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ASO and RAA Riverland Mentorship Project: Local students to learn from the best

1 Sep 2018
  • Media Release
by Paola Niscioli

Five local Riverland high school students  have been chosen to receive intensive musical training from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra this September, thanks to support from the RAA. Following the training they will perform alongside the Orchestra when they come to the Riverland to perform this October as part of Country Arts SA’s 25th birthday celebrations.

Jasper Harding from Loxton High School, Braden Cameron-Daniel and Caiden Dixon from Glossop High School, Levi Whitehead from Waikerie High School and Matt Hartshorne from Renmark High School were put forward by their teachers before being selected by the ASO’s Violist Martin Butler OAM.

“RAA is dedicated to supporting the community through sponsorship, and we are delighted to partner the ASO and provide a focus on our youth in regional South Australia with this project,” said RAA spokesperson.

“We back creativity and are keen to remove barriers to young people seeking opportunities. RAA is confident this partnership will achieve just that, with young musicians being mentored by professionals and introducing others to the beauty of orchestral music.”

These students will rehearse together on the 11th September at Glossop High School with Butler. A permanent viola player of the ASO, Butler is also involved in youth music as an educator, conductor and arranger. Martin works tirelessly to advance the cause of music, especially through his work with children at schools and through Adelaide Youth Orchestra. Earlier this year he received an OAM “for service to the performing arts, particularly through music”.

Butler is a passionate music educationalist, who is equally comfortable making music in a primary school or on stage with the orchestra in the Adelaide Town Hall. Of the program he says, “At the ASO we are dedicated to music education and are passionate about inspiring schools and students across the state to enjoy music in their lives.  We are proud to offer this innovative experience, thanks to the RAA, where we are giving students across the Riverland a hands-on experience. Their active involvement will boost their self-confidence and their ability to work in a group. In fact, all the things playing in a music ensemble provides. 

I’ve chosen a couple of works that have a strong rhythmic element to them so that they can really enjoy the physical and emotional excitement of playing with my colleagues.  I’ve told them that they can’t go wrong and that whatever happens, they’ll have a great time performing with us.”

At the end of September, the five students will spend two days at the ASO’s home base in Adelaide, Grainger Studios, learning from members of the ASO one-on-one and experiencing this world class orchestra first hand by attending orchestral rehearsals and a concert.

“This experience provides country students with the chance to learn from and work alongside world-class musicians,” said Glossop High School music and media teacher, Brenden Baldock.

“The students involved will be able to share their learnings with their peers which will impact many more students from across the Riverland.  This will be a wonderful opportunity that they would not be able to access without the generous support of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. RAA  and Country Arts SA.”

In October, the students will have the opportunity to put all they have learnt into action when they perform alongside the ASO players they have rehearsed with in a series of closed performances.  There will be one performance in Loxton for Resthaven residents to attend; another for residents of St Catherine’s Retirement Community in Berri and a third performance in a health unit in Berri, alongside two bush concerts for local schools in Barmera.

These performances will be held in the lead up to a one-off, major spring concert for the whole community by the Orchestra at the Chaffey Theatre on Saturday 20 October at 3pm. Here, the ASO will perform some of the greatest orchestral music ever composed by Beethoven and Mozart, conducted by Ben Northey, Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

ASO has a reputation for vitality and versatility, the internationally acclaimed orchestra is South Australia’s largest performing arts organization (employing 75 fill-time musicians), established in 1936. For over 80 years, the ASO has been there to corroborate life and contribute to South Australia’s identity. Today the ASO plays a major role in Adelaide’s cultural and economic vibrancy, and enriches the community through more than 70 world-class performances to more than 90,000 diverse concertgoers each season. Delivering diverse and colourful programming with leading international and Australian musicians, it has also enjoyed hugely successful performances with artists such as The Angels, Ben Folds, Tim Minchin and The Hilltop Hoods. The ASO has embarked on numerous international tours including Korea, Singapore and Carnegie Hall in New York. They have just completed a  tour of The Bush Concert in China.


Cheree McEwin, Publicist, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

08 8233 6205 / 0416 181 679 /

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