By Kath Gannaway
Young music students from across the Yarra Ranges have performed with musicians from Orchestra Victoria in a spectacular symphony concert in Healesville.
The students from Year 7 to Year 12 took part in a two-day student workshop in the lead-up to a full orchestral concert on Thursday night, 3 August, as part of Orchestra Victoria’s ‘On the mOVe! Healesville’ education program.
The audience was treated to a brilliant and energetic performance with pieces from Strauss, Handel and Haydn to Russian Folk Songs by Liadov, the James Bond Medley by Lopez and The Can-Can by Offenbach.
On the mOVe is a regional program that gives students the chance to learn from world-class musicians in their home communities and to play with a full orchestra, an opportunity aspiring musicians in rural areas may not otherwise have.
With financial support, including Bendigo Bank as principal regional partner, the program is fully subsidised making it financially accessible.
The program itself is intense, rewarding, and judging from the smiles on the faces of the young musicians as they took their final bows, fun!
“Putting up a concert in less than 36 hours from a starting point of never having played together before, and to an expectation of delivering a professional concert, it’s just incredible how far they lift,” said conductor Dominic Harvey.
The students work side-by-side with Orchestra Victoria musicians tutoring individual sections and playing alongside them in the concert.
It is the first time the program has been held in Yarra Ranges and Mr Harvey said the range of abilities was impressive and the enthusiasm and excitement for the opportunities being made available to the young players was wonderful.
Students from other areas also take part in the program, providing an additional opportunity for the musicians to meet peers outside their usual network.
“To have such an enthusiastic and talented group in our first year in Healesville is exciting, and it means next year it will grow,” he said.
“Once the word gets out and the students talk up what they’ve done, and how much they have grown through mOVe, it will encourage others.”
Violinist John Noble said playing alongside the young students was an opportunity for Orchestra Victoria musicians to pass on their skills.
He said the results spoke for themselves.
“At each session you can feel it, hear it and sense it,” he said.
“The audience really feels it too, you can feel the excitement in the air.”
Speaking at the pre-concert launch, Orchestra Victoria general manager Sara Pheasant said the organisation was fortunate to have generous supporters which made the program possible.
She included in her thanks local Bendigo Bank representatives attending the concert, and Yarra Ranges Council for their contribution to the Healesville program.
As part of their continuing commitment to engage young people in classical music Yarra Ranges Council offers free admission to under 26-year-olds to all Classical Tracks events under the ‘A Minor Tix’ deal.