keep a family together – or maybe to break it up. There’s no doubt that constant companionship can either destroy or strengthen a relationship.
For the String Family of musicians, living and touring in a caravan has worked.
Sarah and Joel Moir and their son, Heath (15), and daughter, Ashleigh (14), have been on the road now since February, 2016.
Sarah and Joel had been playing together since they were young. They met when they were children, competing against each other in the Wollongong Eisteddfod and they became musical partners and then marital partners.
Their children have grown up learning and then playing the cello and violin and have joined the adults to form a string quartet, playing interesting and varied music from lots of styles.
The decision to go on the road happened because Joel got a job in IT and Sarah continued as a musician. They found themselves and their children leading disparate lives.
“We realised that our family wasn’t together as much as we hoped. It wasn’t the kind of life-style that we imagined for our family”, she said.
So they decided to live a united life on the road.
The two teenage children have been educated through “distant education”, much of it across the web, linking to teachers remotely. The mother said that the method was good. Students get the same teacher for each subject and that, often far-away, teacher still keeps a close eye on progress in a way that might not be so easy in a conventional classroom.
Sarah said they fell in love with Glen Innes when they were passing through on the way from Brisbane to the south of NSW. they planned to stay for a night at the Showground and stayed for a week.
“We just happened to call in and we weren’t on a tight schedule and we ended up spnding a week. We fell in love with it”.
Their music chimes with the Celtic promotion of Glen Innes. The two adults trained as classical musicians but have broadened it to an eclectic mix of styles, including music derived from the Celtic countries or Ireland and Scotland.
The touring is soon to stop, however. The son and daughter have been taught through “distance education” and in the last year through “home learning” but now the son needs to go to school so at the end of the year, the wheels stop rolling and they settle down.
In the meantime, they’re at the Chapel Theatre at 2 pm on Sunday along with local artiste, Kathryn Luxford.
They promise some Queen, Led Zeppelin plus Celtic favourites.