On Wednesday July 3, the Yorke Peninsula Combined Schools Concert Band performed the curtain raiser for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Port Pirie concert at the Northern Festival Centre.

Conducted by Instrumental Music teacher Debbie Schwartz, the forty piece band of students, staff and community members from Maitland, Ardrossan, Minlaton and Yorketown were joined by nine ASO members to perform ‘Fantasia 2000’, a medley of classical pieces from Disney’s movie ‘Fantasia’.

The young band played with confidence and professionalism with positive feedback being given by the ASO musicians, management team and audience members for not only the performance but for the Concert Band program.
Kane Moroney, the ASO Audience Development Coordinator told Debbie, “I just wanted to … congratulate you again for what you are achieving on the Yorke Peninsula. I’m blown away by your tenacity and your drive to teach yourself to conduct and provide the children of the Yorke Peninsula with the opportunity to play together and share music with one another. Coming to Port Pirie was no small undertaking, and you have to all pat yourselves on the back for what you have achieved. The young people were so well behaved, and very easy to work with – they remembered everything and listened so well!”

The plan for a youth orchestra to perform at the concert was suggested by Country Arts SA and Arts Coordinator Sarah Knight liaised between the ASO and the band, organising and attending a pre-concert rehearsal visit in May.

“Sarah played a pivotal role and was highly supportive and accessible throughout the coordination of this event,” commented Debbie.

Sarah brought ASO musicians Sabine Daniels, Adrian Uren and Janet Carey with her who workshopped and rehearsed the music with the students. She was appreciative of the band’s willingness “to be part of our crazy idea, despite it being such an enormous task and done with such professionalism.”

The band travelled by bus to Port Pirie and watched the ASO rehearse before being ushered down onto the stage. There they were joined by ASO members on flute, oboe, trumpet, French Horn, clarinet and percussion.

The band was so appreciative of all the musicians for their time and support and who gave our students and community members such a special moment to remember as well as the opportunity to perform in a professional setting with professional instruments,” said Debbie. “ I’d also like to thank the ASO Audience Development Coordinator Kane Moroney who did such a fabulous job coordinating us on the day.”

In between the rehearsal and concert students Steph Gersch, Kira Davies and Courtney Lodge were interviewed by ABC radio announcer Angela Smallacombe.
Following their performance the band joined the audience to watch the ASO’s concert then returned home by bus and with parents.

“The YP students performed and behaved in a highly professional manner and were a credit to their schools. Many thanks to all the schools for supporting this amazing event and to the families who travelled up to six hours to be part of this concert.”