Earlier this month the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, under the baton of Associate Professor John Lynch, embarked on a two-week tour to represent Australia at the International Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) in Spain. One of only eight ensembles in the world to be invited, our Wind Symphony presented formal concerts of contemporary Australian music and outdoor pops concerts for large European audiences. Formal performances included concerts in Madrid sponsored by the Australian Embassy, the WASBE concert in Bunol, and a performance at the world-renowned Palace of Catalan Music in Barcelona.
Our Wind Symphony has quickly established itself as a leader in the wind band movement in Australia and internationally. Professor Anna Reid, Head of School and Dean, Sydney Conservatorium of Music said, “We were so honoured to be chosen to participate in the 2019 WASBE in Buñol in Valencia, Spain. This was a fantastic cultural immersion for our Australian students.”
John P. Lynch, prepared 40 of our best wind symphonic students to perform some great Australian music, including the work of leading Australian composers Nigel Butterley, Ross Edwards, Professor Matthew Hindson, Associate Professor Paul Stanhope and Jodie Blackshaw.”
It was a joy touring with these wonderful musicians. The future of Australian music is very bright indeed in the hands of these talented young musicians!
“The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony and guest violin soloist Anna Da Silva Chen had an incredible, life-changing, culturally immersive tour to Spain in July. The centrepiece of the tour was an invited performance at the international WASBE conference. They also performed as part of the famed Barcelona Grec Festival, and presented a concert for world ambassadors at the Reina Sofia art museum in Madrid. Two outdoor concerts of lighter international fare rounded out the tour," Associate Professor Lynch said.
"The formal concert repertoire highlighted original contemporary Australian works composed for us, and several featured composers were in attendance including Christopher Marshall and Kirsten Milenko. The musicians were very warmly received by capacity European audiences with multiple standing ovations.”
For Bachelor of Music (performance) student, Laura Elizabeth Power, playing in the Palau de la Música Catalana Hall in Barcelona was the highlight. “This was one of the most stunning concert venues you’ve ever seen, great acoustics and an amazing experience also getting to partake in a festival which involves other musicians and in this case vocalists from Barcelona, seeing their love and passion for music just proves that Music is a universal language regardless of your native language.”
“I think it’s very important to see and experience culture, because often it can’t be taught in a class room, particularly as it’s extended beyond culture in Australia given that we are a relatively young country in comparison. Widening our knowledge and appreciation for it, taking it on, and passing it on to others as we continue in our careers.”
The opportunity to tour is fundamental to a student’s development as a professional ensemble musician. Master of Music (Performance) student, Kinsey Alexander, said “I feel like having experienced a tour really prepares you in how to take care of yourself physically and mentally, especially with a demanding series of concerts.”
“I also feel that touring provides so much inspiration that it enables you to extend yourself musically, especially on your return. There’s nothing like the Spanish sun to inspire a new tone colour which might just help you win that next audition.”