stringmansassy guitarist Aaron Hopper has been very busy over the past few years – raising a family, organising festivals, performing as a solo and ensemble artist, teaching guitar and writing music for a variety of genres, from dance groups to guitar orchestras.

For all the latest Aaron Hopper sheet music, recordings and new projects, go to the Aaron Hopper – official website.

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stringmansassy guitarist Aaron Hopper, has well and truly secured his place in the music, cultural and Arts fabric of his adopted home town Bathurst (Central West – NSW). As the Artistic Director of the Inland Sea of Sound Festival, he once again brings world class ‘World Music’ to the Central West.

This year’s Inland Sea of Sound Festival builds on its past reputation to attract some of Australia’s leading artists and musicians for a week-long festival of world music in Bathurst. The Inland Sea of Sound Festival provides music lovers with a of voyage of multicultural music and food that starts at BMEC on October 16 with a free community event followed by two twilight backyard concerts, music workshops and ends with a major concert and festival club held at BMEC on Saturday October 24.

World musicians performing at the festival include Jeff Lang, Fred Smith & Liz Frencham, Greg Sheehan, Rasa Duende, Bandaluzia, Kerrianne Cox, Kim Sanders and Friends, Jade Flynn, Sea of Sound Band and more.
This year, the festival is extending its voyage to include several local cafes and wineries who will host local and emerging musicians. A program and map is now available showcasing venues and musicians.  This year audiences can experieance live music, vibrant atmospheres and local food through the day and attend world music concerts at night.

As yet another year draws to a close, it is perhaps time for a brief reflection on what has transpired and a glimpse toward what is to come. For myself, this is one of my most favourite times of the year. It begins in August when the winds take flight and bring a sense of change and tranformation. September sees plan and action, followed by crazy October – a month mad and frenetic, full of occasions and to do lists, challenges and successes. November is the recovery, the wind down from the madness and then it begins…the anticipation, the creation of tradition, the excitement, and the heartfelt sentiment and appreciation of friends, family, teachers and the loved ones in ones life.

It has been a big year for Aaron and I. Where as, once our year was full of touring, this has been a year without stringmansassy but one of personal change and transformation for both of us. Aaron is now a father! He and partner Angie are the blessed parents of a beautiful, delightful and very present boy with a shockingly luxurious head of hair. As you can imagine…along his work at the Conservatorium in Bathurst, organising world music festivals, writing and composing new solo material, releasing a music book and recording a new CD…he has been a very busy man over the past year.

For myself, I have emerged beyond the stage of early parenthood. My beautiful and emotionally honest, creative and sometimes perplexing girls are a little more self sufficient, my tiredness has subsided and my drive and passion to create has well and truly revealed itself again. This has been a year of finding a voice for all my creative thoughts. The highlights: a brief and wonderful journey into the world of classical music for the performance of Tyalgum Dawn, and facilitating and directing a production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ with 100 students from the Currumbin Valley State School. From the music, to the drama, to the costumes, to helping the kids bring it to the stage for their family, friends and community….I was in bliss!! The most marvellous part was witnessing the change and evolution of the students as they embraced the story, their characters and the excitement of being on the stage. Suffice to say, after 4 months of hard work, it was a magic performance and the kids completely ‘killed’ it!!!

To look at today’s date, I am completely overwhelmed by how quickly this year has passed. It has been an immensely full and rewarding one, but I enter this Christmas season with a great desire to expand time, to truly gain the most out of each moment, each friendship, each minute with my children, my husband and my family. If time continues to accelerate, as the Mayan calendar predicts, perhaps this is the perfect time to begin to breathe very deeply and prepare oneself for the year that is to follow. Next year….I know it will be a big one and one that will see Aaron and I regroup again to begin the next stage of the stringmansassy journey. We always said we had another album in us. Perhaps 2012 will be the year…?? I am certainly very excited to see where it will all lead.

To conclude…in the spirit of Christmas, we (I know I also speak for Aaron) wish you great joy, peace and fulfilment for the closing of this year and many blessings for the one that is to follow. May 2012 be a wonderful journey for you all!!

Kacey xox