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On Monday 28 May, the Tintern Grammar Chamber Orchestra participated in the Victorian School Music Festival. This event was held at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. We performed three works: one movement of Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, the Theme from Schindler’s List and Swamp Thang. All of the pieces ran smoothly on the day and I think we pulled off an outstanding performance. We were rewarded with a Gold Award. Our performance was a reflection of the amount of time we had spent working on these pieces to improve them.  After our performance, one of the adjudicators, Dr Mark Laycock, came onstage and gave us something like a masterclass on the St Paul’s Suite. Dr Laycock is a Professor of Music at Wichita State University, where he serves as Director of Orchestras and Coordinator of Strings. He worked with us on varying our dynamics more, having the soft parts softer and loud parts stronger, and our overall balance as an ensemble. Dr Laycock commented that he really liked the variety of our program and it was engaging to the audience. The rhythmic accuracy, presentation and use of dynamics, tone, technique and interpretation were considered excellent too. This experience, I believe, has given us all a better insight into working as a group. I have enjoyed participating in this event very much and hope to play in the Festival again!

by Clarisse Liew, Chamber Orchestra Leader