Melburnians of all ages inspired by MSO during Education Week

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More than 10,000 Melburnians of all ages inspired by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra during Education Week 2013

More than 10,000 school students, parents and teachers attended concerts at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s annual Education Week.

Education Week culminated in Symphony in a Day on Saturday 1 June. This rehearsal and performance event saw 138 amateur community musicians from across Victoria join forces with members of the MSO to perform works by Verdi, Holst, Mascagni and Saint-Saëns under the baton of the MSO’s Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor, Benjamin Northey.

Across five days and 14 concerts audiences of all ages discovered the power of percussion, the subtlety of strings, the wonders of woodwind and the brilliance of bass, with many getting their first experience of the sights and sounds of an orchestra.

“To share the joy of live orchestral music with Victorians of all ages is an essential part of our mission at the MSO,” said MSO Managing Director André Gremillet.

“Education projects such as Education Week, Classic Kids, Family Jams, The MSO Art Play Ensemble and our work with the students of Broadmeadows Primary School through the Pizzicato Effect program touch thousands of young people and their families, and we are extremely proud of the impact we are having in our community,” he continued.

Led by Associate Conductor Benjamin Northey, acclaimed UK composer and educator, Fraser Trainer and dynamic percussionists O Duo (Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell); Education Week 2013 focused on rhythm as a core theme, taking audiences of all ages through programs inspired by stories and cultures from across the globe.

73 schools and kindergartens brought students to Education Week, which saw 969 printed parts of music performed, featuring music from composed over the past 290 years. The largest orchestra used during the week involved 158 players for Holst’s The Planets at Symphony in a Day.

The smallest instrument played during the week was a whistle, the largest, the five-octave marimba, and the most unusual in an orchestral setting were the Party Horns, Blowouts and Poppers used in Classic Kids.

More than 1300 of the 10,000 students were from low socio-economic families and primary schools across Metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong, who attended Education Week on sponsored excursion packages, made possible by the generous donations of MSO Patrons at the Orchestra’s 2012 Gala Dinner.

During the week the MSO also collaborated with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra in a project called Share the Chair, which aims to shape the next generation of musicians and expose them to best practice as they play alongside their professional counterparts. This concert was conducted by father-son team Yan Pascal and Maxime Tortelier

Education Week will return in 2014 and interested schools and parents can register their interest to receive information by contacting the MSO’s Education office at