Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Medical students orchestra plays Churchill

The Monash Medical Students Orchestra plays outside Melbourne for the first time on 22 August. Photo: FreeImages.com/John Siebert.
Members of the Monash Medical Students Orchestra have their final rehearsal this week in preparation for a concert of classical and contemporary music at Churchill this Saturday 22 August.

This will be the first time the orchestra has performed in regional Victoria with the concert at Federation University Churchill’s auditorium a collaboration between Federation University and Monash University School of Rural Health.

According to orchestra co-chair, Charlotte O’Leary, the orchestra members are “excited” about the visit.

“We have two major concerts a year and start rehearsing weekly for two months prior to the event,” Charlotte said.

The concert will be of special significance to fellow chair and student Tim Harkins, whose grandmother from Sale, unable to travel to Melbourne, will see him perform for the first time in some years.

Tim plays the viola and Charlotte the cello.

Charlotte said many university students found having outside interests, such as music or sport, helped balance their life.

She was performing in a string quartet at the recent Monash University Open Day and was approached by a prospective student trying to decide between studying medicine and music.

“We told her you can study medicine and play music part-time but you can’t study music and do medicine part-time,” she added. “We all felt we have the best of both worlds.”

The orchestra’s conductor is music graduate Robert Dora. “It is a full symphonic orchestra,” Charlotte said. “Robert puts the program together with input from the students.”

The program will feature a mixture of classical and contemporary orchestral music. The classical repertoire will be selected from the romantic Third Movement of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Bartok's Romanian Dances and Berlioz's dramatic Hungarian March

Some of the lighter and more well known music will include the theme song from Angry Birds, Les Miserables and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. There may even be some extra percussion in the form of a typewriter!

There will also be performances from the orchestra's smaller ensembles, including a traditional Chinese stringed instrument.

The orchestra numbers 75, however between 45 and 50 medical students will perform at the Churchill concert from 5-7pm on Saturday, August 22. Earlier in the day, the orchestra will welcome residents from Hazelwood House in Churchill to rehearsal.

Entry is a gold coin donation however bookings are necessary through sarah.j.russell@monash.edu or 5122 7445.

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