The Arts Unit is an initiative of the NSW Government, dedicated to providing state school students with learning and performance opportunities across the performing arts. They are also long long-time partners of Music Australia through their ongoing contribution to and involvement in Music: Count Us In.
In April 2017, The Arts Unit invited around 40 students from across NSW to come together on the stage of the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House to work with the acclaimed Academy of St Martin in the Fields. It is the chamber orchestra’s first visit to Australia in nearly 30 years, making this a rare opportunity for audiences and this talented group of students. The weekend involved intensive rehearsals, discussion of composition and performance techniques, and a culminating performance. The chamber orchestra’s performances in Australia have been very well-received. (The performances of Tchaikovsky were a particular favourite for this writer).
The approach taken in the workshop, which was led by UK animateur John Webb, may have interesting potential for Australian orchestras, which we explore separately here.
The event was organised by the Sydney Opera House and The Arts Unit as part of a three-year partnership to deliver educational programs, events and attractions designed to encourage young people to learn and innovate in the arts. There may be other offerings for students in the next few years, so students and teachers can stay tuned via The Arts Unit website to take advantage of these opportunities.
Read more on this ABC story.