Hannah Buckley, violin
"I love the Australian Youth Orchestra for so many reasons. I began playing the violin when I was six years old, and have always belonged to some form of institution designed to foster technical and musical development within the individual. However, I feel that, growing up in this sort of perpetual environment, as well as competing in various instrumental competitions over the years, can give rise to young musicians feeling alienated by and disillusioned with such a lonely, and sometimes even ruthless, system. It is so easy to lose sight of what I believe to be one of the truest purposes of music: being afforded the freedom to express emotion such as cannot be expressed in words, and to share this vulnerability, this precious gift, with other people. For me, the Australian Youth Orchestra allowed me to reconnect with my deep and abiding love of music, for music's own sake. The AYO places a high value on technical and musical excellence, but within the context of playing amid a vibrant group of young people, whose own passion, determination and ensuing drive for what they do not only spurs you on in your own musical pursuits, but with whom you form immensely supportive friendships. Playing with the Australian Youth Orchestra has also provided me with countless opportunities to work with conductors, tutors and performers of a formidable calibre, whose professional insight has proved invaluable for my musical education and experience. Thanks to the AYO, as well as the encouragement in such ventures I have received from my family and my violin teacher, I have been further convicted that music is definitely the path down which I most ardently desire to travel, hopefully for the rest of my life."