A Town Without Music

A Town Without Music is a documentary feature film on the importance of access to music in a community. It focuses on music educator, Layton Hodgetts OAM, and the effect his community band, the Derwent Valley Concert Band, had on local lives in the small regional town of New Norfolk in Tasmania – not least of all his own.

The story follows the birth of the band in 1993 due to a lack of musical opportunity in the town and the incredibly unlikely journey that followed as the band gained momentum: touring the world, winning international competitions, and even performing at a Royal Wedding. However, as the band and Layton’s notoriety grew so did negative attention from a minority, including physical attacks on him and his property.

Layton’s passion for the community and vision for the bigger picture prevailed until 2019 when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer… As he suddenly came to terms with the end of his life – both the band and wider community powerfully rallied and supported him right to the end. His impact through bringing music to their lives continues to live on, but for how long? Music education is on a steep decline across the country. The film aims to highlight the huge power of community music and the importance of music teachers in every school.

It is directed and narrated by Layton’s daughter, Sarah, a filmmaker who is also a long-standing member of the band and strong advocate that music be available for everyone. Tom Zubrycki is the film’s producer – he is internationally acclaimed and one of the country’s most awarded and respected documentary filmmakers – the project couldn’t be in better hands.

The film has already gained support from Screen Tasmania and Documentary Australia. However, in order to finish the project – it requires significant funds (for example – a professional editor and the cost of distribution of the music and news clips used).

If you believe this story has the potential for a positive impact in music education and should be told as best it can on a world stage then please donate (every small amount counts!) and/or please share our page on the Documentary Australia website with your friends.

All donations are tax deductible.

Just click the link here: https://documentaryaustralia.com.au/project/a-town-without-music