Posted by Adrienne Salmon
Monday 18th January, 2016
   2016 AYO National Music Camp: Blog 7

So here we are, the end of National Music Camp. And what an adventure it has been. To think that just two weeks ago today we arrived in our new artistic home of Canberra is a little daunting, particularly when you consider everything we have achieved and witnessed in such little time. Each event or new skill we have grasped has seemed to whiz past; I especially noticed it after the first week when I devastatingly realised that we only had one week of camp to go. The experience definitely hasn’t been easy, but, it’s not meant to be. We are here to live and learn in that true hot-house environment that ultimately encourages us to develop who we are as a person and the skills that define us as a musician, a writer, a sound producer, a manager or a composer.

For many lucky players, the AYO experience continues throughout the year, either in AYO Young Symphonists, the February season or the triennial AYO international tour. But for us, the behind the scenes folk, our AYO journey for this year sadly ends today. However, we shouldn’t feel sad that it has all come to an end, instead we should feel confident that all the skills they have equipped us with and vital advice they have given is what we need to launch us out there in the real world. They have instilled in us the determination to succeed and the drive to establish ourselves as the movers and shakers of the artistic world.

 Like we (the WAMsters) discussed in our radio interval broadcast from last week’s performance, the 2016 AYO National Music Camp’s true focus has been on educating the entrepreneurial 21st century musician. As we know, AYO has always been an advocate for diversifying the traditional careers of musicians, by having programs at camp that aren’t just the core orchestral training, such as the Words About Music, Sound Production and Orchestral Management Programs. But this year AYO has taken it one step further by bringing in two artists-in-residence, James Crabb and Genevieve Lacey, who let’s just say, are not exactly traditional orchestral players. They have been the guardian angels of camp, not just for the orchestral players but also providing themselves as real-life inspiration demonstrating that breaking away from the mould can be equally if not more successful for your career. Displaying the traits of portfolio musicians, they have shown us the importance of collaboration and being adaptable.

 Having a focus like this for camp was a courageous and important step for AYO and when you consider the current Australian musical climate, which is increasingly being coloured by stifling funding cuts and audience decline, the need to diversify and adapt in our careers is paramount. It can be hard to find your footing towards a career in music, and AYO completely recognising this has provided me and other young people with a sense of hope that we can make a place in that world for ourselves.

I am so sad to leave camp but I am departing confident to begin my career!

Words About Music participants have been blogging from AYO National Music Camp.