AYO Blog

AYO National Music Camp 2024: Blog 6
By Victor Arul

Four young musicians walk across a path on a cloudy day.

Emotions, accomplishments, memories, passions… and lunch – these are the things on the minds of the participants after the first week of National Music Camp. As the week comes to a close, the young musicians are abuzz with a weird blend. Sure, excitement as you would expect, but also a tinge of melancholy.

Zapping from the first day’s rehearsals, arriving at the first set of orchestral concerts. These performances were not just concerts, were not just showcases of musical ideas, but also a reflection of work and connection. From various parts of Australia, participants of different interests, roles, and aspirations converged and bonded over a shared passion for music. The many hours of practice, workshops, rehearsals, and conversations were fruitful, the participants delivered performances which were technically quintessential, emotionally resonant, and, most importantly, joyous.

While the 37-degree Celsius air is viscous with this sense of achievement, there’s also an underlying current of sadness. A sadness in that camp is already halfway done. Time, which seemed ample at the start, now feels like an inexorable metronome, reminding everyone that this unique gathering is pulsing towards its end. The participants have been expressing what they yearn to do before camp concludes, what they want to achieve, to try, to ponder, who to catch up with, who to meet for the first time, before this period of spatial adjacency terminates. In many ways, the halfway point is a moment of culmination, but also reconciling oneself that soon we will disperse to different parts of the nation, and beyond.

The National Music Camp is more than just a training ground; it’s a sphere where lifelong connections are forged and participants are inspired to pursue their dreams with vigour. As they prepare for the second week, they carry with them not just the knowledge and skills acquired but also the memories and connections that will last beyond. In many ways, the end being felt but not here yet, is a positive thing; it allows for us to ruminate and anticipate what is to come after camp.

Camp is not over, yet standing at the halfway mark fills us with this liminal atmosphere, containing both a sense of end but also aspirations of what to do before it does…