NECOM in conjunction with the Armidale Youth Orchestra hosted workshops for some of our scholarship students with violinist Ben Castle whilst he was in Sawtell for the AYO camp on the weekend of the 23-25 February. Ben provided a fresh approach to aspects of technique and repertoire selection and the students enjoyed the experience immensely. Ben has extensive experience as a violinist and particularly working with young musicians. Ben studied violin performance at The University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts. He is currently Head of Strings at Melbourne Grammar School and has conducted at the Victoria State Music Camp, Melbourne Youth Music Summer School and Geelong Summer Music Camp.
Elinor W had the following to say about her masterclass with Ben: “It was very inspiring and helpful. We worked on practice techniques and different types of vibrato. I would have liked a longer lesson as there was still so much to cover!”.
Elinor’s sister Clare added: “The annual AYO Sawtell Music Camp was fantastic. It was great to have Ben Castle back again as guest conductor. He worked with all sections of the orchestra and brought out different tone colours. We played Rossini’s the Overture to Barber of Seville and the first movement of Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite No. 1. We also had time with separate tutors to learn our parts in more detail. The concert was a success – all 3 ensembles played – AYO, AYSO and AYWE. It was nice to see AYWE playing again. The Year 12 students ran a great games night and we really enjoyed our beach time! Can’t wait until next year.”