2017 Chamber Music in Schools Program Report

by Deidre Rickards OAM

I designed and wrote this project so that students attending country schools could build a connection with the New England Conservatorium of Music by listening to Trios who would play in the school environment some Chamber music. The repertoire is taken from compilation CDs which NECOM buys and donates to each school and the 50 Minute session is led by a teacher in the school. I’ve written them a script which they read and the Trio plays the musical examples.

This year the Flute Trio presented music by Handel, Faure, Boccherini, Bach, Elgar and Pachelbel and I’d like to thank cellist Camilla Tafra and flautist Kristal Spreadborough for joining me on the road trips and for playing so well. I’d also like to thank my daughter violinist Alice Rickards who has been on leave from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra but managed to present on a number of occasions. She is a lovely violinist and on one occasion inspired one of the teachers to consider dusting off her violin and to have lessons again.

In 2017 we have presented to over 1000 students in the following schools:

Bundarra Central

Dundurrabin/Ebor and Hernani

Inverell Public School

Kellys Plains School

Kingstown Pubic School

Newling P.S

Quirindi P.S.

St Josephs Uralla

St Patricks Walcha

Uralla Central School

Wallabada Public School

Woolbrook and Nowendoc Public schools

Iona and Largs Public schools (Hunter region…here I sourced a Trio from Newcastle)

Feedback from schools that participated in the 2017 Chamber Music in Schools program:

Thank you for coming I know the students enjoyed it and it was also restorative for my soul.

I have the resource package on my desk and will drive it through my executive – starting at our next meeting on Monday morning.

Michael Rathborne (Principal Uralla Central school) 2017

It was a wonderful musical experience for our students to be a part of the Chamber Music in Schools programme. Being a rural, country school, opportunities such as this are quite rare for our students. The students were audience to highly professional musicians and not only listened to the different types of music presented but were also engaged in learning about the compositions and some of the musical elements. The majority of our students had never seen or heard a cello or a violin being played, or the piano to such a high standard and most of them watched and listened in awe. The written script introduced each part well, it was especially suited to the Primary aged students. The Trio’s participation in explaining their instruments and some of the musical elements were also well received. Thank you, Deidre, for organising this programme, we hope you can visit us again soon!

Andrea Aitken  Music teacher (Inverell Public School) 2017

Our school really enjoyed having you visit and perform. It was very well prepared and the students really loved the music that was played, particularly the animal ones. Some of the questions we found were a little too difficult for the young students in Kindergarten to year 2, but they enjoyed having questioning.

Thank you again for coming to perform for us.

Rebecca Smith (Quirindi  Public  School Infants) 2017

The students were very engaged and learnt a lot from the experience. The trio were very well spoken, friendly and demonstrated a great amount of knowledge. It was a pleasure to have them come to our school.

Jacqui Jones (Wallabada Public School) 2017

The session was absolutely fantastic. The children thoroughly enjoyed the performances and learning a little bit more about music. The kids were engaged and the performers clearly had a great passion for music which transferred across to the children.

Emma Kelly (K-2 teacher St Josephs Uralla 2017)

The programme was great, Kids thoroughly enjoyed being so close to the performers. It really added another dimension. The range of music was appropriate to Primary and I liked the distinction drawn between Absolute and Programme Music. Only suggestion would be for the Performers to think more carefully about the questions they ask at the end of the session.

Gail Hamer (Music teacher Iona School – Hunter Valley 2017)

Great presentation and important for our students as they do not get access to a lot of musical performances. Students were engaged and interested in performance. Musicians were very professional.

Jessica Upton (Primary teacher St Patricks Catholic school Walcha)

The presentation was fantastic.  The Trio interacted with the students and encouraged them to ask questions.  The information given to students was appropriate for the age group.

Anne Hazelwood (Principal and music teacher..Woolbrook and Nowendoc schools

Chamber Music in Schools from New England Conservatorium on Vimeo.