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The Australian Youth Orchestra’s (AYO) Momentum Ensemble will collaborate with renowned international musicians and AYO alumni Belinda MacFarlane and Oliver Shermacher (originally from Port Macquarie) in low SES and special needs schools from Sydney and Port Macquarie.

This project aims to introduce music to children who may not typically have access to world-class musicians, including students with disabilities and special needs. The core objective of this project is to unlock meaningful connections and self-expression in young people through the power of music.

The musicians of the AYO Momentum Ensemble will have ‘on the job’ training to actively involve students in exploring and interpreting a piece of music. Described by the composer himself as “ordinary music”, Aaron Copland’s moving, and familiar Appalachian Spring has been selected for its diverse range of moods, dance-ability, and capacity to be simplified and adapted to suit classroom instruments.

This collaborative project will unfold in five schools across Sydney and Port Macquarie, engaging over 100 children from primary to early high school years. AYO’s Momentum Ensemble will work with students from metropolitan and regional schools, addressing Curriculum Key Learning Areas, instrumental skills and learning support needs.

Oliver Shermacher, who attended Port Macquarie Primary School and who also maintains a close connection with his local clarinet teacher, described this project as – “the most rewarding thing you can do with music”.

This program will culminate in a performance at The Glasshouse in Port Macquarie on Friday, 16 February, at 11:30 am, featuring the AYO Momentum Ensemble and local school children.

Performance: Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland.   
Friday 16 February, 11.30am.
Glasshouse Port Macquarie. 
Free entry, booking required here

For further information contact:
Johanna Mulholland – Director of Engagement




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