A Town Without Music is about the power of music in a community. Layton Hodgetts OAM (Sarah’s Dad) is a music-educator who started a community band due to a lack of musical opportunity in a small regional town in Tasmania. The band went on to achieve unimaginable global heights: 10 overseas tours, winning the European Championships (twice), and even performing at a Royal Wedding. Despite set-backs, including verbal and physical attacks on him and his property due to tall poppy syndrome by a minority in the town, he persevered. The band were great support always. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer they came to the fore and performed on his verandah, at a living wake, then almost 100 musicians marched ahead of the hearse at his funeral. So many lives were changed for the better, not least of all his own. Currently there is a huge lack of instrumental music being taught in the town so the band has started a program for beginner musicians so the next generation doesn’t miss out.
Sarah grew up in Tasmania where she worked professionally as an actor on stage and screen before studying film in New York City and Sydney. In 2019, Sarah was a founding board member of Derwent Valley Arts (DVA). She resides as the DVA Performing Arts Coordinator bringing acts ranging from touring comedy shows to Festival of Voices and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra pop-up performances to the town. She also leads the DVA Film Society – a much-loved social event screening quality cinema in the community each month.
Since 2020, Sarah has been honing her skills by working as videographer for Derwent Valley Arts, the Derwent Valley Concert Band, and creating successful promotional election ads for Craig Farrell MLC, during which time her creative interests have confidently evolved to filmmaking. Sarah is currently working on her first documentary feature film A Town Without Music.