Sydney Symphony Ensemble Exclusive to The Roxy

June 19, 2008

The Sydney Symphony’s flagship training ensemble, The Fellowship, will visit Bingara this month to perform a once-only concert at the town’s beautifully restored Roxy on Saturday 21st June.  This will be the only public performance given by the ensemble in the region.

Currently, the Sydney Symphony has quite a presence in the area.  A small orchestra called the Sinfonia will be presenting workshops across the region for school students as part of the Sydney Symphony Education Program.  Students from Bingara, Warialda and beyond will travel to Inverell to participate in the school workshop with the Sinfonia.  These workshops are not open to the general public.

Some confusion may have arisen as a result of the schools’ workshops and the performance by the ensemble at The Roxy coinciding.  The Fellows ensemble is completely independent from the Sinfonia and will not perform together as part of the school workshops.  In fact, the only opportunity for anyone not participating in the school workshops to see a performance by the Sydney Symphony will be exclusively at The Roxy.
Described by the Roxy manager as “the absolute highlight of the year’s calendar”, the concert will feature favourites from well known composers and more with even a few tangos to really bring the night to life.

For the prodigious young musicians that make up the ensemble, the opportunity to travel to regional areas of the state is incredibly rewarding, an opportunity to remind everyone that the Sydney Symphony and its education program belong to all the people of New South Wales.

“I am delighted that the Sydney Symphony Fellowship will have the opportunity to play at the wonderful Roxy in Bingara,”, says Roger Benedict, Sydney Symphony Principal Viola and Artistic Director of the Fellowship program. “They are such a dynamic, passionate and virtuosic group of musicians, and I know the audience will love hearing them as much as I love working with them as their mentor.”

The members of the Fellowship, known as the Fellows, are selectively chosen annually from over a hundred applicants. With only one position available for each instrument (with the exception of the violin that has two), it is an incredibly competitive process. The selected musicians are provided with a year of intense mentoring and tutoring with the musicians of the Sydney Symphony and its international guest artists. They also have the opportunity to regularly perform with the Sydney Symphony as part of the orchestra.

For the 2008 Fellows, the opportunity to perform in the beautifully restored Roxy is certainly one of the highlights of their year. The repertoire will include excerpts from Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Hindson plus a few tangos and more…!

This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the magnificent sounds of this extraordinary ensemble. For those of us who have not had the chance to hear music performed at this level, it will be something very special; an unforgettable experience indeed.  Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the Bingara Tourist Information Centre or by phoning 6724 0066.

The Fellows:
Rohana Brown (Violin) is a casual member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Australia Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In December 2007 she toured to China with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008 she will serve as Concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra.

Manu Berkeljon (Violin) is a member of Arco Chamber Orchestra and a founding member of Live Music Sydney Chamber Orchestra. In 2007 she performed as a soloist with the Mosman Sinfonia and in South Africa with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Kate Lawson (Flute) has played with the Sydney and Australian Youth Orchestras, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Sydney Symphony, and has been a member of the Sydney Sinfonia for 2 years. In 2008, she held a six month contract with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

David Papp (Oboe) has been a member of Sydney Sinfonia since 2005 and was chosen to perform the third movement of the Mozart Oboe Concerto as a soloist with this orchestra in 2007.

Patrick Suthers (Cello) has played cello with the Sydney Sinfonia and casually with the Sydney Symphony since 2006. He has been a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra since 2004, and the Canberra POPS Orchestra since 2006, acting as Associate Principal for both during 2007 and Principal in 2008.

Yilin Zhu (Viola) has been a member of Sydney Sinfonia for three years. She is a casual player at the Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and Tasmanian Symphony and is currently a member of the Sapphire quartet.