The AYO Digital Connection Initiative (DCI), developed in partnership with AYO’s Principal Sponsor, Accenture, has given AYO an opportunity to open up a gateway to classical music education for highly skilled young musicians around Australia regardless of their location. AYO is currently in the midst of trialling a range of technological developments that have increased access and established opportunities for community outreach across the country.
To date, AYO has trialled remote auditions (June and October 2013) between a panel in Melbourne or Canberra and musicians in Armidale, NSW; live open rehearsals, including a rehearsal of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with Associate Conductor Fabian Russell at the ABC studios in Sydney, which was streamed live to schools in regional NSW and regional QLD; live global concert webcasts from AYO Chamber Players at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2013), the AYO with Joshua Bell and Christoph Eschenbach concert at the Sydney Opera House (2013), and AYO’s National Music Camp Composition concert in Canberra last January.
The Digital Connection Initiative also furthers AYO’s dedication to providing access to high quality educational experiences and training for musicians regardless of their location. In 2013, William Barton (didgeridoo) facilitated a schools workshop, performing with an AYO String Quartet, with primary school students in Malvern East, VIC and the PLC School in Armidale, NSW interacting via video conference. Last December, Emma Sholl (Principal Flute, SSO) and David Griffiths (Clarinet, Ensemble Liaison) led online Specialist Masterclasses for a select group of instrumentalists nation-wide. Students used online chat to engage with Emma and David, who performed on their respective instruments, discussed the challenges of their instrument and its auxiliary instruments and gave advice on how to prepare for auditions and performances. Furthering the emphasis on preparation, AYO participants were also given access to a video portal that contained individual ‘learning from home’ video tutorials , from artists and tutors including Richard Gill (Music Director, 2014 National Music Camp), prior to their participation in AYO programs.