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!!!

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Day two

This morning the team visited Willetton Senior High School just outside Perth. The visit started with a concert to the year eight students that all the members of the team performed in. The pupils were introduced to the concert with a great warm up. LT led the first warm up item and got nearly 100 pupils singing an African version of “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!”

The concert continued with an original arrangement of several folk tunes performed by 3 violins, guitar, cello and the amazing melodica!! Yellian, one of our two soloists from the Royal Over-Seas League, introduced the cello to the year 8s before playing Mark Summer’s Julio. This fiery piece was incredible and demonstrated some fantastically cool techniques. Our tuba soloist Les Neish finished the concert off with variations on a theme of the Carnival of Venice, accompanied by improvisations from 8 members of the team!

Following on from the concert, the team led several workshops and masterclasses with schoolchildren. Les and two of the young musicians took the brass players, 4 of the team including Pete and Yellian worked with string players, Nick Oliver and 3 pianists from the team took the pianists for a masterclass and Alison Cox with 6 composers from the team directed a composition workshop exploring the theme of ‘journeys’!

The morning has been fantastic and it was really interesting to see the leafy suburbs of Perth as well as meet up with some local young musicians and staff from one of Australia’s finest public schools

Pictures here