Swing On This: Year 7-12 Excursion to WASO
On Friday 16 June, the Year 7-12 Band and Choir students had the opportunity to attend an open rehearsal with Swing On This and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Swing On This is a performance troupe made up of some of Australia’s leading musical theatre and television stars – Michael Falzon (Rock of Ages, We Will Rock You), Luke Kennedy (The Voice, The Ten Tenors), Rob Mills (Australian Idol, Wicked) and Ben Mingay (House of Bond, Packed to the Rafters). It was a great experience to see behind-the-scenes of a professional production.
What did students think?
“My experience at the Perth Concert Hall was exceptional. It was remarkable being able to hear live music and not just typical stereo sounds. However, make no mistake, this live music was not just ordinary music. The harmonious sounds produced by the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra were unparalleled. As a student involved in Music, I was utterly intrigued by the Symphony and I believe whether you are interested in Music or not, an outing such as the one I experienced, is far from time wasted” – Victor Komaiya (Year 7)
“On Friday 16 June, the Year 7-12 Band/Choir students went to see a spectacular performance by four of Australia’s leading stage and screen stars, accompanied by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO).
“We first watched the pre-talk show and we got to hear from two musicians from the orchestra. One was the main trumpeter, and the other was the main violinist. They told us what it was like to sit in an orchestra for at least an hour, and explained how they would have about 2-3 weeks practice before an actual show. They would use special ear pieces to prevent hearing loss, or have at least a few metres distance from other instruments. They also told us about why they became musicians, and the challenges they faced along the way.
“Once we entered the main auditorium, we were allocated very good seats which were on the balcony, and we could see directly what was happening on stage. The people on stage were preparing their instruments, tuning them, and warming up. We were transfixed by the singers and the orchestra, as soon as the first song started playing. The lighting and sound effects were stunning, as they complemented their dances and routines. They performed jazz and contemporary style songs and tap-danced, did solo renditions, and they even did rap!
“It was interesting though to see how the conductor, who was acclaimed Vanessa Scammell, would at times, halt the performance, so they would redo the part again. The singers would also have to repeat their part of dialogue from the script. We definitely could see their concentration, as they prepared and played their instruments. They rehearsed about 12 different songs, each with remarkable sound and light effects. It was the first time they performed it in front of people, as the opening show was that night.
“Even though it was just a rehearsal, it was a privilege to see such talented artists and musicians perform live for us. It really did give us insight to what goes on behind the scenes” – Gwyneth Anggadjaja (Year 12)