Community-based Orchestra: BlueScope Steel Youth Orchestra
Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and the BlueScope Steel Youth Orchestra have, for over 25 years, worked together to support Wollongong’s Youth Orchestra. Here is an excerpt of 25 YEARS – a Whole Generation of Harmony (The Story of the BlueScope Steel Youth Orchestra).
Of all the ways in which commerce and art can collide and collude, the nurturing of the dreams of youth must surely be among the most worthy.
Such has been the essence of the enduring relationship between BlueScope Steel and the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music – two seemingly unrelated bodies mutually bound for a quarter of a century through the BlueScope Steel Youth Orchestra - in pursuit not only of giving (mainly) teenagers something worthwhile to do, but of all-round excellence. It has attracted the expertise of specialist teachers. It has created employment. It has brought a dynamic perspective to the Conservatorium’s work and has enriched the cultural fabric not only of Wollongong but NSW, Australia and other countries.
Andrew Snell, CEO of the Conservatorium for the past three years, marvels at the longevity of the relationship.
“This is a fabulous achievement for both the Conservatorium and BlueScope,’’ he said. “This length of sponsorship simply doesn’t exist in the arts, not only in Australia, but internationally. To put it in context, Visa has sponsored the Olympics for 25 years!”
“This sponsorship has enabled the Conservatorium to offer a unique youth orchestra program in regional Australia. It means we’ve been able to offer a team of specialist tutors to work with the students on a weekly basis, we’ve been able to offer hundreds of scholarships to assist the development of players and we’ve had countless new Australian works written for the orchestra to perform.”
“BlueScope Steel is the perfect sponsor. They’re supportive and always engaged with the students and the Conservatorium, but not in any way demanding or interfering. They trust that the Conservatorium staff will always do their best for the students, and they allow us to do just that.”
Thanks to Wollongong Conservatorium of Music for providing the story.