Alongside our work with music students and those considering a career in music, we recognise the importance of expanding our educational programs into the regions and bringing the inspiration of classical music into the lives of young people with little to no formal musical training.
Our Outreach Program is designed to operate both at home and abroad, inspiring young people across Australia and overseas when the orchestra is on tour.
NSW REGIONAL CONSERVATORIUMS AND THE NSW REGIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA (RYO)
We are proud of our ongoing relationship with the NSW Regional Conservatoriums through the NSW Regional Youth Orchestra (RYO). This educational collaboration provides young people from regional NSW with the opportunity to travel to attend workshops and masterclasses presented by our experienced professional players, culminating in performances at the Sydney Opera House and City Recital Hall, Angel Place.
Observing best practice, and experiencing musicians working at the top of their game, opens a window to professional music making for young players, many of whom would never ordinarily have the chance to rehearse in a professional environment or perform in the nation’s top concert halls.
As part of our 2015 Indian tour, We were pleased to establish relationships with Mumbai’s Conservatorium, the Melhi Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai and the ASHA Foundation in Delhi. Our musicians visited underprivileged children in schools in Mumbai, Chennai and the slum cities of Delhi where they introduced them to western classical music and the instruments of the orchestra. The program centred on the Diwali Festival and included 45-minutes of interactive storytelling for children aged 7 – 17 that involved playing percussion instruments and learning songs with movement. Most of these children had never seen an orchestra, experienced the sounds of a classical music performance, or had the opportunity to engage with professional players.
Our second visit to India in 2018 included a three-city education program. Students and teachers from the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai, and from AR Rahman’s Sunshine Orchestra in Chennai, were involved in a range of inspirational workshops and masterclasses that have made a lasting impact on their lives and potential musical careers.
We were also very lucky to spend a day with the Centre for Autism India (CAI) in Kerala where violinist Belinda McFarlane, violist Patricia Pollett, percussionist Troy Greatz, mezzo-soprano Caroline Meng and our Chief Conductor Alexander Briger delighted the children and audience with a wonderfully interactive afternoon of music, dance and learning. Our partnership with CAI helped to increase awareness of autism in India.
As part of our 2016 tour to Singapore, seven AWO musicians and Elena Kats-Chernin AO conducted masterclasses for students at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and AWO violinist, Monica Naselow visited a local primary school where she introduced the children to the violin.
This opportunity to learn invaluable insights from professional players is often out of reach for most music students. It’s an experience that will continue to inspire them throughout their studies and into their careers.