Day 7

Today has been a really pleasant and relaxing day in more great Australian Company.

Having already met Anthony Maydwell on Friday night we were looking forward to taking part in another concert organised by him. This time involved heading across to his house in Kalamunda, just east of Perth.

He had very kindly invited us all to lunch at his house followed by a tour of the scrub behind. It was amazing to see some of the native flora and fauna and he was very knowledgable and full of interesting facts about the area.

After a wonderful lunch we were driven to the Kalamunda History Village, a really fascinating look at how Kalamunda has changed over the years and the history of the area.

The concert was at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre, which contained a fantastic theatre space. After a fairly short rehearsal the whole team gave a concert to a full house! There were so many highlights that it is impossible to list them all, however the Cats Duet returned, by popular demand! All of our international soloists also gave performances Cecelia De Maria & Joseph Aquilina along with our soloists from the Royal Over-Seas league Yelian He and Les Neish.

We really enjoyed our day with Anthony Maydwell who spent the day really looking after us so well.

On our return to Perth a small group of pupils visited Fast Eddies a rather cool little pub / restaurant / bistro which is about two blocks from our appartements and the conversations and laughter are still continuing outside my appartement door even now!

It really has been a fantastic first week!


We’re just leaving for Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre where we will be giving a concert filled with our favourite pieces so far as well as enjoying life near the Australian Outback!

Day 5

Today was a bitter-sweet moment. It was our final day with Trinity College, Perth. We have been working with them all week and all groups have gained so much from each other. The time we have spent together has been packed with exciting items, from Tuba and Cello Masterclasses to Concertos and Composition workshops!

This morning started a little later than yesterday (which was a great relief for us all!) and Trinity College once again picked us up from our apartments.

We kicked off the day with a performance to the junior school, the concert was an opportunity to introduce the younger members of the school to some of our instruments. The harp, clarinet and cello were amongst the introductions and it was great to see our young musicians speaking so passionately to Trinity College’s youngest pupils.

The later morning session saw us revisit the strings in the chamber orchestra, and this time the session looked at Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. This was a real treat for us all as not only were the whole of the orchestra able to play this masterpiece but the two soloists were both young musicians from the Commonwealth Resounds team!

Lunch was a fantastic time for the Commonwealth Resounds team to wander around Trinity College’s beautiful grounds and Peter Banks was lucky enough to view the school’s telescopes!

The afternoon session saw the team split up into different groups and areas. Some attended a traditional percussion session, and others participated in the joint choir of Trinity College and the Presbyterian Ladies College. The rehearsal was very interesting as the choir was rehearsing a large work and involved all the young singers spreading around the whole room.

The day was finished off by a concert for the Exhibition Programme a concert series run at Trinity College. As a pre-concert talk Tony Maydwell led a question and answer session where he interviewed the team and asked about their life and music in the UK. Following on from this, he invited questions from the floor. The audience was very interested in life as a musician in the UK and in specialist music schools such as the Purcell School and Chetham’s School of Music.

The evening concert was another spectacular event with performances from the entire team. Following the concert, everyone was invited to the music leavers post-concert dinner where all the Trinity College Year 12 boys were presented with medals in recognition of their work at the school. It was a very special event and the whole team felt so honoured to be present at the ceremony.

Yelian He, one of our ROSL soloists, rounded the whole evening off beautifully with another rendition of Julie – o. The piece has become such a favourite with the team and everyone who has been lucky enough to see Yelian perform agrees that he is quite incredible!

We were really sad to leave our new friends at Trinity College tonight but we are sure that we will meet them again soon (hopefully on the next TCR trip!) and we have been joined by a new face, Joseph Aquilina, a fantastic tenor soloist from Malta.

Tomorrow is a much-needed rest day and the team are off to Caversham Wildlife Park to see Koalas and other native wildlife!!

Pictures from a Harpist…

Hi I’m Cecilia and I’m the Commonwealth Resounds Harpist from Malta. I’m really excited to be able to be on this trip as its my third CHoGM that I’ve been too!

I arrived late on Tuesday evening and have only just joined the team here in Perth, but here are some of my pictures so far…

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Day 4

Today we returned to see our friends at Trinity college, a fantastic private school on the other side of Perth to where we are staying. After the wonderful barbecue they treated us to on Monday we were really looking forward to getting back and meeting the whole school.

To start the day, the team split up into sections. Les Neish took the brass away, a small contingent of oboists worked with a member from our team, the wind were taken for a masterclass with three of our young musicians, two of our singers ran a vocal workshop with 4 Trinity singers, Nick Oliver gave a masterclass with the help of several young pianists from the team, Yellian He, with one of our young musicians, took the school cellists and our 4 violinists worked with the school violin teacher, Lena McKenzie, who introduced us to nearly 20 violinists of varying ability from the school!

Having so many violinists was a real treat for both the school and us. In the hour-long session we decided to work on Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, in which members of the team tutored the Trinity College strings in sectionals before putting together a run-through of the piece.

At the end of the masterclass sessions all the young musicians returned to the recital hall in Trinity College to share what they had put together. The session featured Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini, the Corelli, and even a piece for 3 beginner oboists and cor anglais!

The afternoon session started with a concert for the school’s musicians organised by our team. The programme was varied and well filled from Schumann through to the well-known Cat Duet, brilliantly performed by our two soprano soloists, complete with animation and face paint!!! The comedy was finished off in spectacular fashion by Les Neish, our international tuba soloist, performing another fantastic rendition of the Carnival of Venice!

Following this, the group joined the school’s chamber orchestra as they started to prepare Greig’s Holberg Suite. One of the members of the team was even invited to conduct the group for the suite. The TCR team and the Trinity School community both found the session very worthwhile and a real help to all involved.

To Finish the day Alison Cox assembled the composers upstairs in the school’s composition suite to lead a “show and tell” composition masterclass with young composers from Trinity College and experienced young composers from The Commonwealth Resounds team. Whilst this took place a different combination of students from both organisations enjoyed a lively and highly memorable session with the Trinity College Jazz Big Band.

Gary from Trinity College then very kindly drove us to Kings Park, just above CSA, to see Perth from the view-point above there. The panoramic view from the park is simply stunning and it’s absolutely amazing to see such peace right in the middle of a bustling city!

Nick and Sarah are just sorting tonight’s food which should be quite a feast!!!

Day 3

Today has been our first proper free day and its been so much fun! Very few of the team slept well last night as the jetlag has caught us up a little, however, after a hearty breakfast at CSA we walked down to the train station to take a train to Fremantle, a town on the coast just outside Perth.

Upon waking this morning it was clear that the day was going to be a scorcher so as we left it was a real Australian – slip, slop, slap moment! The blue sky above Perth was incredible and I’m afraid the pictures simply do not do it justice!

The Perth train station was at first a little complicated to deal with as it was difficult to find out which zones we were going to, what type of ticket was needed and whether the team was made up of children, students or adults, but having bought tickets we departed on the amazingly frequent (every 15 minute service) to Fremantle. The trains here are fantastic and run very regularly from Perth to locations nearby, we may well be visiting other places by train soon!

Fremantle is a beautiful port city which gave stunning views across to Rottnest Island (which we are very sorry not to be able to visit) and access to the beautiful sandy beaches was very simple when using the excellent CAT busses!


The beach at Fremantle

The morning was spent lazing on the beach and paddling on the edge of the Indian Ocean before finding a lovely cafe at the water’s edge to enjoy a cream tea! The team was really surprised by how green the city looks, all the grass was trimmed beautifully and was such a bright green colour we felt guilty just looking at it, let alone walking and lying on it!


Taking the team into Fremantle prison

After lunch the team split up and the younger members all headed inland a little to find the famous Fremantle Gaol! This was the last place that prisoners went before they were sent to Rottnest Island. Life inside the prison seemed to be incredibly harsh and it seemed amazing that it was still operating up to 1991.

For supper we had been tipped off by several people that we simply had to have fish and chips on the beach, this seemed to good an idea to pass up so we set off for the sea front again and found Kailis Fish Market Cafe which had the most wonderful views over the sea.

As we were finishing Cecelia (Our Maltese Harpist, who joined the team today!) called us all outside to see the sun set over the Indian Ocean. The team all moved outside to enjoy this sight which was very moving and beautiful

Tomorrow takes us back to see our friends at Trinity College, where we will not only be performing but also leading workshops and sharing experiences with their pupils. We’re really please to be returning to see them after their kindness and company on Monday, and we can’t wait to hear their music and work with them both tomorrow and on Friday!

Please visit Today in Pictures for more about today’s events!

Calendar Updates!

So, the toothbrush is packed, I’ve bought my flight socks and travel adaptors and there’s just time to put up one more post before we leave this afternoon!

There’s also time to let you all know that the calendar has also been updated with details of what we are going to be getting up to in Perth!

I hope to be able to keep you all updated with the goings on in Perth when we arrive in just over 24 hours time! Its time to say G’day to Down Under!

Pre-CHoGM ROSL Gala Concert

A morning of rehearsing for todays Royal Over-Seas League concert has passed us by and once again the two teams, Purcell & Chethams, are working together to produce some fantastic music. So far the opening piece – Tschaikovsky, string quartet no.1 op.11 – has jumped out as a highlight. But we still await the ROSL soloists who will be joining us for the Gala concert at 3.

The concert includes original pieces composed by members of our own team of young musicians alongside other well known great pieces of music. You can find the full programme on our calendar page.

We’re giving the concert in the iconic Princess Alexandra Hall in Overseas House this afternoon at 3pm tickets are available on the door for £12.