Heathcote Primary School students recently had a visit from cellist Howard Penny and viola player Brett Dean as part of a music program.By Barbara Sungaila
Heathcote Primary School students were given a taste of classical music on Friday morning.
A group of renowned international musicians, led by cellist Howard Penny and viola player Brett Dean, visited the school for the first session of a music program funded by the Heathcote and District Community Bank branch.
The musicians were in Heathcote to perform at the Sanguine Estate Music Festival during the long weekend and they will return to the school several times in coming months.
Another seven sessions will happen throughout the year — one of which is likely to involve the students visiting the Australian National Academy of Music in South Melbourne
School principal Cindi Bruechert said the program was exciting.
‘‘Heathcote’s such an interesting place with such a balance of cultural and different experiences,’’ she said.
‘‘There’s the families from the lower socio-economic groups who don’t really have a lot of opportunity, so for our students it’s a great chance.’’
It has been almost five years since the school has had a proper music program.
Mrs Bruechert said the school had some instruments and other music resources but the students had not had the chance to build their skills with professionals
Sanguine Estate Music Festival director Howard Penny said music was a fundamental part of everyone’s life.
‘‘I know that the experiences I had as a child were formative in my becoming interested in music,’’ he said.
This is the second time Penny has visited the school and he is thrilled about the opportunities on offer this year.
He said the children’s enthusiasm was a driving factor in developing the new program.
‘‘There were all these bright young faces last year saying when are you coming back?’’ he said.
‘‘So we thought, okay, we’re going to do this properly.’’
He said working with the school brought music to future audiences.
‘‘It’s all very well to have a festival but then only a certain number of people get to experience the amazing music and the amazing people.’’
The program will target children in grades 3 to 6, although Friday’s concert was for the whole school.
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