Posted by Owen Morris
Tuesday 11th February, 2014

The week and a half spent in Adelaide for the AYO February Season seemed to fly by as members of the orchestra are now back in their respective cities and towns, twiddling their thumbs, waiting for more AYO action. It was a very intense time in Adelaide, not just due to the sweltering heat, but also as a result of the challenging repertoire and the consistent expectation to perform at a professional standard.

I could write for pages and pages about my favourite experiences from the AYO February Season. However, I won’t bore you to death, so I will just list a few of my best memories. The highlight of my time in Adelaide was the opportunity to work with world-class musicians. Our internationally respected and renowned maestro, James Judd, brought a wonderful approach to music making. He inspired each and every musician from the AYO to work their hardest and improve throughout our time in Adelaide. In my opinion, a great conductor is one that the musicians want to play well for. I feel that everyone in the orchestra in our final performance gave all they had to create wonderful music for themselves, the audience, and Maestro Judd. The other world-class musician I would like to make a particular ‘note’ about is trumpet extraordinaire, James Morrison. It was such a privilege to work with one of my idols. As a trumpet player, I have always respected James for his ease of playing around the horn, charisma, and oozing musicianship. The chance to work with both James Judd and James Morrison has been extraordinary and the things I have learned just from listening to them will stay with me throughout my career.

Another great experience I took away from the AYO Season in Adelaide was the opportunity to play alongside talented and likeminded musicians who share the same innate passion for creating beautiful music. One of the greatest things about AYO is that you get to meet players from all over the country, giving us an opportunity to network and make contacts in different cities. After spending time in the orchestra and rehearsing with my colleagues for ten or so days, I was really inspired to continue on with my music making.

Finally, I would like to give some insight into how AYO has improved and influenced aspects of my playing and approach to classical music. At AYO, we are given the ability to perform professional standard repertoire in a professional but learning environment. While there is an expectation of professional etiquette and performance standard, there remains a strong element of having a fun and joyous time. From my time at AYO, I have learned that music making is a team effort and getting to know your fellow musicians is paramount. AYO gives us the chance to go on camps and seasons to network and make new friends. I believe this balance is absolutely essential to anybody who wishes to continue on with music as a profession, or even as a hobby. 


- Owen Morris (Trumpet)