AYO National Music Camp 2015: Blog 3
By Eugenie Puskarz Thomas
A Tale of Cricket, Mahler and Jedi Knights.
The annual staff vs students cricket match, I have discovered over the past few days, is a quintessential part of the National Music Camp experience. Ever since arriving at camp I have witnessed the somewhat extraordinary lengths that staff and students go to prepare for this hallowed occasion. There has been everything from covert practice sessions in the back ovals of Adelaide University to elaborate code names and heated strategic debates over dinner.
Fortunately, those ignorant are spared listening to tedious sermons detailing the precise rules of this at times incomprehensible game. It appears that all these rules can be condensed into one: the staff always win. Apparently, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that staff in possession of superior sporting skills and physical prowess, must always beat students. Perfectly fair from a Darwinian perspective, I suppose – the staff are naturally superior beings to the students. (Quite correct. This blog is excellent. Signed, A. J. McKean, WAM tutor.)
However, on closer inspection, I soon discovered the staff seemed to have a bit of a monopoly on the system. They select the scorer and umpire, so it always seems that any student runs are ignored or disqualified under convenient pretexts. Surprisingly, this doesn’t seem to bother the students. Samuel Andrews steadfastly asserts: ‘…we just have to really thrash them so there are no possible loopholes left to victory’.
After days of perfecting spin ball pitches, batting swings, classic catches and cramming in practice sessions whenever there was time, the fated Thursday was upon us. The students were quietly confident this year would be different, this year would go down in history: this year the students would win.
But alas! The fates were against us. Ominous slate grey clouds swirled and rumbled, ruining our pristine blue sky. Tortured faces appeared at breakfast and a steady line of umbrellas dotted the road as everyone departed for the rehearsals. The atmosphere was almost funereal. As the day stretched on there was little improvement in the weather or spirits. In sombre tones the match cancellation was announced.
Unsurprisingly, I am told the staff wins by default. (Yes. Signed, A. J. McKean, WAM tutor.)
But all was not lost. In the evening the weather began to finally clear up. After our BBQ dinner, a small informal game of touch football broke out on the lawn, followed by a spot of cricket, cheered on by an eclectic crowd of onlookers (two of whom were even decked out in Jedi cloaks). The evening passed with entertainment of Mahler 5, Siegfried’s horn call and Don Juan played on a vuvuzela, modified with a safety cone which some cunning horn player had filched from the stumps. As the sun began to set, the party headed inside to play pool, Ping-Pong and foosball, completed only by the moonlit serenades of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Words About Music participants will be blogging throughout AYO National Music Camp 2015