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Striking a Chord with Young Musicians

DARWIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S Young Artist Program (YAP) fosters the next generation of Territory talent through workshops, performances and other musical enrichment opportunities. To acknowledge NT Youth Week, DSO’s Rita Horanyi caught up with three young musicians who are, or have been, involved with the program – Harry Cass, Aisha Hayashi and Tom Kuswadi.

What’s the best thing about YAP?
Harry: Having the chance to work together with other young musicians has been an amazing opportunity – especially with the wide range of repertoire we performed in the past year, pieces in all kinds of different styles that I wouldn’t usually have the chance to play.
Aisha: The best thing has to be the people I met through the program. Making long-lasting friendships with other musicians has definitely been a highlight. It was also really fun to collaborate and play with other student musicians my age, as well as with the orchestra and with musicians who have a lot more experience than me.
Tom: Being able to play music at a level higher than what is offered at school. YAP pushes my music-playing abilities to the limits. I feel that I’ve improved greatly in my cello playing.

How has YAP helped you grow as a musician?
Harry: YAP has expanded the kinds of pieces I’m comfortable performing and the groups I’m comfortable performing with.
Tom: YAP has helped me grow in my understanding of professional performances and how they work.
Aisha: YAP has definitely opened up more interest in classical music – playing weird and wacky Stravinsky pieces and medieval Christmas carols has educated me. I have also learnt more about the violin and other instruments, since I have had to interact with musicians who play them.

Aisha, what did you learn at YAP that’s been useful for your uni music studies?
Aisha: There were many useful things I learned at YAP. There were behind the scenes set-ups that I would observe, which will help me as I’m going into the technological side of music and publicity. Also, as a musician studying to be a composer, it was incredibly useful to gain experience in classical music, especially chamber music, which I had to play quite a lot in YAP.

Harry and Tom, you’ll both be performing in DSO’s kid’s concert, Sonic Safari, at Crocosaurus Cove next month. What are you most looking forward to?
Tom: Spending time with the other YAP members and sharing our music with the audience.
Harry: Performing in a new and very unexpected place will be really interesting, and hopefully will make it extra interesting and engaging for the kids in the audience. It will be an awesome experience that may never occur again!


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