Music Matters

MYO Summer School a musical treat for our students!

To start my year off in the most musical way possible, I, along with Tintern students Charlotte Menagh, Siobhan Muirhead, Josh Choong and Zoe Forbes, attended the 2018 Summer School run by the Melbourne Youth Orchestras.

Charlotte and I were in the Symphonic Wind Band on clarinet and flute respectively. Siobhan was in the Philharmonic Orchestra on oboe, Josh in the Symphony Orchestra on viola and Zoe in the Concert Band on flute. Running from Monday 8 to Friday 12 January, the Summer School involved intensive daily rehearsals at the Southbank campus of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in our respective ensembles, in preparation for a performance on Saturday 13 January. The rehearsals were rigorous, and demanded extreme concentration and stamina, but were kept light-hearted by our amazing conductor Steve Williams (who has conducted most of the orchestras for Symphony Services International and has taken Australian orchestras, symphonic bands and jazz ensembles on international tours).

Over the first couple of days we cycled rapidly through a wide variety of technically and stylistically demanding pieces. All were enjoyable and offered multiple opportunities for soloists as well as bringing up challenges involved with working in a large group. Both the ensemble and smaller tutor group sessions were enriched with numerous learning opportunities involving intonation, breathing, phrasing, and balance. Ultimately, we voted on performing Praise Jerusalem, composed by Alfred Reed, a mammoth piece which explores wide contrasts in dynamics and texture. The concert gave us the incredible opportunity to perform in the beautiful Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, the star of the Recital Centre, and proved the perfect stage from which to showcase talent and recognise the hard work everyone had dedicated to the ensemble over the week.

I hope to return next year as, along with valuable strategies to improve my individual and group musical work, I’ll be taking away many memories made with both old and new friends.

by Holly Fryer, Instrumental Music Captain 2018

Chinese students share the universal language of music with Tintern Middle School students

Twenty- four children from a Chinese Primary School in Guangzhou visited Tintern earlier this week to take in the sights and sounds of Tintern Grammar. The children attend a primary school with a population of 3,000 children, so they found Tintern quite captivating with its rural setting and small classes. They usually have anything up to 45 children in one class.

The children and their teachers enjoyed a tour of the Girls’ Junior School and loved the play equipment and our school grounds. After morning tea, they watched a game of baseball on the oval with Mr Kenny and enjoyed a visit to our farm. A select group of their musicians (they have a band of 67 members back home) participated in a workshop on Monday afternoon with Mrs Clarke and then joined together with our Concert Band to play through some pieces as a massed ensemble on Tuesday afternoon. They are performing at the Girls’ Junior School Assembly on Wednesday morning.

This was a wonderful opportunity to welcome visitors from overseas to our school and allow our students to mix and create musical magic with the visitors. Despite the fact that the visiting children spoke little or no English, there were few barriers, as the universal language of music allowed all of the students to communicate on an equal footing in the rehearsal room.

Thanks must go to Mrs Clarke for organising this event, Mrs Riddell for her generosity in showing the visitors around the school, Alec Chen (Year 9) and Marcus Chen (Year 9) for assisting with language interpretation and Ella Watt (Year 11) for supervising the visit to the farm.

by Alison Bezaire, Director of Music

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