Ginninderry gives local school students a world-class musical opportunity

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Primary school students at Kingsford Smith School have been levelling up their Christmas concert performance skills, with the help of a Ginninderry Community Grant and access to world-class musicians at the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Their musical talents will be audible for all, when students and symphony members take to the stage at the third annual Christmas in the Park event at Ginninderry on Saturday 9 December.

The annual celebration has become a much-anticipated event, as the Canberra community gathers to enjoy a balmy night under the stars. Paddys Park will once more come alive with the sounds of live music and carols, family activities, a delicious host of food and drink vendors and much more!

But for students at Kingsford Smith School, it’s all about the brass.

In Terms 3 and 4 of this year, the school has received the expert guidance and instruction from principal trumpet player Justin Lingard, trumpet player Josh Clark, horn player Carly Brown, trombone player Michael Bailey and principal tuba player Bjorn Pfieffer.

Canberra Symphony Artistic Operations Manager Donna Parkes said it had been an enriching experience for all involved

“Connecting with, and directly supporting the youngest musicians in our community is a priority for our organisation. We were thrilled to receive the Ginninderry Grant to create a project with the school designed around their students’ needs and how the CSO could best serve them.”

Working with Kingsford Smith teacher Bob Crisp, the musicians have undertaken individual visits, ensemble concerts and performed alongside the students. Bob said the students had been inspired.

“It has been fantastic working with KSS and seeing the students respond so positively has been rewarding- I hope we see one of those young musicians on stage with the Canberra Symphony one day.”

“One of the main things that the students ‘got’ out of this collaboration is seeing the CSO instrumentalists really enjoying playing and showing what their own instrument is capable of. They obviously put in some time thinking about what pieces they could play to the students. They always had a mixture of classical and popular music to demonstrate, and they ‘pitched’  (pun fully intended) their repertoire at exactly the right level for 10 -12-year-olds.

“Also, offering little bits of advice on how to play certain musical aspects was always well received. Not only did the students have access to the individual instrumentalists, but they could also experience the instrumentalists playing as a quintet to a larger school audience and were overhead proudly saying ‘I know the tuba player’ or ‘that trumpet player can hit a very high F!’.

Donna said “The culminating concert featuring all the musicians together at Christmas in the Park, is the ideal way to celebrate months of practice and enjoy the support and appreciation of the Ginninderry community.”

She noted the CSO was keen to continue building on these sorts of connections with teachers, students and families and to encourage connection through the joy of music.

Meanwhile, if you’re coming to Christmas in the Park, make sure you have time to settle in between 5–9 pm and enjoy tunes from homegrown talent MAXO as well as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra alongside Kingsford Smith School, while tucking into tasty fare from local foodies like Tikka Stand, Kusukusu, Doing Donuts, Yummy Thai and Bake My Day Canberra. The Underground Spirits Bar will be ensuring everyone is kept hydrated!

Santa will be there, and the kids will be kept busy with a host of games and craft activities.

Christmas in the Park is happening from 5 pm – 9 pm on Saturday 9 December at Paddys Park, Corner Asimus Avenue and Pro Hart Avenue, Strathnairn.

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