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Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:30pm

Welcoming our first class of ASO Advocates

It was a broiling Thursday evening, the sun was making its way down after a 41 degree day, and from across Adelaide eleven young leaders were converging on our Grainger Studio home on Hindley St.

The occasion? Their induction into our first ever student Advocacy program – a program aimed to encourage an interest in orchestral music amongst the student population, and to equip the Advocates as representatives of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on their university campus.

Our Principal Conductor, Nicholas Carter, was there to meet and greet, and give a welcome. Nicholas Carter shared some inspiring words about the role an orchestra plays in the wider ecosystem of a city, and the important role these young Advocates would play in championing their passion for orchestral music.


ASO Principal Conductor Nicholas Carter (middle, 5th from lef) with our first class of ASO Advocates (L-R) Ben, Elliette, Marcus, Liga, Henry, Margot, Sylvie & Wendy. Not pictured: Ga Jin, Nelya and Doris.

“An orchestra, in a way, represents society coming together to work in unison for a greater good – to create something beautiful. In these increasingly turbulent and constantly changing times, it is important that we champion those values,” Nicholas said.

The induction included a full run down of the organisation, our departments, values and upcoming concerts, artists and repertoire. The Advocates also brainstormed around understanding the challenges that new audiences face in connecting with an orchestra for the first time, and what they thought they could do to enable an interest in, and diffusion of stigma around orchestral music – young people enjoy it, too!

Throughout the year the Advocates will meet to discuss upcoming activities, develop and contribute to engagement strategy and work together on driving projects and initiatives. You can see their purpose statement, names, studies and more on their webpage - aso.com.au/advocates

We welcome our Advocates to our ASO team! *claps hands and cheers*


Your ASO Advocates are:

Marcus Allum
Woodville High School

"I want to be an advocate because many young people have this illusion that orchestral music isn’t relevant to them. I want to try and help break down that barrier so more people can enjoy the symphony!"


Margot Holbert
University of Adelaide
Bachelor of Civil and Architectural Engineering

"I am a young person who loves classical music! I want to encourage other young people to come and listen to the ASO so they can see that classical music can be uplifting, exciting and inspiring!"


Sylvie Huigen
University of Adelaide
Graduate Certificate of Applied Project Management

"The opportunity to learn, discover and share the good news of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra alongside other young leaders is such an honour. Coming from Alice Springs the wealth and quality of live performances in Adelaide has been wonderfully overwhelming. Since the beginning the ASO has always been a brilliant, exhilarating and renewing experience that I’ve kept coming back to time and time again despite my unfamiliarity with the orchestral tradition. Even without knowing anything it’s beautiful and transformative. As an ASO advocate I’m so excited to give my love for the arts some much needed nourishment and education and contribute to the vibrant cultural wealth of Adelaide. I can’t wait to share what I learn with all of you!"


Ga Jin Kim
University of Adelaide
Bachelor of Medicine

"Why advocate for classical music and the ASO in particular? Well, firstly, I’ve truly enjoyed various aspects of classical music since I was young - the aural experience, the pedagogy, and how it resonates with audiences across different cultures and points in time. Secondly, the ASO was my real introduction to live classical music. At tender age of 14, I was rocking my most on-trend track pants, black eyeliner and tragically layered black hair (can you guess the year? Haha). I found my first ASO experience to be very non-intimidating even in such fearsome state, and that, along with the beautiful sounds, are some of the key things I want to promote as an Advocate - accessibility and enjoyment."


Elliette Kirkbride
University of Adelaide
Bachelor of Law and Social Science

"I am eager to help break down the stigma surrounding classical music that is 'young people cannot be both hip and popular whilst simultaneously be able to appreciate a Brahms concerto. I would also like to influence the accessibility of orchestral music to the average person and change the stereotypes that can be intimidating to some. Ultimately, advocating how music of this calibre can touch people from any background."


Doris Lei
University of South Australia
Master of Teaching

"Hi, my name is Doris Lei. I am from China. I am doing Master of Teaching (Primary) at UniSA. I am good at playing Guzheng, a Chinese traditional music instrument. Being an ASO Advocate, I would like to fill my life with arts and inspiration, and inspire others to enjoy orchestral music."


Benjamin Leow
University of Adelaide – SAHMRI
PhD in Medicine

"I want to help more people experience the orchestra, more often. I think that’s all you need to do; after that, it’s a just a matter of letting the orchestra do their thing, and letting the new audience member(s) enjoy the music."


Liga Livena
Flinders University
Bachelor of International Tourism

"I love being surrounded by music, musicians and musical instruments. Besides that I believe that classical music has great benefits for both - mind and soul; it inspires, relaxes and soothes, energises and uplifts. I’d love to talk with people about my own experiences to promote upcoming concerts. I want to tell the story of myself, back when I was younger and could not stand classical music, until one day I gave it a go and have been in love with it ever since. I want to share my experiences and what I know with other people, and encourage them to experience the orchestra."


Henry Rodriguez
Flinders University
Doctor of Medicine

"Hi, I’m Henry! I wanted to be an ASO Advocate because the Live Pass is probably the best student deal this side of the planet, and more people should know about it! There are also a lot of young people out there who would be interested in coming along to the orchestra but don’t because of unfamiliarity and preconceptions. The orchestra is awesome for everyone, regardless of age or musical experience. Come along! I’ll be there."


Nelya Valamanesh
University of South Australia
Bachelor of Creative Writing & Humanities

"I decided to become an ASO advocate because I feel that the best way to experience any type of music is live. Classical music has always been apart of my own life in everything I saw and heard whether it be the films I watched or the latest artist I listened to. I want to help open other young people’s hearts to the magic which is the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra."


Yundi Yuan
University of Adelaide
Honours in Music Performance (Piano)

"I want to take advantage of the great opportunities to meet new people, musicians, and make a difference. As a musician, I couldn't find anything that is better than working with a lot of amazing people at the most musical organisation in my spare time!"



This article was written by ASO Audience Development Coordinator, Kane Moroney and posted by Michelle Robins, Publications & Communications Coordinator, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.




What an inspired (and inspiring!) program. Bravo ASO. Advocates, do your stuff!
Posted By: Kym Clayton on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:16pm

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