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Taste testing from a musical smorgasbord

Featured Macquarie Conservatorium teacher Kimberley Pearson conducts school bands. PHOTOS: Greg Marginson Macquarie Conservatorium teacher Kimberley Pearson conducts school bands. PHOTOS: Greg Marginson

More than 300 Macquarie Conservatorium students and community musicians banded together to perform at a fun day of free music-making last month, with round 600 Dubbo and district residents visiting the conservatorium’s open day to enjoy the free music and find out more about the activities on offer at this local arts organisation.

The event kicked off with the outdoor Band Extravaganza featuring 160 performers in one hour of music. Audiences were serenaded by 40 ukulele players, bubbling over with enthusiasm after their weekend of workshops with Chuck Morgan, ukulele expert and guitarist with the Janet Seidel Trio.

The wonderful Janet Seidel added her jazzy vocals and David Seidel his swinging bass to the massed ukuleles’ performance of three traditional tunes.

The Band Extravaganza continued with entertaining performances from eight Dubbo school bands, the Conservatorium Brass Ensemble, and special guest artists, the Dubbo District Concert Band.

The musical showcase moved indoors to the conservatorium’s concert hall, where another 130 performers played music for strings, wind, brass, piano, guitars, drums and voice for another two hours. Highlights in this musical marathon included the conservatorium’s drumming ensemble, student ensembles of flutes, clarinets and saxophones, and the Macquarie Conservatorium String Orchestra which, with the help of a narrator, told a scary story with some very screechy sound effects.

For open day visitors interested in joining in the musical fun, the free Come and Try sessions in drumming, youth music theatre and music for the very young proved a popular way to try out some of the conservatorium’s accessible music programs.

Macquarie Conservatorium offers a range of music programs for youth and adults in Dubbo and the Orana region, including music tuition, workshops and performances, as part of the network of NSW Regional Conservatoriums. With a staff of 20 specialist music teachers, programs include early childhood music, instrumental, vocal and theory tuition for all ages, music theatre and ensembles, music programs for schools and community groups, concerts and workshops with visiting artists.

Visit www.macqcon.org.au for more information on the music tuition and activity options available at Macquarie Conservatorium.

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