Welcome to the winter edition of AYO’s Newsbeat.
For many hundreds of musicians around the country, now is the time to apply to be part of AYO in 2014, and it is extremely encouraging to see the interest in joining AYO remains strong.
The Australian Government’s recent increased funding commitment to arts training was met with great relief by many of the national arts training organisations including AYO. With funding set to expire this year, our program activity level for 2014 and beyond including future international touring was in doubt. This announcement came just in time to release our 2014 programs and to ensure we could secure some more great conductors for the next three years.
My thanks to the Hon. Simon Crean for his drive and vision for the policy, and to the current Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, for sustaining that support. I want to acknowledge the many non-Government supporters of AYO who have helped develop our program quality and activity level to this point, and who through this loyal support helped make the case for continued and increased government funding. Each year more than forty AYO players spend up to two weeks in Hobart working alongside members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Last month the combined forces of the AYO and TSO were led by a very passionate promoter of musical development programs such as this, Mark Wigglesworth. A regular visitor to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra this was Mark’s debut with AYO and TSO. Of his experience working with the AYO, he said: “Youth orchestras of the calibre of AYO have no limits to what they can achieve,” and “…to be part of such uncompromising music making is something I always find a privilege”.
We look forward to welcoming Mark back to AYO in future seasons and thank the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for their major commitment to national music training programs.
I hope you can join us for the next performances by AYO with Joshua Bell on 3rd August in Sydney and 5th August in Melbourne.