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VAMPtv online music program showcasing talents of remote NT Indigenous students – ABC News

VAMPtv online music program showcasing talents of remote NT Indigenous students
Every fortnight, a small team of producers gather in a cramped music studio in Darwin. 
Inside, they're filming episodes for the popular online music show know as VAMPtv, or Video, Arts, Music, Production Television. 
Now in its 12th season, the program provides a platform for Indigenous students from across the Northern Territory's regional and remote communities to showcase their musical talents.
One of them is Alvin Manfong, from the Mulga Bore band. 
The 17-year-old and his band come from from the tiny remote community of Mulga Bore, about 140 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs.
Drawing inspiration from the iconic American rock band Kiss, the band won last month's Alice Springs heat of the "Battle of the School Bands" final.
Alvin said he had dreams of making it big on the global stage.
"[I want to] tour with the band, make albums [and] get more costumes," he said.
Primary school teacher Courtney Bailey joined VAMPtv as its main host shortly after the show's inception in 2011.
"There are so many talented kids out there that can play music," she said.
"Kids seeing other kids from all around the Territory [on VAMPtv] … they might recognise family and say 'I reckon I could give that a go.'
"VAMPtv and all the great things that we do, it's really amplifying black excellence."
Students write and record their own songs and music videos, which are then submitted to producers at the NT Music school, before being featured on the show.
Episodes can then be viewed online.
VAMPtv Creative Director Todd Williams said the idea was initially conceived by former NT Music School principal Andy Mison, with the aim of boosting student engagement in regional and remote schools amid chronically low attendance rates.
"We wanted to make it enjoyable … and to put Indigenous kids in the spotlight amongst themselves," Mr Williams said.
"Music has a wonderful way of working and developing the brain and making learning more enjoyable and engaging."
The program is funded by the NT Department of Education and reaches more than 120 remote schools across the Northern Territory.
"[VAMPtv] helps to make a culture of school being a place where these students are valued for who they are and the talents that they come with," NT Music School Liaison Rodney Balaam said.
The program also looks to provide students with pathways to a career in music.
Mr Williams said King Stingray frontman Yirrnga Yunupingu was the show's "poster boy" in its formative years.
"[Since] first coming across him [Yirrnga] in 2011 when he was 15 years old, we have seen him develop with all the different bands he's been in," Mr Williams said.
"We've seen him grow and blossom to the amazing young man he is now."
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
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