The MSO’s Education Week – a week of music-making for everyone

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A wave of music-making energy involving 10,000 Melburnians of all ages and backgrounds – that was the MSO’s Education Week in May.

Packing in 14 concerts in just five days, MSO’s Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor, Benjamin Northey was joined during the festivities by acclaimed UK composer and educator, Fraser Trainer, and dynamic UK percussion team O Duo.

The foot-tapping, hand-clapping musical extravaganza included age-specific concerts for pre-school, primary and secondary school children complete with online preparatory classroom resources, school visits by MSO musicians, surprise pop-up performances by O Duo around the city, a Mystery Program inspired by the Orchestra’s popular Secret Symphony concert series, a performance collaboration with Melbourne Youth Orchestra and a day-long music education professional development workshop for classroom teachers.

For 1300 of our younger audience members, the opportunity to participate was only made possible thanks to the generous donations of MSO Patrons, which enabled students from low socio-economic backgrounds to participate via sponsored excursions – providing, for many, their first encounter with a live orchestra.

The week concluded with 138 community musicians from all over Victoria joining the MSO for Symphony in a Day, in which they spent the day rehearsing with MSO musicians prior to presenting a larger-than-life evening performance of symphonic greats, under Northey’s direction, to a Melbourne Town Hall filled to capacity with friends and family. The day allowed community musicians to gain valuable, first-hand performance advice from MSO musicians, as well as meet and share the joy of music-making with like-minded community members.

“Symphony in a Day was one of the best musical experiences I have ever had. To have the opportunity to create music with so many excellent musicians was truly memorable. My family and friends came and were extremely impressed by the performance. I loved every second of it.” – community participant, Symphony in a Day.

From our team of hardworking volunteers who assist on the ground, to our generous education donors, the MSO sincerely thanks the many supporters of its Education and Community Outreach program, all of whom helped make the Orchestra’s annual Education Week such a positive and inspiring experience for so many.