Canberra U3A Recorder Orchestra
Music in Communities Award Finalist: 2012
Location: Canberra, ACT
For 16 years, retired school teacher Margaret Wright OAM has been teaching older people in Canberra to read and play music, many without prior experience. This has led to two recorder orchestras including all eight sizes of the instrument. Her beginners’ class covers basic playing reading for those with no experience as well as the listening session for “inspiration and enjoyment”, while the advanced beginners class takes students beyond this level and into the ensembles. All of the classes are free and a number of Margaret’s musician friends have stayed with the program for years, advancing from complete beginner through the ensembles, in a similar way to a well-structured music program for younger people. The Intermediate and Advanced orchestras have 35-40 and 50-60 members, respectively. The groups have a number of annual events including the “All recorders playing afternoon” involving other players within and beyond the Canberra community, a recital at Government House, a Lake Cruise, and other community events.