The younger WAYMA groups had a concert in the Freo Town Hall on Sunday. We all went along because Su was conducting the Children’s Choir. After a stupid traffic jam on a Sunday morning on the Freeway South that held us up, we eventually got there. Several things that concerned me:
* There was a good crowd, but not as many as last concert. In fact, the ground floor section probably half full, and I’d guess that most were just family members. I believe that WAYMA needs to do much more in the marketing department. If I wasn’t married to the conductor, I would not know about this concert at all!! For example, every Primary School in Perth should be getting flyers about it, and it should be advertised in their weekly bulletins, all music teachers of young kids should be notified about this concert, there should be representation from the WAYMA Board and other ensembles at this concert, etc etc. If these ensembles are meant to be the cream of the youths in Perth/WA, then promote them as such.
* Make the concert more formal somehow. Consider other venues besides the Freo Town Hall, dim the lights in the hall more, put more direct spotlights frontwards onto the stage, stop people from coming into the hall whilst groups are performing (extremely distracting), especially stop ensembles from stomping in whilst other groups are performing.
* Are these kids the best of the youths in Perth? IMO, the WAYMA ensembles should be an opportunity for the best of the best. That is, it’s as if we got the best instrumentalists, singers, musicians, etc in each school and placed them together to further their learning and development. Do all young kids know about the WAYMA orchestras and choirs? If not, then why not? It all starts in the audition process, so all Primary (and Secondary) Schools should be getting flyers to their students and music departments.
* Why were there 2 concerts on the same day? I believe the Youth Symphonic Band was on later that Sunday at the Government Ballroom. Could these both have been combined or made on separate days?
* Do more cross concert promotion. There should have been mention and posters/flyers for other upcoming WAYMA concerts, whether it be the Orchestras or Choirs or Bands.
There were some good things at Sunday’s concert too. I particular liked how there were “guest” soloists/instrumentalists from other WAYMA ensembles (2 from WAYO) and WASO. This is great stuff – it inspires the younger kids, and gives opportunities to older kids and musicians to perform with an orchestra, etc. I would love to see even more of this – for example, combining orchestra and choir together, combined choirs, more soloists perfoming with younger orchestras, getting some of the runners up in the Concerto Competition to play with other groups, etc.