Students from the NSW Regional Conservatoriums have taken part in orchestral tutorials and masterclasses with leading musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and Australian World Orchestra (AWO), at a two-day workshop hosted by Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 24 and 25 July.
Thirty-eight young musicians from regional towns across NSW travelled to Sydney this July for two days of intensive workshops, masterclasses and concerts with three leading classical music organisations. On Monday 24 July, the students worked with expert musicians from the SSO, who gave the young musicians tutorials on key orchestral repertoire. On Tuesday 25 July, the students participated in masterclasses with members of the AWO, a unique ensemble made up of Australian musicians drawn from top orchestras around the world. The students also attended two concert performances, by SSO at Sydney Opera House, and by AWO Chamber 8 at City Recital Hall.
While in Sydney, they were hosted by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for two days of intensive orchestral rehearsals and workshops. Nine tertiary students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music played alongside and mentored the younger regional musicians, as part of Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Richard Pulley Outreach and Regional Engagement Program, affectionately known as the “buddy” program.
The regional music students range in age from 11 to 18 years, and are all members of Regional Youth Orchestra NSW (RYO), an auditioned orchestra of talented young musicians established in 2016 by the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums.
RYO draws its players from the NSW Regional Conservatoriums, a network of 17 regional music schools funded by the NSW Government through the Department of Education to provide high quality music education for regional schools and communities.
“The Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums has forged wonderful partnerships with a number of leading music organisations,” says President of the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums, Anita Bellman.
“Our July project in Sydney sees three of our major partners, the Australian World Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, all collaborating with our own youth orchestra to provide the best possible opportunities for these talented young musicians.”
Bringing the students together for this inspiring program of activities in Sydney has required months of planning on the part of the Association, and very generous support from the three major arts organisations partnering on the project.
“We have young musicians coming all the way from Coffs Harbour in the north, Wagga and Albury down south, and more from Armidale, Tamworth, Central Coast, Goulburn, Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Wollongong, Young and the Upper Hunter,” says RYO conductor Patrick Brennan, who is also Chair of the Association’s Performance Projects Committee.
“Their 2-day program in Sydney is packed with rehearsals, tutorials, masterclasses and attending concerts. At our previous orchestral projects, the students gained real insight into the life of a professional musician and several decided to pursue music as a career as a result. I’m sure this experience will bring similar inspiration to our young musicians.”
The young musicians of RYO will meet up again in November, this time in Lismore, where they have been invited to perform a concert for Artstte, Regional Arts NSW’s conference and festival.
“The repertoire we work on in Sydney this July will form part of the concert program for the Lismore project,” says Adam Wills, RYO conductor and Vice President of the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums.
“So getting together in Sydney and working with expert professional musicians will be very inspiring for RYO’s future performances.”
Regional Youth Orchestra NSW is an initiative of the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums NSW Regional Conservatoriums are supported by the NSW Government through the Department of Education’s Regional Conservatoriums Grant Program.