The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra partnered with the UTAS Conservatorium of Music and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) to create the Composers’ Project, an exciting new training initiative for composition students in grade 11/12.
Nine Tasmanian high school students and six music teachers took part, guided by Dr Maria Grenfell, Co-ordinator of Composition and Classical Music at the Conservatorium of Music. Over a four-month period, each student composed an original piece of small-ensemble music inspired by an artwork in Tempest, a major exhibition at TMAG. These works were workshopped by musicians from the TSO and recorded professionally for student use in portfolio assessment.
Participants were given the opportunity to attend two TSO concerts, one in Hobart and one in Launceston, and to sit among TSO musicians during an open rehearsal in the TSO Studio where the orchestra played two works by Maria Grenfell. Each student also had a composition lesson with Dr Grenfell. All of the student compositions were performed before an enthusiastic audience at TMAG on 2 July with the artwork that inspired each work projected on a screen behind the performers. The TSO will be running the TSO Composers’ Project again next year.