The Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) at Parramatta's Riverside Theatre

MUSIC: (l-r) Conductor Toby Thatcher with Neha Nair, 10, and Rahima Sankoh, 11. Pictures: Isabella Lettini

MUSIC: (l-r) Conductor Toby Thatcher with Neha Nair, 10, and Rahima Sankoh, 11. Pictures: Isabella Lettini

Instrumental sounds echoed through the halls of Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre last week when the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) performed for more than 4800 school students.

The eight interactive concerts, held from March 7 to 10, were part of the SSO’s world-class education program.

SSO managing director Rory Jeffes said the Sydney Symphony Orchestra recognises the importance of western Sydney as one of Australia’s fastest growing and most diverse regions.

“As the state orchestra for NSW, we are committed to providing young audiences from this important area the opportunity to experience a professional orchestra with the aim of inspiring them to pursue their own artistic talents,” he said.

As well as watching the SSO perform, students had the opportunity to engage with the orchestra in an interactive workshop-style setting through being invited to ask questions, move along to the music and even conduct the musicians.

The concerts were arranged around the theme ‘Olympian Orchestra’ and showcased music that has accompanied some of the world’s most memorable sporting moments, including the theme from RockyFanfare for the Common Man and Olympic Fanfare.

ON SHOW: 35 schools from around the state watched on as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed for them.

ON SHOW: 35 schools from around the state watched on as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed for them.

SSO conductor Toby Thatcher said there are a multitude of studies that suggests access to and involvement in the creative process enhances children’s ability to learn.

“It is our duty to demonstrate what options are available to children – whether that be through music, art or creative writing,” he said.

“This program is not so much about teaching the kids, but more about allowing them the access to see us perform and watch talented people who’ve worked incredibly hard, to look up to as role models.”

INSTRUMENTS: "It's great watching the kids' reactions when they hear the orchestra perform," Mr Thatcher said.

INSTRUMENTS: "It's great watching the kids' reactions when they hear the orchestra perform," Mr Thatcher said.

Granville’s Holy Trinity Primary assistant principal Kathryn Salkeld said the concert helped students be inspired by musicians.

“Music can help kids develop their creative skills and it gives them another way to express themselves. It’s a great form of kinesthetic learning,” she said.

Year 5 pupil Neha Nair plays the clarinet and said playing a musical instrument helps her relieve stress.

“The show was very interesting and fun,” the 10-year-old said.

“I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about instruments and music that I can apply to myself.”

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