Early Music Association of NSW


[Sun 12 June - 2.00 - 5.00pm 2011] The EMA of NSW presented its first Workshop in the West,  a fun afternoon exploring the stylistic techniques and beauty of early music composers with students and players from Western Sydney. Aimed at instrumentalists and singers of all ages preparing items by early composers for eisteddfods, AMEB exams, HSC music exams or concerts , the afternoon was also open to musicians curious to explore music performed on harpsichord, gamba, baroque viola and cello or recorder. The afternoon comprised a comparative demonstration from tutors on modern and original instruments, master classes in sessions including keyboard, strings, woodwind and voice for selected participants, and a play-in for all enthusiastic attendees.

Participants came from the Blue Mountains and Greater Western Sydney to the beautiful heritage-listed Granville Town Hall for an afternoon of early music discovery. For many, it was their very first exposure to period instruments and to some of the key stylistic norms of the period. Local music teachers also attended and we appreciate their willingness to learn new things to pass on to their students. We heard a youngster with perfect pitch playing Bach on the piano with great dexterity whose transition to the harpsichord went well despite the mechanism feeling “weird” but the 415 pitch threw him; another grappled with holding the baroque cello between his legs but determination kept it there; and a singer performing Caccini’s Amarilli did a terrific job attuning herself to the difference in accompaniment from piano to spinet and produced some lovely intimate ornamentation.

All tutors and EMA members gave their time, on a Long Weekend no less, to help raise awareness about the Association as well as showing their talents to an appreciative crowd. The afternoon also proved a great opportunity to connect with some professional players unknown to the Association and hopefully we attracted some new members.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated!


E.M.A. Workshop in the West