AYO Young Symphonists program is the first step into pre-professional music education on the AYO Pathway to a professional career.
This year, under the expert guidance of Music Director Max McBride and some of Australia’s finest professional musicians, the program was an exciting, immersive, and challenging experience for 60 young players at the Toorak College in Mt Eliza, culminating in a performance at Frankston Arts Centre in Frankston, VIC.
Percussionist Niki Johnson took the blogging reins for the program and delivered insight into the experience for those of us not in Frankston. Upon arriving in Mt Eliza, Niki sent through a quick update on the musicians’ travels: We arrived at Mt Eliza after a one and a half hour bus ride to a cool sea breeze and beautiful school grounds. Our location was particularly exciting because we are a five minute walk from a sheltered, sandy beach! Our orchestral music, just as exciting as our percussion repertoire included Nuages and Fetes from Debussy’s Nocturnes, the Fanfare from La Péri by Dukas, Symphony no 2: A London Symphony by Vaughan Williams and Autumn from Glazunov’s The Seasons.
It was clear from our first rehearsal that as an orchestra we have so much potential to create some beautiful music. This is one of the things that is so wonderful about being a part of AYO. It is one of the rare opportunities where you can learn a piece together and reach such an excellent standard so quickly.
Reflecting on the weeklong program, which included some educational sessions about the Alexander Technique, Niki noted that: The [Young Symphonists program] wasn’t just about playing music together and learning pieces, but it helped us with taking care of our bodies, coping with stress, maximising muscle movements and overall helped us become better and more efficient musicians.
Read the Niki’s blogs in their entirety here.