2018 Summer School Rural Commuters – Brock Johnston
My Hometown I am from the rural town of Gilgandra, a farming district 40 minutes north of Dubbo in Central Western NSW with a population of about 2700 people. Farmers in the area produce sheep, wool, cattle and crops such as wheat or lucerne. Gilgandra is known as the town of the windmills and is the home of the Coo-ee march.
SYO Summer School 2018 As SYO has been conducting regional visits to Dubbo for the last two years I am hoping I might meet up again with some of the friends I have made during that time as they have helped me to learn, and were happy to explain stuff. I am also looking forward to meeting more of the teachers and conductors and seeing the places where SYO learn and perform in Sydney. I am involved with starting up a school band in 2018 and hope to pick up some tips which might come in handy for making that successful, and learning lots of new things in the workshops. I am most looking forward to seeing where I might be able to go in the future with a career in music. which SYO helps make possible.
Supporting rural musicians A few things l think would help the rural communities is small workshops in rural areas and more band camps that parents can afford to send kids to. I also think a YouTube channel that helps spread awareness of where you can go with music or simply tips on how to perform would be good.
My Commute I currently have my violin lessons at Macquarie Conservatorium in Dubbo.It takes me 45 minutes to get to the Macquarie Conservatorium from Gilgandra for my half-hour weekly lesson. I also perform in the Conservatorium’s Macquarie Strings Orchestra. The orchestra performs at events such as the farmers markets, festivals and Dubbo Eisteddfod. I performed at the Eisteddfod in 2017 with the orchestra and we won our section. While I am travelling I usually read a book, look outside, talk or listen to music on my phone.
My Future In the future I want to become a teacher and major in music and minor in industrial technology metal. I was also thinking about having a gap year and joining a big orchestra or band.
My Advice I believe it is good for people in rural communities to learn a musical instrument. It allows you to express creativity and learn a new skill. It is also good and it allows you to meet lots of different people.
I would like to express appreciation to SYO for the SYO State Central West program. These camps are fantastic and have helped to inspire me. They showed me why l should continue to practice and definitely helped improve my playing even within the few days. It was fun to perform with the emerging artists and meet other people my age who enjoy playing their instruments and creating music.
This program has been made possible through the generosity of SYO Opportunity Fund Donors and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.