Music Camp, 2021
By Oliver Johnstone and Hannah Vardy, Performing Arts Prefects
On the weekend of the 13–14 February, the annual Music Camp took place at the Greenhills Conference Centre. The camp saw Radford’s premier music groups, Bernstein Symphonic Wind Orchestra, and Corelli Chamber Strings Orchestra, and our college choir, Chorale, gather for two jam-packed days of rehearsals.
Students arrived early on Saturday morning and, after settling in, were immediately thrown into rehearsing for the Foundation Day Concert, which will take place at the end of March. Bernstein also prepared a range of repertoire for the Anzac Day Service. Each group was able to add a number of pieces to their repertoires through intensive practice, designed to strengthen each student’s fundamental skills and their sense of ensemble. These sessions were broken up by ‘all-in singing’ rehearsals, in which all three groups came together to learn Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Sunday’ from the musical Sunday in the Park with George.
On Saturday night, after a long day of rehearsals and meal breaks, the 2021 Music Captains held the annual Trivia and Games Night. The Captains had the students guess songs from one second snippets, answer general music-themed trivia, and solve a mystery about their conductors’ musical origins.
As with any large-scale event in the past year, the shadow of COVID-19 loomed over Music Camp. Some small changes were noticeable, such as having to sanitise one’s hands when entering the dining hall. The biggest impact was that we were unable to host the traditional concert for parents and caregivers at the end of the camp, which was a shame. Each group was still able to perform for one another, giving them an opportunity to listen to what the others had been working on. Some friendly faces, namely Principal Fiona Godfrey, and Head of Secondary School Dr Adrian Johnson and his wife, also came along to support the hard-working musicians.
Thanks to the hard work of Ms Kirsten Knight, the Music faculty, and the conductors, this year’s camp was, as always, a great success. Thanks must also go to the Greenhills staff for providing us with excellent catering and a fantastic venue. We departed Greenhills extremely tired, extremely full, but also very happy with the weekend that had passed. The Radford Music Program only grows stronger each year, and as evidenced by the turnout and efforts of all musicians at Music Camp, we can all look forward to a fantastic year ahead.