STUDENTS from regional NSW were lucky enough to be mentored by Sydney Symphony Orchestra musicians recently when it held its annual pop-up music camp.
The camp, this year held at the Central Coast Conservatorium, gave the young musicians three days to work alongside the 13 professional players.
One local student who secured a place at the camp by audition, Tamworth’s Ellie George, said it had been a “fantastic” experience.
“We did get a little glimpse into the life of a professional musician and playing music for a living – and it’s pretty amazing, from the sound of it,” Ellie said.
“We also did a lot of technical work, and working on practice routines and ways to improve sound quality and technique on our instruments, which is really useful.”
Ellie plays French horn in Tamworth Regional Youth Orchestra; she said it was “a relatively rare instrument”.
“There’s only one [in the orchestra], but there should be four.”
She taught herself to play and has never had a formal lesson, although she gets “great tips” from conductor Noelene McGrane.
Ellie is also an accomplished pianist, having completed Grade 8 in the Australian Music Examinations Board exams.
The McCarthy Catholic College Year 12 student is planning to attend university next year, but not in a music-related course of study.
“I never want to stop playing music, though, because it’s something you can keep with you for the rest of your life,” she said.
The pop-up camp, Playerlink!, is part of the SSO’s aim of inspiring and making music accessible to the next generation.
It allows promising musicians from Years 5 to 12 to have orchestra and instrument section rehearsals with the SSO players, before combining to perform at a community concert on the final day.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra spokeswoman Linda Lorenza said it was exciting to see students travel from across the state to join the orchestra and engage with the musicians.
“Many of these students have limited opportunities to play in a full orchestra, while others might be the only young person learning their instrument where they live,” she said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.