Posted by Ben Nielsen
Monday 6th January, 2014

For many, crying babies, turbulence and a skimpy in-flight snack heralded the beginning of National Music Camp 2014. Not the most auspicious of beginnings, but at least it leaves plenty of room for improvement.

There was a buzz amongst the Arts Administration and Words About Music participants who arrived on Saturday afternoon. For some, this was their first Camp, and for others, their first time in Canberra. 

We all agreed, while keenly observing the surroundings from the coach ride to our accommodation, that Canberra is both a beautiful and unsettlingly barren city. The apparently complete absence of cars and people would make it a perfect location to film a zombie apocalypse movie.

Sunday began at 4.30am with the call of the cockatoos that flocked outside the accommodation blocks – not so desirable for those poor few who lacked sleep after travelling from Perth. It was the first of several rude awakenings, with the WAM and AA participants soon realising just how much work was required of them.

For the next fortnight these participants, and the various other hordes, will be hard at work in their programs – including Orchestral, Sound Production, Composition, Arts Administration and Words About Music.

Beyond the hard work, NMC has always been an occasion for learning, adventure and friendship. This is something that hasn’t changed since Bishop and Alexander conducted the first Camp at Point Lonsdale in 1948.

Soon, the remaining campers would arrive from their respective locations across the nation (having inevitably endured many crying babies and turbulence), and NMC will truly kick off.

Words About Music participants will be blogging daily.


- Ben Nielsen

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