DRMC and the Victorian Opera, in collaboration with Melbourne University Faculty of Music, offered a participatory music education program with professional musicians to primary school aged children from Boronia P.S., Tecoma P.S., Ferny Creek P.S., Silvan P.S., St Josephs Catholic P.S. and Mountain District Christian School. This was a repeat of the successful 2010 project. The program consisted of two parts - an incursion into schools with 2 x 60 minute, interactive workshops, one with singers and the other with instrumentalists and an excursion to Victorian Opera's Horti Hall for children to experience an extract of the opera Hansel and Gretel by Englebert Humperdinck.
The singing workshops were held at each primary school and involved VO's Developing Artists (DAPs): Emily Uhlirch (soprano), Maxine Montgomery (soprano), Matthew Thomas (bass baritone), Daniel Todd (tenor) and Daniel Carter (accompanist) presented by Richard Gill and Angus Grant. This workshop introduced students to material from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, La Boheme by Puccini, La Traviata by Verdi and Manon by Massenet, as well as, different voice types, language, text, story, characts and drama involved in these operas.
The instrumental workshops involved students from Melbourne University Faculty of Music: Nick Waters (Violin 1), Beatrix Stewart (violin 2), Christine Cheng (viola) and Jonathan Chim (cello) Jasper Ly (oboe), Tamara Kohler (flute), Jana Mollison (clarinet) and Chris Martin (bassoon). Each soloist demonstrated the range and sound of their instrument in a short 30 second display. The string quartet performed an extract from the String Quartet by Haydn, String Quartet in G minor Op. 10 by Debussy and the Wind Quartet performed Wind Quartet No. 1 by Francaix.
The Horti Hall excursion involved 2 sessions with 3 schools attending each. The Developing Artists and Melbourne University Instrumentalists performed an extract from Hansel and Gretel and Angus Grant worked with students discovering more about opera, costumes, props, chorus singing and further developing the drama.
Richard Gill led the project, mentoring the Vic Opera's DAPs, students from Melbourne Uni and Angus Grant from Vic Opera in music education processes that promoted participation and engagement.