2018 South Coast Hub
Over the first weekend of April, 14 of The Sydney Youth Orchestra's musicians rose bright and early to take the long journey down to Bermagui on the South Coast of NSW. As road trips go, there was no shortage of fun or entertainment among us, as we listened and sang along to 80s pop music, took in the breathtaking scenery outside us (imagine the beautiful Australian countryside studded by plenty of sheep and cows!) and conversed with our musical peers.
For our first day, we performed an afternoon concert for the students at Moruya High School. After a welcome from James Crabb, the Artistic Director of the Four Winds Festival, the SYO Octet performed the 2nd movement of the Schubert Octet in F Major and the 2nd Movement of Haydn’s 2nd Horn Concerto with our Principal Horn Eve McEwen as the soloist. Each SYO Principal then gave a short demonstration of their instrument for the students. Some of the memorable lessons we taught the students were that the bassoon’s reeds can be difficult to master, the black, round disc cellists and bassists use is called a 'donut', and that clarinet glissandi are incredibly virtuosic.
Following our afternoon performance, we jumped back on the coach and headed a couple of hours south to Bermagui, where we would be spending the next couple of days. Katie and Casey cured our 'musician's hunger' with a feast of sausages, complete with the most diverse and nutritious range of salad additions one has ever seen! To finish off our first day we commenced rehearsals on Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in the beautiful Four Winds rehearsal venue.
We commenced our second day with a brief visit to the quaint cafes around Bermagui to prepare us for the day of playing ahead of us. The highlight of the second day was the chance to play alongside local junior musicians of the South Coast, in a workshop with our Chief Conductor Alexander Briger AO. James Crabb also spoke briefly to us all about the journey of becoming a musician. He emphasised that music is about having fun, and although it is really demanding – and needs to be – he said that we must always remember that we can improve and learn from others. Some of us were also lucky enough to spot a wallaby or two roaming around the rehearsal space during the day!
On our final day, we performed all three works in the Four Winds Pavilion to a large audience of parents of the local musicians, friends and supporters of the Four Winds festival. Standing in the middle of the Pavilion, you could speak softly and the sound would be captured perfectly, even to the point that it could be heard at the top of the tiered grass seats with an unparalleled clarity.