Symphony in a Day inspires young musicians

Young musicians rehearse the 2016 Symphony in a Day concert

Fifty young musicians from Queensland Conservatorium and around Brisbane will rehearse and perform an entire symphony in a day on Sunday, April 9.

Following on from last year’s successful events, Symphony in a Day (SIAD) is the brainchild of 22-year-old clarinet student Jessica Hort, who brought the event from Melbourne to Brisbane in early 2016 when she began her master’s degree.

“My friend Hank-Clifton Williamson (flute) and I came up with the idea when we were completing our bachelor of music in Melbourne, basically to act as an extra learning platform for musicians wanting to gain more experience playing in an orchestral environment,’’ Jess said.

Clarinet student Jessica Hort brough SIAD to Brisbane.

“Queensland has been blessed with one of the best youth orchestras in the country. Comprised of pre-eminent young musicians, SIAD bridges the gap between a youth and professional orchestra.”

The students will perform Sibelius No. 2 under the guidance of award-winning clarinettist and Griffith University lecturer Paul Dean, who recently conducted the symphony with the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I think it is very important, if not vital, for young musicians to learn the skill of getting things together very quickly,’’ Paul said.

“And SIAD is the perfect vehicle for this type of learning. In reality, musicians don’t get a month or more to rehearse and refine performances and quite often a symphony will be put together in a day.

“Obviously in the profession, most people will have played most symphonies such as Sibelius 2 numerous times so it isn’t quite as stressful but the learning of this process is really valuable.”

Paul said the symphony was an important part of the repertoire for students to sink their teeth into.

“It is a very challenging style as well,’’ he said.

“More from the Tchaikovsky soundscape than the Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler world which the students get to play often in youth orchestras.

“It is more folk music inspired with a beating heart that cannot be quietened.”

Jessica said one of the best things about the event was that while the standard of musicianship was high, the energy and excitement between everyone made the performance even greater.

“It is a great chance to prepare yourself for life as a professional musician and work with some of the best people in the industry.”

A large part of the program includes tutorials from professional musicians.

Each string section will be led and mentored​ by prominent string players from Coffs Harbour (Trish O’Brien, cello (director of Coffs Harbour Consvervatorium) and Pat Brearly, viola (Australian National Academy of Music Melbourne)) and QLD Ann Holtzapffel​, violin and Justin Bullock, double bass, Queensland Symphony Orchestra).

The musicians will gather at the Conservatorium’s Opera Space for rehearsals from 9.30am to 3.30pm and perform the entire symphony at 4pm in the Conservatorium foyer.The event is free.