Regional Tour Blog 3: Visit to Bowen



Blog 3

3: Visit to Bowen

We were greeted by an incredible waterfront sunrise this morning, and a few of us set our alarms early to go for a stroll along the beach. Before departing, we even had an unexpected encounter with a local – a gorgeous male peacock looking to ruffle his plumage for the ladies!

We made our way to Bowen State High School, where our first workshop and concert were to be held. Joining forces with some of the local students, we worked on putting some fresh new repertoire together for a combined concert. The young musicians were full of enthusiasm, especially over in the percussion section, where Neacail presided over his posse of mini-percussionists.

The concert was a roaring success. The hall teemed with proud parents, siblings, grandparents, and teachers, who all watched excitedly as the combined string and wind ensembles performed, followed by a jam-packed programme by QYO. The audience were absolutely enthralled by soprano Nina Wildman, calling ‘more’ after each song. Eventually we ran out of songs to play and concluded the concert with a thrilling rendition of Copland’s ‘Hoe-down’, which was met with an appreciative standing ovation.

After a spot of afternoon tea, it was time to repack the truck and turn our tail southwards. The 2-hour drive was the perfect length for a movie, as scenes of vast fields and rugged mountains drifted past the bus windows. 

When we arrived in Mackay we went straight to Mackay State High School where we workshopped with string musicians from ocal schools and provided some tips to the musicians to improve their string playing. Oboists, Brooke and Emily gave a private lesson to a local oboe player. This was the first oboe player we had seen so far on this tour – and I would go so far to say that she may be the only one!

Tired and hungry after our long journey, the State of Origin was the last thing on our minds as we headed to dinner at the Italian restaurant, Sorbello’s. 

Tomorrow we will be hosting workshops and a concert for 500 students from Mackay Christian College and then quickly rehearsing and performing with musicians of Mackay Youth Orchestra.