As somebody who has had the joy of working as a professional cellist both in Australia and England, in large and small ensembles, I am now finding a huge personal inspiration in my endeavour to pass the flame to our younger generation. Participating in the Eisteddfod with both junior and senior groups has shown me how incredibly high the general standard of music making is these days. Every year when I sit and listen to other performing ensembles, as well as my own, I am filled with inspiration to continue with my passion to play music. It is a wonderful way for young people to relate, something that in this age of technology, is sadly diminishing.
One of my favourite areas of the Eisteddfod is the chamber music section. The variety of ensembles that perform and the wealth of talent, is extraordinary. My own inspiration has always been from musicians that go that bit further; they reach out and touch you with expression that comes from the depth of their souls. This is something for you young musicians to remember, never just play “notes on a page”. Ultimately musicality will always win over technicality (although in the long run both are desirable!). Try to communicate what you think the composer may have wanted to express, in the era in which they composed the music. Remember also to communicate with each other within the group to maintain a tight performance and to engage with your audience more. Audiences need to be visually stimulated as well as aurally.
I would encourage all performers and teachers to allow their students to become actively involved in the Eisteddfod. It is a lasting legacy that has helped many of our top professionals around the country and overseas on their journeys. Aside from this it also provides a fun and exhilarating experience to players of every level and an outlet aside from one’s usual school or local performances.
It is so important for musicians to continue to be inspired and in turn to inspire music making at all levels. I truly believe the Sydney Eisteddfod is the perfect vehicle for this.
Kate has had an exciting and diverse performing career in both England and Australia. This has included playing with such ensembles as the ACO, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Orchestra of London, the Orchestra of the Golden Age, Sydney Philharmonia and many more.
Highlights have been the 14 years spent with the Australian Opera including continuo for the acclaimed production of Julius Caesar with Yvonne Kenny and Graham Pushee, conducted by the late Richard Hickox.
Kate has always committed a large amount of time to teaching and tutoring young players. She is now enjoying sharing the knowledge and passion gained through many years of performing, with the wonderfully talented boys at Trinity Grammar School where she is currently Head of Strings.