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During the December holidays, 31 excited Wenona students headed off to North America on Wenona’s inaugural Music Tour.
The tour was organised and led by Head of Music, Ms Jessica Farrell. She was joined by Music Teachers Ms Bridie O’Mahony and Dr Dianne Langan, along with Accompanist Ms Jo Allan.
The choir travelled to Boston, New York City and Los Angeles, where the girls performed in concerts, attended workshops, saw live performances and worked with students in other schools. Highlights included a recital performance in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City on Tuesday 12 December, and a main stage performance in Disneyland on Saturday 15 December.
Greta, who had just completed Year 10 when she went on the tour, said, “The Music Tour was an exciting, thrilling, and thorough exploration of the joy of performing music, all while enjoying America with our friends. Being able to visit places of importance in the music world such as the Lincoln Centre and the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation was an interesting way to learn about, and immerse ourselves into, the world of choral music, as well as performing at St John the Divine Cathedral and sharing our music with other students and people overseas. The girls in the choir made close friendships while travelling, and had some fantastic experiences together at places like Disneyland. We also had the pleasure of meeting the students at the schools we visited, many of whom we still keep in touch with. These joyful memories of meeting new friends, travelling with old friends, and sharing our music with people on the other side of the world was a trip I'm sure none of us will ever take for granted.”
According to Ms Farrell, the Music Tour had three main objectives: music performance, music appreciation and musical development.
“Surrounding this, is of course having fun, meeting new people and visiting new places, while spreading the word that Wenona is the place to be! Music tours are bonding experiences for girls, confidence builders and a fun way to see the world, with the added benefit of performing and creating music. The tour to the USA did not disappoint. It is easy to think that we went shopping, watched musicals and went on rides in Disneyland, but in fact most days saw the girls performing or participating in workshops with some of the most in-demand clinicians in the world.
“The most special moments often came in unexpected places. The Senior girls were on a private tour of the Lincoln Centre in New York City, and on a stop to Alice Tully Hall, the guide invited the girls to sing. Their rendition of “The Parting Glass” rang through the warm acoustic and sent shivers down a few spines. In stark contrast, a few days later the girls were preparing for their Disneyland performance and it was clear that they were ready to impress. The focus and dedication required for a performing tour is unlike any other, as the mood has to frequently switch between the more relaxed tourist and the super professional performer.”
“By the end of the tour, the girls really mastered this leading to the inevitable question - when’s the next tour and where are we going? We hope to have some ideas for the future to share soon, but this year we have a great new repertoire to enjoy.”