Strings ensemble ties up funding deal
Sisters Charlotte, 11, and Catharine Massey, 13, are a part of South West Youth Strings group.

The South West Youth Strings program has secured ongoing funding from the WA Youth Orchestra for the development of two regional ensembles.

Thirteen young musicians from the Busselton area are involved in the year-round strings program which grew out of annual workshops and was piloted last year.

Conductor Jess Johnson credited the dedication of the young musicians who play violin, cello and double bass along with the support of their parents for the success of the pilot program.

“(The youth) love doing it, they come faithfully every Friday afternoon, after being exhausted from a week of school and become so lively during the practice sessions,” Johnson said.

The Junior Maestros ensemble is for novice players with an emphasis on learning basic skills in a fun and supportive environment.

Maestro conductor and violinist Rachel Brogan studied at the University of Cambridge and has extensive experience as a music educator and youth orchestra conductor.

The Camerata string chamber ensemble has 20 advanced players and offers in-depth orchestral training in preparation for possible careers in music.

The ensemble is conducted by cellist Johnson, who has performed extensively as a chamber musician and as a member of the WA Symphony Orchestra.

Johnson said Camerata performed at the Perth Concert Hall as a support act for the WA Youth Orchestra in 2011 and showed their hard work by the standard they had reached.

“They did a terrific job performing to Perth audiences and it was “a wonderful experience to showcase what young musicians are doing in the South West,” she said.

Both of the South West string ensembles performed at the Sally Cooper concert at the 2011 Bunbury Regional Eisteddfod.

The next strings workshop is scheduled for September, and is open to local regional musicians.

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